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A man working in his home office.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed everything, including the way we work. Many people have become remote employees, at least temporarily, for the first time in their careers.

And while remote work has many benefits, it can be a difficult working arrangement to adjust to for some people — especially when other family members and/or roommates have been forced into quarantine at home too and home and work life are constantly colliding.

We’re here to help and have created this brief guide with remote working tips to help you be as productive as possible during this new remote working era. Let’s dive in!

The Remote Working Era

Remote work has been growing in popularity for some time. In fact, in 2019 48% of U.S. workers worked remotely at least once per week. But since the COVID-19 outbreak, pretty much everyone has become a remote worker.

While the current circumstances are quite undesirable, remote work, in general, has numerous benefits — even as we all shelter in our homes and practice social distancing:

These are promising stats and proof that there is a silver lining, albeit a small one, to the current pandemic we’re all facing. We just have to take advantage of it.

5 Remote Working Tips

Man holding up five fingers in front of the camera.

Remote workers have the potential to be more productive than their in-office counterparts. But you have to follow a few tips, tricks, and best practices to reach this level of efficiency. Here are five remote working tips you can implement right now to become super productive during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

1. Remove Distractions

Distraction is an ever present concern, whether you’re working remotely or in-office. In fact, one in three millennials list chatty co-workers as their biggest distractions in the workplace. Now that we’re all working from home due to social distancing best practices, chatty co-workers are much less of a concern. But self-quarantined family members can make it hard to focus, too.

What’s the game plan? How can you concentrate on your work for solid stretches of time, even when the world around you seems intent on distracting you? We have a few suggestions:

If you follow these five quick tips, you’ll be able to quickly reduce distractions and focus on your work for longer stretches of time, guaranteed.

2. Keep a Standard Routine

It can be tempting when working remotely to wake up late, wear your pajamas all day, and start work whenever you feel like. You don’t have to commute to the office, so what’s the harm in a more relaxed schedule and work wardrobe? A lot actually…

Many experts encourage remote workers to keep a standard routine that’s very similar to the office schedule they’re accustomed to. Get up in the morning, take a shower, get dressed, etc.

For some folks, setting a standard routine is difficult when working from home. Without a standard time to clock-in, it’s too easy to base your day around how you feel in the moment. But this rarely leads to high levels of productivity.

Instead, follow these three tips to help you keep a standard routine:

3. Use Calendar Blocking

A white calendar and an orange highlighter.

Calendar blocking is the practice of blocking out time on one’s calendar to focus on specific tasks. Simple, right? Unfortunately, very few people actually do this consistently. Here are a few tips to help you properly calendar block:

4. Take Productivity Breaks

As the old saying goes, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” While it may seem counterintuitive, breaks throughout the day will actually increase your productivity levels. They’ll also make your day more enjoyable, which is equally as important and worth mentioning.

But breaks can be tricky when working remotely for a couple of reasons.

  1. First: It’s easy to get so wrapped up in your work that you forget to stop for a quick breather. When working in a regular office, this is less of an issue because you’re usually able to see your colleagues take occasional breaks and are reminded to do the same.
  2. Second: Some remote workers are afraid to take breaks at home because it’s so easy to become distracted while doing so. What if your significant other has the TV on in the living room and you hear it when venturing to the kitchen for a snack? Do you have the willpower to not sit down and watch with them? Not everyone does. To combat this issue, use the techniques we outlined above in the “Remove Distractions” section.

It’s crucial that you don’t just try to take breaks, but you actually schedule time for them in your calendar. That’s right, use the calendar blacking strategy for breaks too!

If you’re wondering how to take a productive break,we have a couple of ideas for you:

Breaks, as crazy as it sounds, will definitely help you become more productive as you work remotely. Give them a try and see for yourself!

5. Manage Your Technology

Technology can be a great asset when it comes to productivity and time management. From communication tools to automation solutions, allow the various software applications available help you get more done in less time. Here are a few top options in this regard:

Boost Remote Work Productivity

Balloons floating higher in the sky.

The novel coronavirus has completely changed the way most people work. While a remote job is beneficial in many ways, it can be a tough working arrangement to get used to, especially when it comes to productivity.

Fortunately, if you follow the five tips we listed in this article, you should be able to make the transition and become even more productive than you were at the office. Good luck and stay safe!