How to Stay Productive While Working Remote

Staying productive is easy when you’re in a location conducive to working, but when the time comes to leave the office and work remote (it almost always does), staying productive can become much more difficult. In order to manage the myriad of distractions and other challenges that arise while working remotely, we’ve compiled some tips that are sure to keep your productivity levels topped off.

The first problem you’re sure to encounter while working remote is a disruption in consistency. It’s easy to take an office environment for granted – reliable wi-fi, quiet working spaces, access to amenities, and close contact with coworkers are all features of an office that are not guaranteed when working remote. By planning ahead, you can avoid hitting one of these barriers (or multiple of them) and start your work off on the right foot.

The first step to planning ahead for remote work is deciding where you are actually going to work. The millennial coffee shop worker may have achieved cliché status by now but the reality is that coffee shops are still one of the best, most reliable environments for remote work. Not only do they have free, high-speed wi-fi, but if you begin to lose focus you are only a few steps away from America’s favorite bean-derived catalyst for productivity. And if the noise and bustle of the coffee shop is too distracting, a decent pair of sound-proof headphones should be enough to keep you on track.

The next step in planning ahead is determining when you are going to work. Sticking to a fixed work schedule can be difficult during remote work, especially if you’re traveling somewhere you aren’t familiar with. Being somewhere you aren’t familiar with makes every little task a little less efficient, and before you know it, half the day has gone by and there is still work left to be done.

In order to stay on top of your time management it is best to start your work as early in the morning as possible. Not only are there less distractions in the morning, but working before the day begins prevents you from pushing off tasks further and further into oblivion. Plus, if you’ve planned ahead and found a good coffee shop with plenty of electrical outlets and a competent table on which to set up shop, working in the morning just makes sense (if you are one of the few Americans who are not addicted to bean water, studies have shown that the smell of coffee alone can increase productivity).

The last step for a successful day of remote work is having clear terms of communication with your coworkers. Creating the perfect remote work agenda is pointless if your coworkers don’t know when you’re working or how best to reach you. By establishing these terms beforehand, you can prevent any hiccups in work communication that are apt to occur when working remote and ensure that your efforts of planning ahead don’t go to waste.