Remote work has become a big part of the employment experience. The trend was noticeable for a while, but it really took off during the pandemic. People were forced to remain indoors, yet they still had to do the job. Hence, organizations adapted to the changes and pressed on. The pandemic is no more, but remote work remains. Some companies had employees return to the office, but quite a few people decided to continue working from home. A mixed work model is also an option. The model revolves around the idea of working in-house and remotely. For instance, you spend two days at an office and three days at home.

Opportunities to work from home also mean more flexibility for hiring people who live far away and would not be able to be present physically anyway. However, the flexibility also poses some problems for an organization that hires people exclusively for remote work. Not being able to supervise people in person is a disadvantage. Even one or two days in person can make a significant difference. 

Since companies want to ensure that things are going smoothly, instances of lowered productivity are a hindrance. Thankfully, there are ways to boost the productivity of those working remotely. Or, at the very least, make it so it does not drop and remain consistent. Let’s take a look at those methods.

Ensure the Necessary Equipment

Not all employees will have the necessary equipment. It comes down to arrangements, but if someone has an outdated laptop and cannot run high-end software required for work, it makes sense to provide an upgrade. Or what about those who use one operating system but need to carry out various tasks that are not really compatible with their OS? For example, figuring out the NTFS support for Mac questions or how different cloud storage services can be used on different devices.

Then there is a reliable internet connection. Working with slow Wi-Fi can be a nightmare, but getting an amplifier can make all the difference in the world. The point is that if there is an equipment-related problem and a company can offer a solution, it should be done. At the end of the day, it is hard to expect productivity from someone who is stuck using outdated equipment or missing something crucial.

Use a Time Tracker Tool

Time trackers can be a lifesaver for people who struggle to stick to their schedule and finish assignments. Of course, your whole schedule should start with proper sleeping habits. Waking up and going to bed at a reasonable hour play a prominent role. 

The purpose of time trackers is to show how well one is doing. Companies use trackers to gain insight into how each individual is doing. If someone takes much longer to finish a task compared to their peers, adjustments can be made. Such discrepancies could be a result of miscommunication, for instance.

Keeping track of time also helps build a knowledge base and plan future tasks more efficiently. Knowing the approximate amount of time it takes to complete something will let you project potential deadlines.

Finally, the sense of accountability is more present when you have a tool tracking your time. It leaves little room for slacking off. If anything, some employees will treat it as an opportunity to challenge themselves by finishing tasks as fast as they can and registering the result on the tracker. 

Try Multitasking

Some will say that multitasking is the opposite of what you should be doing to be productive. After all, multitasking leads to potential errors because your mind is occupied with one thing while you are trying to do another thing. Juggling two difficult tasks that require undivided attention is not what multitasking should be. No, you should be looking for what you can do in the background while focusing on your main work.

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Multitasking is much easier these days, thanks to various automation tools. From customer support chatbots to social media scheduling tools, setting yourself up for success while getting the job done in the background (multitasking) should be a possibility.

Eliminate Distractions

Various distractions are often the biggest productivity killer. Instead of doing your job, you are tempted to procrastinate by checking your smartphone or opening an internet browser to scroll through various sites. No in-person supervision means that you do not have to worry about getting caught. Sneaking a few minutes of procrastination is not the end of the world, especially if you do not have that much work to do. 

However, such actions lead to bad habits. You might end up wasting too much time on unrelated things instead of your job. It means working up late to catch up, and the schedule you worked so hard to establish goes out the window. You have to identify distractions first to eliminate them. If it is a smartphone, disable notifications while you work so you are less likely to check it. Removing procrastination apps like games is a worthwhile idea as well.

In the case of your computer, if you get too distracted by social media, YouTube, Reddit, or other websites, block them in your browser. If you cannot access the content, you will not have to worry about it taking your time. Overcoming procrastination is a challenge, but it is a necessary step if someone wishes to be more productive at work.

Prioritize Certain Tasks

Task prioritization is another trick that can help with overall productivity. It is likely that your job consists of tasks that are hard and tasks that are easier. The trick is to prioritize difficult tasks. Leaving them for the end is often a mood killer because you know that there is a challenge waiting for you at the end of the work day.

Meanwhile, by taking care of the biggest problems early, you can relax a bit, knowing that the hardest tasks are finished, and you will have an easier time during the final work hours.

Note, though, that this approach might not work for everyone. Some people might need to get warmed up before taking on difficult tasks. Others might find that they are the most productive right after the lunch break. It is about finding what works for you, but the rule of thumb is usually that the hardest tasks should not be left for the end of your work day. You can use the AIDA framework for keeping priorities in check. 

Avoid Miscommunication

Remote work presents communication challenges. Talking to your colleagues in person means that there is less room for misreading intentions. Not only words. Body language can tell a story as well. Emails and communication platforms like Slack are commonly used in remote work environments. The latter, in particular, since you can exchange messages instantly. 

However, for more important and complicated tasks, video chat is encouraged because it means more time is spent on explaining different aspects of the task. If a video chat is not possible, a video recording that explains the details from the one submitting a task is another instance of how to reduce potential misunderstandings due to a lack of communication.

Lastly, it is imperative to send follow-ups and double-check to make sure that the person working on a task understands everything. Even minutiae mistakes can snowball and cause significant troubles down the line, putting a halt to one’s productivity.

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