If you're normally an office-dweller, it can be challenging to get used to the idea of staying productive while working remotely, whether it's while traveling, from home or at one of your company's other sites. Working off-site adds a bit of stress and pressure to your otherwise productive daily habits, and it's important to plan accordingly to avoid burnout. Here are a few ways to stay productive when working away from the office.
One of the most effective ways to stay productive while working remotely is to schedule your day just as if you were in the office. Designate specific hours for your tasks, and allow yourself plenty of time between them. While working remotely, it's likely that you'll be attending seminars, meetings, dinners or other social gatherings, so be sure to account for possible interruptions and delays. By allowing yourself more time than you'd normally need to complete your work, you help prevent the possible stress that stems from uncompleted tasks and unmet deadlines. No matter where you're working, it's important to create a structured daily schedule and stick to it.
Create a clear, professional work space. When away from the office, it can be tempting to make a workspace out of a bed, kitchen table, car or coffee shop. You won't be able to get everything done if you don't supply yourself with everything you need. If you require a large desk space, make sure the hotel you're staying at can provide one for you. Need access to a fax machine or printer? Plan ahead to find a workspace that provides that equipment for public use. By having all the tools you need at your disposal, you can stay productive by eliminating possible interruptions and getting things done faster.
Keep in touch with your co-workers. Telecommuters and other off-site workers aren't able to reap the benefits of in-person communication with their colleagues and supervisors. Without clear communication lines, you may be excluded from impromptu brainstorming or crisis-management meetings, absence from which can lower your profile at work. Prevent this from happening by communicating proactively. Make phone calls, send emails or hold video conferences to receive updates from the in-office team. Send texts or instant messages often. Keeping communication lines blazing not only reinforces your position on the team, but it also keeps you in the loop on daily events and information. Knowing what everyone on your team knows is crucial to staying productive and efficient even while on the road.
With some pre-planning, creativity and a little extra effort, working off-site or from home can be just as productive as working in the office. By making a firm schedule, creating a clean working space, keeping in touch with colleagues and setting boundaries, you can reap the benefits of off-site working while staying productive.
Photo Courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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