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Remote Productivity: Strategies for Working Smarter, Not Harder

Last Updated on 06 May 2023

Remote working has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many organizations offering their employees the opportunity to work from home, on the road, or from a shared co-working space. Remote working enables employees to have flexible working hours, a more relaxed work environment, and an opportunity to improve their work-life balance. However, remote working can also pose challenges, particularly when it comes to productivity. Without the structured environment of the traditional office, remote workers may experience distractions, feelings of isolation, and challenges in time-management. This article provides strategies for remote workers to maximize productivity and achieve success in their work.

Set up a Productive Workspace

The first and most crucial step towards remote working success is setting up a productive workspace. Finding a designated space that is used solely for work is essential. Whether it’s a separate room or even a specific table or desk, it is important that the workspace is free of distractions and is organized and tidy. You should create an inspiring and comfortable workspace with enough breathing space so that you can think, work, and make sound decisions.

Ensure you can adjust the lighting and temperature accordingly to suit your preferences. Your workspace should also have enough storage room for your office essentials: printing supplies, papers, and files. A peaceful workspace with soothing colors, nice textures, and pleasant sounds and smells can help improve your productivity, mood, and inspire creativity.

Use Time-Management Techniques

Working remotely can make it difficult to stay motivated, especially if there are distractions around. Hence, mastering time-management techniques is crucial for success in remote work. Consider techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, which involves breaking work into 25-minute intervals, followed by five-minute pauses. After four intervals, the worker takes a more extended break. This train of thought helps to avoid burnout and promotes productivity. There are several other time-management tools available, including apps and software that can help you manage your schedule and stay on track.

Another time-management technique is the Eisenhower Matrix, which involves categorizing tasks by their level of urgency and importance. This practice helps workers prioritize tasks, manage their workload more effectively, and enables them to focus on the most important tasks.

It is essential to create a schedule that fulfills all your needs and allows you to work productively. The schedule needs to include breaks, lunch, meetings, errands, and any other necessary activities. The schedule should also be flexible enough to accommodate any unexpected changes.

Set Goals and Prioritizes

Setting clear goals and priorities is essential for remote working success. Clearly identifying what needs to be done and setting specific deadlines for each task is crucial. Using a to-do list or project management tool is helpful in organizing tasks and tracking progress. Developing a schedule that accommodates all tasks can help remote workers feel more in control of their workload, minimizing stress and improving productivity.

Focusing on achievable tasks is key to maximizing productivity. It is important to break down major goals into smaller, more manageable tasks and prioritize accordingly. Setting priorities helps manage time effectively and avoid the overwhelming feeling that comes with a long list of tasks. High-priority tasks should be tackled first, followed by less urgent tasks.

Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are abundant in any work environment, especially in a home or remote setting. Social media, email, household tasks, or family members working and playing can all be a hindrance to remote work productivity. To minimize distractions, set boundaries and establish a clear routine. This means turning off notifications, setting specific work hours, and communicating with family members or co-workers about your work schedule.

Eliminating distractions is essential for remote work productivity, which is why taking steps to minimize interruptions should be a priority. These could include using noise-cancelling headphones or a separate room, creating a daily routine that involves no distractive activities, or using productivity tools that block time-sucking websites.

Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity and focus. This means taking a break when feeling overwhelmed or stressed, even if it is just for a few minutes. A quick break can help prevent burnout and boost focus and motivation. It is also important to take a break from digital devices such as phones and computers. Physical breaks such as stretching, yoga or a quick walk outside can help reduce stress, improve focus and energy.

Incorporating breaks into your schedule can help boost your productivity and creativity. Living organisms, including humans, need to rest after working for a certain period to recharge for the next phase of productivity. Taking breaks allows you to process your thoughts, regroup, and increase your chances of productivity in the long run.

Incorporate Physical Activity

Physical activity is a crucial pillar of remote work productivity. Incorporating physical activity into the workday has a positive impact on productivity, both physically and mentally. This could include stretching, yoga or a quick walk outside.

Physical activity helps reduce stress, improve focus and energy. It also promotes a healthy work-life balance by providing a break from sedentary work. Employers can encourage their remote employees to embrace physical exercise by providing access to online workout classes, promoting walking meetings, setting up financial incentives, or setting aside time in the workday for physical activity.

Take Advantage of Remote Working Opportunities

Remote working provides a unique opportunity to work from anywhere. Remote workers should take advantage of this by finding a work setting that promotes productivity. This could be a quiet café or a shared co-working space. Networking opportunities with other remote workers can lead to partnerships or collaborations that can increase productivity as well as profitability.

There are numerous advantages to remote work — no need to commute, no burn-out from office noise and buzzing, no need for strict dressing guidelines, and most times, a relative amount of flexibility in work schedules. However, it can be challenging to remain focused and motivated, particularly if working from home. Choosing an environment that suits your work style – whether at home, a coworking space, or a local library – can be important to remote work productivity.

Find Ways to Manage Stress

Remote work can sometimes lead to stress and anxiety. Providing workers with effective tools and strategies to manage stress is critical for long-term productivity and success. This could include practicing mindfulness, meditation, or deep breathing techniques. It’s important to identify triggers to stress and take proactive steps to manage them. This might involve making a habit of regular exercise or engaging in an enjoyable hobby or activity.

Avoiding stress is critical to remote work productivity, but it isn’t always possible. People react differently to stress, but it’s essential to figure out what works best for you. Stress management techniques should ideally be proactive, such as making time for regular exercise, taking walks during breaks of intense work periods, taking a day off work when you feel overwhelmed, making time for hobbies, or simply sleeping well.

Communicate Effectively

Working remotely does not necessarily mean working in isolation. Maintaining effective communication with colleagues, clients, and managers is crucial for ensuring that everyone is on the same page. This could be through regular video calls or chats with colleagues. It is important to ensure that all stakeholders have access to the necessary tools and technologies to facilitate communication.

Effective communication is critical to remote work productivity, and it cannot be overemphasized. Communication should be clear, concise, and to the point. Communication is facilitated through tools like Slack, Zoom, email, or chatrooms, which remote workers should capitalize on maximally.

Stay Focused

Staying focused when working remotely is not always easy, as it’s easy to get sidetracked by distractions such as personal social media accounts, record-breaking blog views, or a loud family member. But on the other end of the spectrum, it’s easy to burn out. Remote workers need to adopt a mindset that encourages focus. This means setting achievable goals, blocking out working time on your calendar, and sticking to this schedule.

Distractions can affect the quality of your work, reduce your efficiency, and decrease your productivity. Therefore, remote workers should find ways to focus solely on their work, even if it means muting social media notifications, setting timers for specific working periods or using a task-force management tool to manage most working periods.

Embrace New Technologies

Remote working depends heavily on technology. Therefore, remote workers must familiarize themselves with new technology as it emerges. This could include learning new tools, apps, or software, as well as attending webinars and training sessions, among others. Being comfortable with these new technologies will enable remote workers to stay productive and connected to their colleagues and clients.

Remote workers should also be willing to adapt to new technology trends, such as online collaboration tools, video conferencing platforms, and digital communication platforms. Technology is always changing, so staying up to date can help remote workers work more efficiently and effectively.


In conclusion, remote working has become all the more necessary and frequent, thanks to a changing workforce that demands flexibility and an excellent work-life balance. It comes with several advantages, such as reduced commute time and lowered stress levels. Remote workers must prioritize productivity as it can be challenging to stay motivated and focused. Achieving success in remote work requires setting up a productive workspace, using time-management techniques, setting goals and priorities, eliminating distractions, taking breaks, incorporating physical activity, taking advantage of remote work opportunities, finding ways to manage stress, communicating effectively, staying focused, and embracing new technologies. By following these strategies, remote workers can work anywhere with success.

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