7 Ways To Stay Productive While Working Remotely

by Erin Kelly

Working from home has it perks. For one thing, you can wear whatever you want and save time by not having to commute. Personally, those are two of the most attractive thing about not having to go into a physical office or workspace, but there are tons of other benefits to ditching the boardroom on a regular basis.

Work-from-anywhere positions — which, according to Global Workplace Analytics, roughly 3.7 million Americans have — can improve employee morale, reduce unscheduled absences, cut out unnecessary meetings, and even broaden an employer’s talent pool. Studies also show that working remotely can boost productivity. Yet anyone who’s ever worked from home knows that with great flexibility comes a great struggle (at least, at times) to stay focused. To help anyone who works from home manage their productivity, we partnered with Microsoft Surface Laptop to bring you seven pro tips that will help you stay organized, focused, and in the loop no matter where you’re working from.

1. Get Dressed

Okay, I know I just said that one of the best things about working from home is being able to wear whatever you want. The good news is, you can still wear whatever you want — just be sure to change out of your pajamas and dress yourself in clothes that get you motivated to work. Whether that’s business attire or a pair of sweats, changing outfits will help shift your mindset from "relaxation" mode to "work" mode.

2. Have A Designated Workspace

One of the joys of working remotely is that you can essentially do it anywhere — your home, a nearby coffee shop, or a neighborhood co-working space. The pitfall? You can also manage to do some of it from bed. To avoid doing that, having a designated workspace that is clean, organized, and bright where you can regularly get down to business will not only ensure you’re comfortable during working hours, but it will also help you stay productive and efficient. Plus, it’ll minimize your temptation to work from places full of distractions (like in front of your TV).

3. Set Goals

Whether you monitor these goals in the form of a to-do list or on a giant whiteboard for everyone to see, writing down your objectives for the week every Monday can help provide clear direction and focus for the days ahead. Setting both longterm and short term intentions can also help you be more productive in the long run.

4. Leverage The Best Technology

If you’re going to be relying on your own resources to be productive, you need to ensure you have the best tools and technology possible within your budget. That means not skimping on your wifi provider, since you're more reliant on a strong connection than your office-dwelling counterparts, and investing in the best tools to keep you connected, like the Microsoft Surface Laptop. At just 2.76 lbs., this light and thin laptop is super portable and can fit into a bag on the days you need a change of scenery — while not skimping on speed or battery power.

5. Keep A Schedule

When you’re on your own, it can be easy to let the day unfold naturally. However, keeping a schedule of "office hours" for yourself during normal business hours that adhere to your industry standards can help you manage your time. Keeping designated office hours can also prevent you from working at all hours of the day and night — and thus longer than you would if you actually did report to an office for duty.

6. Wait To Check Your Email In The Mornings

For many of us, our first instinct upon waking up is to immediately check our phones for messages, emails, and social memes. Yet we advise against checking your email first thing in the morning, as it can be overwhelming and start your day off in a rushed daze. Instead, start your day off with a routine that will prepare you for a day of work, and set you up for success — and check your email when your workday officially "begins."

7. Schedule Phone Meetings

Just because you can work remotely doesn’t mean you have to cut off all verbal communication with the outside world. Scheduling phone meetings can help you accomplish more tasks more quickly and efficiently than wading through a chain of back-and-forth emails. Having regular contact with the outside world and your team members can also keep you out of getting trapped in your own bubble while working from home. While we're at it, maybe a once-a-week in person meetings would be a terrible idea, either.

This article is brought to you with the help of Microsoft Surface.

The brand new Microsoft Surface Laptop was released this June. The Surface Laptop features the following:

  • Ultra-thin and light laptop fits easily in your bag.
  • Four tone-on-tone color combinations and sleek, elegant design complement your personal style.
  • Enjoy a natural typing and trackpad experience, enhanced by a luxurious Alcantara® fabric-covered keyboard.
  • The power to do what you want, with all-day battery life.
  • Experience beautiful images in true-to-life color on the vibrant 13.5” PixelSense™ Display with touchscreen.
  • Invisible immersive Dolby® Audio™ Premium sound that comes directly from the keyboard, with no added bulk or grills.