Working outside the office does have it advantages – you get to set your own hours and decide on your location. It does however also come with some major disadvantages like maintaining productivity while dealing with distractions and isolation.
There are small things that entrepreneurs can do to make the remote work arrangement work – whether working from home, a coffee shop or on the road, writes Alexandra Samuel, author of ‘Work Smarter, Rule Your Email’, in an article for The Harvard Business Review.
“To make your remote work setup really effective, you need to take advantage of the number one benefit of remote work: exercising a high degree of intention and control over what you want your work day to look like,” writes Samuel.
1. Divide your work day – Breakup your day according to tasks. This will not only help you remain focused, but once you figure out when you are most productive, you can plan your most demanding tasks during these periods to increase your productivity.
2. Minimise distractions – Try to keep digital interruptions to a minimum by changing your online status to “unavailable” says Samuel. This can be done on your instant messaging services like Skype and Whatsapp. But do keep one channel open. Samuel suggests phone texts, where everyone knows they can reach you in case of emergency.
3. Beat the loneliness – It is important for entrepreneurs to stay connected to others. “Staying connected to other people is just as important as protecting concentrated work time,” writes Samuel. Ideas to try include working from a coffee shop, a co-working space and also making time to socialise with friends and family.
4. Use your tools – Samuel recommends software tools for remote workers like: Google Drive for document collaboration, Evernote, a digital notebook application, Google Calender to schedule meetings and deadlines, instant messaging services for quick communication with clients, and social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook to socialise and get ideas.