7 Ways to Be More Productive When Working Remotely

Working out of the office can force all your good habits out the window. Here are seven proven ways to be more productive when working remotely.

Unless you’re used to being in a new city every week, working remotely can throw all of your good, productive habits out the window. Simply being away from your normal environment is enough to squelch productivity and leave you feeling frazzled, stressed and out of sorts.

Here are seven proven ways to be more effective (and more productive!) when working remotely.

1. Schedule your day

When you work remotely, you’re more likely to attend business dinners, meetings, events and social gatherings related to your new work site and temporary team.

Plan your day to account for interruptions and outings, making sure to allow more time for your daily tasks than you normally would at home.

2. Ask for what you need

Do you require a large desk, a desktop scanner or a quiet workspace in order to be productive?

Don’t assume that the hotel staff or worksite manager can read your mind. Take a good, hard look at your home base workspace and figure out how you can create your productivity must-haves off site.

3. Use Sitedrop

Sitedrop is an app that lets you collaborate via Dropbox in real time. It’s perfect for working remotely because it lets a team of your choice access, share, upload, and comment on a project right from within Dropbox.

4. Scan your receipts

At the end of day working remotely, be sure to scan all of your receipts and beam them to your Shoeboxed account.

You’re likely to collect more receipts than usual working off site, especially since many of your expenses will qualify as travel business deductions if you’re staying overnight away from home.

Scanning at the end of each day will keep you organized and prevent receipt overwhelm at the end of your trip.

5. Work on the plane

Even if you rarely work remotely, take your cue from tried and true business travelers – work on the plane!

As soon as electronic devices are allowed, pop open your laptop or tablet and get to work. If you’re on a plane without WiFi capability, prepare your tasks beforehand by asking yourself “What work can I get done without Internet access?”

6. Anticipate non-work time

Just as you should always pack less clothing than you think you’ll need, you should always assume you’ll get less done when working remotely.

Whether you’re at a business convention or working from a satellite office, all of the new distractions and people will make it nearly impossible to be as productive as you are back home. Accept this and plan for it so you don’t finish your trip feeling like a productivity failure.

7.  Prep for your return

If you followed steps #1 and #4 above, you should be ready to return to your home office with everything in order.

If things got a little crazy (as tends to happen when working remotely), make sure to spend the night before your return getting organized. Look at what goals you accomplished, and what new tasks must be added to your to-do list based on what happened while working remotely. Double check that all receipts are scanned, and plan to give yourself a day off before returning to the office if need be.

How do you stay productive while working remotely?

 

Join us for an End of Summer Social!

We’re thrilled to be hosting an End of Summer Social with our friends from The Small Business Web on August 21 at Shoeboxed HQ! We’d love for you to join us.

We’re thrilled to be hosting an End of Summer Social with our friends from The Small Business Web, a partnership of small business-focused cloud companies that we’re proud to be a part of!

Join us on Thursday, August 21, for an evening filled with fun, food and friendly neighbors at our HQ in downtown Durham. All local small businesses, startups, freelancers, entrepreneurs and Shoeboxed members are welcome to attend. RSVP here.

We’ll have:

  • Locally brewed beer sponsored by Headwall Development
  • Food from one of Durham’s favorite food trucks, Porchetta
  • Corn hole, ping pong and darts
  • Live music from DJ Rang
  • And much, much more!

We’re excited to be hosting this event with The Small Business Web, and even more excited that employees from other member companies will be joining us for the event! If you own a small business or work at a company that serves small businesses, this is your chance to learn more about The Small Business Web and how they can help your business.

A special thanks to our friends at Pendo.io and  for helping sponsor the event.

Please RSVP through this link and we’ll see you on Thursday the 21st!

What is The Small Business Web?

We’re the partnership people of cloud companies selling to small business. We built this trade association to grow through integrations, channels, resellers, and by building the overall market for cloud software. We also like to think of ourselves as an industry clubhouse: a support network of peers and an open bar when you need one.

Since 2009, The Small Business Web has grown to over 200 member companies and hundreds of associated companies to be the core network in the industry. With board members from Google Apps, eBay/Magento, Constant Contact, Hootsuite, Xero, AppDirect, Batchblue, and Olark live chat, we reach nearly every sector of small business.

Top 5 Apps for a Productive Summer

Increasing your productivity will allow you to spend less time in the office and more time soaking up the sun. Here are five of our favorite productivity apps for summer.

Summer is the best time to increase your productivity while running your small business.

Why?

Because it’s the time of year that everyone is either a) taking a  vacation, or b) wishes they were taking a  vacation. Increasing and improving your productivity will allow you and your team to spend less time in the office and more time soaking up the sun.

Here are our top 5 apps to make this your most productive summer ever:

1. Twibble

Twibble is a social sharing application that can shave hours off your social media time each week.

Connect the Twibble app with any RSS feed, and your Twitter account will automatically publish fresh content every time the RSS is updated. This can work with your own blog and content, but you can also submit the RSS feed of top blogs and websites your customers love.

Many social media experts recommend an 80/20 ratio when it comes to sharing content (80% other’s content, 20% your own content), making Twibble the perfect social productivity solution.

2. POP

Your web designer and your clients are going to LOVE the new POP app, which lets designers create an interactive web mockup in just minutes. Designers can create the old fashioned way using pen and paper, then add web-based functionality using POP.

This means epic amounts of time saved during the design process, allowing you to update your website faster than ever before, and/or create websites for clients faster than ever before.

3. MakeMe

MakeMe is an app that makes productivity into a fun game, complete with peer pressure! The app lets you and your team gently (or not so gently) encourage each other to get more done.

This app is fantastic for procrastinators or those on your team who’ve fallen victim to Lazy Summer-itis.

4. Fancy Hands

What are you supposed to do during the summer when half of your team is on vacation?

Don’t spend the entire summer chained to your desk. Use a service like Fancy Hands to outsource the work that needs to be done while everyone’s lounging in the sun.

You can call or email Fancy Hands with all sorts of tasks and jobs that need to be finished asap, and a lot of the time their virtual assistant team will have things taken care of in just a few hours.

5. Trello

Trello is an intuitive, interactive task manager that not only tells you what needs to be done – it helps you decide what to work on next. The app can be used alone or with your team, and can help you organize everything from individual projects to your business’s five-year plan.

Summer is the best time of year to get a head start on the upcoming fall season, but don’t worry if you’re feeling a bit lazy.

With these apps to take away some of your workload and reduce the amount of time spent chained to your desk, you’ll be able to get back to the beach in no time flat.