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?