Before we get started on how to stay productive as a full-time remote employee, kindly let me introduce myself first. My name is Ananda, and I am a full-time marketer at Simya. I joined Simya since I was in the university back in 2019. At first, I worked part-time and only worked on creating posts for Facebook and Instagram.
And now, I am a 100% full-time employee at Simya for a year. So you might wonder how all of this information about me is related to the topic of how to stay productive as a full-time remote employee. And yes, I am a full-time remote employee. I rarely go to the office. Since I now live in my hometown, in the southern part of Thailand, our office is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand (northern part). Honestly, I was in the office once. Yes, you understand it right, only one time in a year!😂
I have talked a lot about myself, so I think it’s time. Why don’t we jump to the topic now? Off we go!
Due to this Covid-19 pandemic, most people have to work from home. Some of you love to work from home, and I am one of the people who enjoy working at home. However, many people don’t like it. There are several factors, like home is not the quiet place for some people or they cannot find the productive way to work. But don’t worry, I have some tips to share with you as a person who always works from home:
Most people love to create new year resolutions, we can do that for your normal working day as well. To set your daily goal is a good idea to start your working day.
Before starting the new workday, the first thing you have to do is to note down a to-do list for yourself. Then, you can note it down on your phone, tablet, laptop, or even the old school way: write it down on a post-it. This way can help you plan what you need to do today.
Second, note down today’s meeting on your calendar, and again it can be an online calendar or desk calendar (old school again). Since you work from home, online meetings are things you can’t avoid. However, sometimes you may forget about those meetings, so noting it down help remind you!
The good thing is we have a daily standup every morning on working days at Simya. So we will give updates on what we did yesterday and what we plan to do today. Hence if your company doesn’t have a thing like this, I think it’s a good time to share this idea with your boss!
Besides people at home and your lovely pets, your phone or tablet is the most interrupting thing in your working time. Sometimes you get an unnecessary notification while you are working. Once you touch your phone, you are mind-blowing. You can’t stop scrolling down your Facebook or Instagram feed. So setting off your devices to ‘do not disturb’ can help you with this. No one can disturb you, and you have more time to focus on work.
The other way I usually stay focused on my work is to open some movies or videos on Youtube, but I just let them play without focusing on it. This way helps me stop scrolling my phone.
But if the suggestions above are not helping. I have an app to suggest, the ‘Forest – Stay focused,’ in which you can plant a tree when you want to focus on your work. But, of course, if you are cheating and using your devices, your tree dies.
Lastly, don’t forget to take some rest from your work. Try to find your work-life balance. This is the crucial part when working remotely. Sometimes, your work time and your life are mixed.
Here is what I do:
You need to keep in mind that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance. For example, someday, I work really hard. But the next day, I have more time to do what I love, since I did a lot yesterday. The meaning of work-life balance for me is not to feel stressed with work. If I feel stressed, I will stop working and do whatever I want to do. Then get back to work once I feel okay. And another important thing is you need to have room for yourself, to do your favorite activities!
The important fact is to find your work-life balance. However, as I said above, there is no perfect work-life balance. You have to make sure that the workload is okay for you.
Only one thing that I don’t like as a full-time remote employee is I don’t really have actual interaction with co-workers.
Overall, I love remote work! Simya always gives me space; the team never expects me to work on my day off/weekend. I can decide my working hours, what I need to manage is the works that need to be done on time. If you can do that, nothing to worry about!