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How to Create a Routine Even If You Work Remotely

April 14, 2016 | Jennifer Goodwyn

In the last few years, the number of people who work remotely, or outside of an office, has grown significantly. For employees, studies have shown that remote work tends to increase productivity, morale, and the quality of their work. Businesses, in turn, benefit from more productive workers who feel better about their work. For jobs that are compatible with remote work, it is proving to be an incredibly attractive option for everyone involved.

Despite all of the benefits of remote work, there are a few pitfalls. The freedom that remote work provides an employee can sometimes cause them to be less productive. This is largely due to the lack of inherent structure with remote work. When you are away from managers, working from the comfort of your own home, there are many potential distractions and the temptation to procrastinate can be strong. Fortunately, many remote workers have established some strategies for success by creating routines.

1.       Setting Business Hours

If you plan to work from a home office, there are some quick things you can do to establish an effective routine. It may seem counterintuitive because one of the main benefits of working remotely is a more relaxed schedule, but setting strict business hours for yourself can be incredibly helpful. Your hours of operation do not need to be as rigid as they might be in an office, but setting aside some time where you are not talking to friends, watching TV, or running errands can help you to get your work done.

2.       Creating a To-Do List

Another great way to create a productive routine working from home is to make a list of accomplishable tasks that have to be completed by the end of the day. If you take this approach, you do not need to be as strict with your hours as long as you complete your daily tasks before the end of the day.

3.       Get Ready For Work

Some remote workers say that establishing a routine around your work can help create a work routine. For example, showering and getting dressed every day before you begin your work can help put you in the right mindset to be productive. Another example might be making sure that all your work is done before you have dinner or go out. Framing your work routine around other things you might be doing can help you avoid procrastination and make your work more consistent.

4.       Coworking Spaces

One great way to create a routine when you work remotely is to use a coworking space. Coworking spaces have grown in popularity in recent years with freelancers, consultants, and other remote workers because they effectively balance the freedom afforded by remote work with the structure of an office location. In a coworking space, you can come and go as you like. You can benefit from face-to-face interactions with professionals from a variety of different industries, as coworking spaces are intended to foster a professional community. An additional benefit of coworking spaces is the use of technology that might not be available or practical in a home office.

As working remotely continues to grow in popularity with individuals and businesses, it will continue to be important for remote workers to develop strategies to stay productive in a changing environment. By creating a routine, you can make sure that your work remains consistent.