Working remotely has been around for a while. Since the corona pandemic, remote work has infiltrated the traditional workplace system. Most people started working from home because of the strict COVID-19 protocols, rules, and regulations. Many businesses and companies such as WordPress closed up their offices and proceeded to deliver services from their homes.
With the decline in attention to Covid, many businesses have started returning to their regular 9 to 5 mode. Nevertheless, before the pandemic, so many jobs were done remotely, as earlier stated. These jobs are mainly in the tech and innovation sectors, for instance, website development, application development, UI/UX design etc. Most companies outsource their engineering needs, and developers are located in different countries or continents.
Besides the tech guys, other people also work from home, such as entrepreneurs, small business owners, and influencers. It would be imbalanced not to talk about them since most of them work from their homes on their beds or in their room or studio. The volume of remote workers in Nigeria and Africa is growing exponentially. Young people are learning skills and auctioning their skills off to the highest bidders on sites like Upwork, Terawork, and other businesses in the country.
Remote work and productivity
Learning how to be productive from home can prove difficult most times if one doesn’t train their mind to overcome distractions. People need to train themselves to gauge their time and effectiveness for on-time delivery of assigned tasks or projects; meeting deadlines and goals.
Though remote work is seen as the best because it’s flexible schedules and saves you some money, it can also lead to terrible results. Working from home is the new big thing; everyone wants to have that kind of job they can do at their convenience but forget that it has its challenges. Let’s be honest, it is equally challenging and tasking as working a 9 to 5 at the office. At home, we are more open to distractions that are not nonexistent at the office, like remembering that grocery list and going shopping instead of doing your work and so on. Concentrating can be sometimes difficult, especially when you are too comfortable with your surroundings.
7 ways to practical steps for working from home
Follow the tips below to gauge your time adequately to fulfil your job roles without your supervisor keeping you on your toes.
1. Create a workspace
It is quite a bad idea to work from home without a work desk table and chair. I can go on and on about how bad it is for your concentration and body posture to work from your bed, but you must already know that. As a remote worker, you need to create a workspace to do your work. If you have a bed space to sleep in and a kitchen to cook, then you need to have a workplace.
If you don’t have a workspace or the finances to have one, you should try going out to public places like restaurants with tables, chairs, and electric sockets (you need to be careful with sensitive company data). Sitting and working on a table helps posture and keeps you awake and alert. It makes you look professional and boost self-confidence. It goes a long way in helping remote workers concentrate on tasks.
2. Concentration exercise
Why can’t you concentrate to get your job done? Well, you need to identify the source of your distraction. Let’s perform a concentration exercise to know how deep your addiction goes. Follow the steps below:
- Switch off your phone.
- Keep it close to you.
- Try to focus on your work.
If you catch yourself checking that phone every two to five minutes, you are probably addicted to social media apps and the cause of you misusing your time.
Furthermore, If you discovered this, you might have solved half of your problem. If your phone is your distraction, putting it on silent mode may never be a solution. I’d advise you to start making work principles and self-discipline to stop your phone from stealing your attention. Switch it off, hide it, or silence it and keep it in a box to retrieve after your work is done.
Alternatively, if you need your phone to work, I suggest you silence social media applications whenever you go on the internet.
3. Minimize distractions and interruptions
Distractions and interruptions are everyday occurrences in the home, whether you live alone or not. It can come in various ways like a knock on the door, a guest, an unsolicited invitation, an unplanned neighbour’s meeting etc. These things are bound to happen because you are at home, and nothing can change that except you set the ground rules and principles like I mentioned before.
Plan out your work principles and inform your friends and neighbours about your availability. They shouldn’t visit during your designated work hours nor disturb your line except it is apocalyptically urgent. Set these rules and inform them. You will be surprised that things will change for the better.
4. Create a schedule for your remote work
Why do people create a schedule or timetables? Why does it exist in schools, for meals, businesses, companies, and industries? I’ll tell you; it’s for organisation and direction. It is financially and physically healthier to live a balanced life where work and play match each other. Giving yourself time for eating, working, relaxing, and whatever will help you optimise your 24 hours every day.
5. Use time planner apps
There are some excellent time planner applications that you can use to plan out your time. It is best to download and use them when creating your work routines. It also gives a rewarding feeling of organisation, which I think no one should miss out on.
Some of these apps are Sectograph, time Time Planner etc. You might think that it is hard or impossible to have a time planner on your phone without getting lost in the messages from time to time. It won’t if your mobile data is off; you can still hide it away in that box to reduce distractions. You can also set time to work and relax with alarms. Whenever you hear the alarm and know that it’s time to work or round up for the day.
6. Reward yourself
After completing job tasks, you can give yourself little rewards like snacks, a short relaxation break, or even a movie. Rewarding oneself is a profitable way for those who are serious about managing their time to achieve their possible best at completing job tasks.
When you continuously reward yourself for tasks accomplished daily, you unknowingly begin a work pattern. This pattern will help you stay focused on what you need to do at the right time. If you can learn to discipline yourself this way, managing your time effectively starts becoming easy.
7. Additional source of power supply
Despite some of the challenges stated above, remote jobs in Nigeria comes with a unique one – interrupted power supply. Since you need electricity to power your work computer and internet connection for an extended time during the day and power supply is not guaranteed, you need to have alternative power sources. These include powerbanks, backup batteries and a generator.