6 Tips to Increase Remote Working Productivity

Due to COVID-19, the announcement that Malaysia is to be on “movement restriction” from 18-31 March 2020 caused companies to suddenly require their entire workforce to become remote workers. This abrupt change is proving to be an unprecedented challenge for companies who do not have a remote work culture. It’s not just the company that is inexperienced, but also employees who are new to remote work are also not sure on how to operate efficiently from home.

WOBB has always had a remote work culture, so we thought it would be helpful for us to share our best tips so that you too can encourage your teams to work efficiently during these challenging days.

First and foremost, always remember the 3 A’s: Active, Accessible, and Accountable. During this period of time, employees should be actively working like they would be in office. Secondly, they should always be accessible by their colleagues. Last but not least, they should also be accountable to the daily tasks that they commit into completing.

The golden question is, how can your employees be as productive as possible during this period of time given the distractions they might encounter at home?

Here are 6 tips for remote work beginners:

1. Never work from your bed.


Working from your bed may be the most convenient thing to do but it definitely impacts your productivity. Your brain associates your bed as a place of rest, so if you try to work from your bed, you’re just going to have a tough time focusing because your brain will be telling you to relax. For all of you who always complain about having back pain and neck pain, another reason why you should avoid working on your bed as it will only make things worse because you won’t be able to have proper work posture. Try to set up a specific place devoted to working which is different from where you relax. Ideally, a desk where you can sit upright. For some people, this could even be your dining table.

Experiment with a few different work setups to see which one works best for you. Brighten the workspace with some natural lighting! This will help to boost your mood and performance while working throughout the day. Poor lighting on the other hand could make you feel like you dread working.

2. Start your day with a shower.


It is important to start the day fresh and energetic. You might be tempted to go from bed to desk immediately upon waking, but the ritual of showering, brushing your teeth and wearing a new set of clothes is important for you to get in the right mental space to switch your work mode “on”. This will help you start your day in a positive state instead of feeling sleepy or tired. Besides that, it will also provide the sense of normalcy your mind is craving.

3. Set remote work goals as a team.


Since you’re no longer in the same office vicinity as your co-workers or your manager, it is your responsibility to set aside time to have an in-depth discussion about daily goals with your team. This will ensure a clear direction for everyone and creates discipline. A daily catch-up to check on each other’s progress is also a good way to start the workday. You will then feel comfortable knowing that your team is making progress toward the specific company goals alongside you although you’re not together physically.

4. Build a playlist.


Some people work well in silence but for most of us, listening to music can enhance our moods and improve our productivity. According to Dr. Lesiuk’s research, those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and had better ideas than those who didn’t overall. This does not mean that any kind of music will do. Some upbeat music with an extreme tempo can have the opposite effect, and become a distraction instead. Build a playlist that suits your working style. If classical music works best for you, go for it! Nobody will be there to judge your music preferences anyway.

5. Take advantage of technology.


With the advancement of technology today, being away from the office or your co-workers should not prevent you from having a productive meeting. Remote meetings via video calling are getting more common as you are also very likely to work with people from a different part of the world. Some of the free video meeting platforms include Google Hangouts, Skype, and Whereby.

Whenever you think that you need to have a chat with your team, you should feel free to schedule a video meeting. Having video meeting often is also a great way to stay visible while working remotely.

At WOBB, the policy is that you can video call a colleague without scheduling it at any time during the workday to replicate the effect of walking over to your colleague’s desk if you were in the office. 

6. Take breaks (but keep snacks out of reach)


When you’re alone and engrossed in your work, you tend to forget how long you’ve been bonding with that chair. Always remember to take small walk breaks every hour or so as it is a key part of ensuring that productivity remains high.

Also, make sure that your lunch break is really a lunch break, which is that you take one hour to do your own thing instead of eating from your home desk while working.

Remote working can sometimes make you gain weight unhealthily so keep those snacks far from your home desk. This goes without saying, don’t work in the kitchen.

These simple tips will definitely ease the remote working journey of you and your employees. We hope that everyone stays safe in this crucial period of time and wishing you a productive remote work!


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