Melissa Abramson
AUTHOR: Melissa Abramson
Jun 5, 2020 - 7 min read

Choosing The Remote Work Schedules That Spiral Your Productivity

At some point in our lives, we all have used the phrase, “change is constant.” 

Ironically, as humans, we are scarcely ever ready for change. Our flawed ability to swiftly adapt to changes, is ultimately exposed when our productivity dwindles drastically, after our work settings and schedules are altered.  

If you are on this table, don’t fret. I used to be there. My earliest experience of working from home will forever be remembered as disastrous.  

In the morning of day one, I was super thrilled to be working from home. The idea of working at my own pace and time without my boss and colleagues breathing down my neck, was an absolute delight. Sadly, like all fairy tales my thoughts were simply utopian. Reality struck when by the end of the day I had barely accomplished any work.  

The next day, I was less enthusiastic but my productivity level barely improved. As the days went by, I realized it was easy for me to get distracted at home. All It took was a meow from my cat, the buzzing car horns down the street, the feeling that there was enough time, and sometimes, my shadow was enough to sway my head away from work. I also made a new best friend called, “Procrastination.”

I eventually hit rock bottom when I started getting lost on the internet. I would go online to research but end up watching unrelated videos or simply chatting with friends. 

Obviously, time didn’t halt just because I was making bad choices. It ticked away and so did my day. My resourcefulness declined from 100-0% and it was a dark place to be.

Soon my boss wasn’t just breathing down my neck, but I was getting consumed by guilt. My zero productivity was dragging down the team, and I was at the brim of getting fired.

Thankfully, at the nick of time, I found salvation. My dawn came when I realized the source of my problem was not working from home. Rather, it is embedded in the phrase, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” I was working from home without a plan. I had no work schedule, neither did I create working ethics.

Looking back, I’m not surprised I failed initially. Frankly, it should have been expected. 

Nevertheless, I went back to my drawing board, planned a working schedule, alongside some work ethics, and I was back in the game. I strode from zero to a hundred.

The purpose of recounting my past struggles is for you to note that, no matter how hard you are failing at working from home, you can get back on your feet. Due to the pandemic working remotely is the new change employees must adapt to.

There are tons of working schedules and I will be guiding you into choosing the ones suited for you. If you understand the pro and cons of working remotely you will realize it has many pecks. 

Creating a Working From Home Schedule That Work

To have a great working schedule that breeds productivity, you need to look inwardly and proffer answers to questions, such as, 

  • What time of the day am I at my best state of mind?
  • What easily gets me distracted? How can I get rid of that?
  • What makes me enjoy working?
  • How can I implement self-discipline?
  • How do I avert procrastination?
  • How do I stay connected to my team?

Answer the above-mentioned questions honestly and correctly, then proceed to:

  • Type a detailed schedule that tallies with your best suitable work time. 
  • Ensure you paste your schedule in your work area, and other strategic areas around the house. This will serve as a reminder.
  • Create a suitable mini office if you don’t have a study at home.
  • Your mini office should be devoid of distractions.
  • Create daily goals. Before closing from work each day, jot down the goal or goals to be achieved the next day. This way, you will look forward to working the following day.
  • If you normally take coffee before working, maintain the same tradition at home.
  • Ensure to check your email regularly.
  • Choose an online application to stay connected to your team.

If you diligently practice everything enlisted, working from home would be like a walk in the park.

Discovering and understanding what time is most suitable for you to work is key to productivity. Like Owls, some people are nocturnal while others are diurnal.  One of the pecks of working from home is that you can consciously work at your own pace and time. 

Also, your family can also influence the schedule best for you. If you have a young family with children, your work schedule must be created in such a way it doesn’t clash with your duties.

It would be best to wake up quite early to cater to family needs such as grocery shopping, breakfast, getting the kids prepared for online classes before darting to start your work. That way you are more at ease and can concentrate better.

Your working hours can be from 10am-1pm, it can be 8am-12noon, it can even be more flexible if you decide to work in shifts, It can also be late in the evenings, or earlier in the morning. What matters is that you stick to your planned schedule and get the job done.

The Place of Team Collaboration and Communication Tools

Even while working remotely, working as a team is paramount if productivity is to be enhanced and goals met. Therefore, it is essential you employ digital tools that can aid you in staying connected with your team and breach isolation. Applications such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Team are very handy.

Slack as a messaging app allows organizations and companies to create a dedicated and private workspace. 

Slack has what is referred to as channels. This is a space in Slack where work is organized, and messages can be sent to the entire team or a small group of individuals. Also, via channels, updates can be provided, files shared, announcements received, and lots more.

Furthermore, channels can be created to match different needs. There are channels to represent the whole team, and channels solely created for individual projects. Channels can also be created for different departments to maintain organizational structure.

Therefore, if in the course of working you need information from any department you can easily attain it, or contact those in charge. For instance, while working on a project and you need information from the marketing department, you simply have to go to their channel, drop your question or ask a direct message. Easy right? Slack can also be used for meetings and lots more.

Zoom video conferencing is another great way to stay connected as a team, while you all work remotely. Team meetings can be held via Zoom.

Additionally, Microsoft Team enables you to chat, and share your opinions from home. Conference meetings of up to 10,000 persons can be done no matter the distance. With this an entire organization can be in continuous talks though they work remotely.

Teams can also share, access, and edit docs, Words, Excel, and PowerPoint, files in real-time.

Final Thoughts

Frankly, Change is not easy, but adapting to working remotely is possible and can become productive, and enjoyable when scheduled appropriately.