A lot of us are working from home—either part-time or full-time. We all want to remain focused and productive while we do, but it’s not easy. In fact, sometimes it’s really, really hard. From challenges in team communication and collaboration to Zoom fatigue to juggling needs at home. It’s a lot! And it can be exhausting.
But it doesn’t always have to be. You can be just as focused and productive working remotely as working in an office—and sometimes more so. Based on nearly a decade of working remotely and leading remote teams, we’ve learned a few things. With these recommendations, you won’t have to fumble for solutions and can get laser focused on your work.
Here are four tools you need for successful remote work:
1. A Task-Management System
Whether it’s Asana, Trello, Basecamp, or Monday.com, there are tons of options to choose from. But the bottom line is, you need a central place to view and manage all of your work. These tools are flexible and adaptable to your specific project needs. They ensure nothing falls through the cracks, and everyone’s on the same page with tasks, fulfillment needs, and deadlines.
2. A White-Noise Machine
These aren’t just great for sleeping babies. A white-noise machine is a game changer for trying to get work done at home, especially if family members are around or you have to be on a call. Common noises from home life can be hard to avoid, but a white-noise machine helps drown them out. Place it right outside the door of the room you’re working in, and you’ll find yourself less distracted.
If you’re going to get in a quiet zone in your home, especially with other people present, headphones are a must. Whether it’s a pair of AirPods, earbuds, or over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones, this tool both creates a barrier of privacy to work and communicates to others you’re working. Even if no one is home or there’s very little noise around you, putting on headphones can get you into the right zone and mindset to get work done.
4. A Plan
Rarely do we stumble into our accomplishments and success; getting there requires intentionality. You need a plan for how you’ll tackle your day. If you know you have to take calls or be in meetings, don’t work in a coffee shop that day. If things at home will be extra loud with kids, plan on working somewhere else for the day. If you feel your attention is being scattered, split your time between environments to reset your focus.
The world has changed and, therefore, so has our approach to work. If you’re new to remote work, be encouraged. It’s possible to do it successfully and enjoyably. There are more tools now than ever to ensure that happens.
What are your favorite tools for remote work?
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