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Remote work: Dealing with the need to adapt

7 practical hints to preserve productiveness and focus

Remote work: Dealing with the need to adapt


Although many companies and professionals are still resistantto remote work, the current global situation resulting from COVID-19 will bring everyone to a real experimentation on this topic. It's how we use it in our day-to-day lives: A validation, where we will live discoveries. Once we are faced with compelling reasons, we are expected to adapt, so that the projects do not stop. For that, we have selected 7 tips for you to make the most of your time in remote work. Enjoy yourreading!



1. Prepare your mindset

Proactivity, autonomy and focus are determining factors for good results. In order to take control of the situation instead of being held hostage, prepare your mind for this change. Talk to people who are already used to remote work, get well informed of best practices, eliminate all barriers to alignment with your team, update yourself onthe company’s culture and have your tasks, objectives and deliverables very well defined. Transform this moment into the opportunity to prove to yourself and others that you can handle the challenge.



2. Organize your day, not your next task 

Once we are "free" from the 9 hours of daily work, we can organize the day in a different way. There are people who find time to go to the market, take care of household chores or even have some fun "in between working hours". This is perfectly possible, as long asorganization is one of their working pillars. Since we work in teams, we can find time gaps between calls and production, involving other people.

In a practical way, organize your day before it starts. Tuesday's tasks need to be defined on Monday. That way, you always know what you'll be working on, the time you'll have to be available to other people, and above all, how much productive time can be invested to maintain the quality of your deliverables.

As a practical example, you can separate your day into 3 blocks of hours, creating defined periods for defined tasks:


Mornings: 3 hours

A good time to read/answer emails, make calls, review deliverables, pick up materials needed for your production and other small tasks that have piled up in the course of the previous day.


Afternoons: 4 hours

Invest in production. Have your meals and if necessary, disconnect yourself from the world: Close chats on the internet, put on your headset and get into your best production rhythm, with focus and objectivity, without interruptions.


Evenings: 2 hours

Take advantage of the peace that comes with evening to round up what may have been left behind, to organize the next day and also to read and study, keeping yourself updated and well informed. It is also an excellent time to revisit the portfolio and its digital presence.

Obviously, this is a suggestion that you can use as a model. Invert the tasks of the periods and increase or decrease the time for each one, according to your profile.



3. Discover your productive peaks 

Some people produce better at dawn, others early in the morning. There are even people who are like productivity machines right after lunch, taking advantage of a period when everything around them moves a in a slower pace. Given your experience, find out when your peak productivity is reached and move from there to your organization, since you can create your own agenda. No one knows better than yourself about your pace of work.

The main point is that the initiative has to come from you. Steve Jobs once said, "It makes no sense to hire smart people and always tell them what to do. We hire these people to tell us what to do." So, since your work is strategic and not just productive, take the lead and don't wait for someone to tell you what to do.



4. Watch out for distractions

Being at home can be a much bigger challenge than we imagine, and the recommendation is to be radical. Pull to the extreme/be firm. Anything you let go can lead to a loss of hours that never come back. If you already know that you are easily distracted, or you have just noticed that, take immediate action to get rid of this problem before it becomes even bigger.

Here are some classic examples of how we can easily miss the focus:

  • Getting up every frequently to go to the kitchen for a snack.
  • Being too close to your bed.
  • Watch "just one" episode of your favorite series at lunch break time.
  • Using WhatsApp to talk to people who won’t add any value to your work at that moment.


A personal tip: Even before the situation with COVID-19; on days when I definitely work from home, I take some steps that make my head work better. One of them, and perhaps the most unusual, is that I have to wearworking clothes. If I wear shorts, a T-shirt and slipper, my production drops by half. My brain needs to understand that I'm working, and this is one of the most functional triggers for me. I'm not saying you should do that - just find a trigger that works for you, for your mind to work accordingly.



5. Reserve a specific area of work

Remember a video that has gone viral, where a reporter is live streaming news from home and suddenly a child comes around? That can happen to anyone. If it's not your child, it can be someone else, for whatever reason.

So, the best thing to do is to guide the people who share the house with you not to get into the room where you are working. Not only to avoid embarrassing situations like that of the reporter, but also not to interrupt your productive and creative process. Also, having a working area helps keep you more organized. Ideally, this area should always be clean, tidy, and well-lit and have only elements that add to your productivity. 



6. Upgrade equipment and resources

As we are mostly used to working away from home, companies offered us great working conditions such as a good internet connection and a suitable computer. If you are not well equipped with these two basic and determining items for your productivity, hurry up and provide them.

It's time to give your machine an upgrade, provide a larger monitor, and subscribe to a bandwidth plan that supports your data traffic in the cloud. Your experience with these features should be equal to or better than you used to have at your regular workstation outside your home. 

Even being unable to leave home, you can interact with people. And I'm not talking about chats, after all your smartphone can still be used to really talk to people. When you're done with your daily activities, pick up the phone and actually call friends and family. By doing so, you not only avoid your own isolation, you also help them to deal with it.

About Mao Barros

Over 15 years in the Design field, working on visual projects such as graphic, illustration and Brands. For the last 10 years I've been working in digital projects as UI Designer, understanding UX and buildings processes using no-code tools to have a good deliverable to them.

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