(With a little help from Microsoft)
The landscape of remote work has been a topic of discussion, particularly since its rapid expansion during the pandemic. Numerous prominent businesses have expressed concerns about a potential decline in productivity, leading them to advocate for a return to traditional office setups. Nonetheless, the prevailing trend among organizations has been the adoption of a “hybrid” work model, harnessing digital tools to maintain focus and productivity without necessitating a return to the daily commute. If you find yourself grappling with the distractions of household chores or the allure of social media, here are five strategies to enhance your productivity while working remotely.
Change up your work location
Remote working is on the rise, with the majority of companies adopting “cloud” based software, allowing staff to work from anywhere there is an internet connection, remaining in collaboration with other employees. An example of such is Charity ShareCentre.
This flexible way of working means you are not constrained to one workstation. By switching up your location; whether this be your favourite coffee shop, your cosy home study or even just another floor in your main office; working in a fresh environment can provide you with the boost necessary to stay upbeat and focused – whilst keeping in sync with your colleagues.
If the thought of embracing the dreary British weather fills you with dread you’re not alone, but your body and brain will thank you if you do. Scientific studies have proven that cognitive functions are improved by spending time outside.
Why not incorporate a “walking meeting” into your busy schedule? Even by just taking a 15 min stroll every few hours can provide clarity for your thoughts and inspiration for new ideas. With Microsoft Outlook’s handy app, you can still access calendars, tasks and emails on the go.
Feeling creative? Power Apps allows you to build custom apps from multiple data sources such as an excel workbook or CRM – without writing any code, providing the perfect opportunity to get away from the desk, yet still access important info on the go.
Facing a heavy workload head on is one of the biggest causes of procrastination, along with eventual “burn-out.” If your mountain of tasks appears to be somewhat overwhelming, a more structured approach with a breakdown of what and when, will not only relieve stress but also keep you focused on the desired objective.
Microsoft’s Planner was built for users of Office 365; allowing you to assign tasks, have complete transparency of who is working on what, and categories tasks into “buckets” based on their status, with a simple drag and drop function. Accessible across all devices you’ll be able to manage your tasks with a single tap.
These platforms sync with your Microsoft Outlook seamlessly, allowing to stay on track and on task.
Lack of motivation often occurs due to repetitive tasks that eat up time and are perceived as rather mundane to complete.
Relieve yourself from routine jobs by scheduling Power Automate (previously known as Microsoft Flow) which allows users to automate workflows and tasks across multiple applications and services.
You set the rules that trigger the “flow” such as approval emails, notifications of a new subscriber or a reminder for a document review. You can even automate a “To-do” item synced from important emails, to receiving the latest weather forecast!
Perfect for planning that “walking meeting” with your boss!
Take advantage of Insights
Never miss important commitments, receive reminders for outstanding tasks and book time to focus on your busy meeting schedule. These are just a few of the built in features of Microsoft’s Insight tool.
This handy AI add in, available for all Office 365 users, links directly to your Outlook folder and even summaries your average focus patterns in MyAnalytics, to help you plan enough uninterrupted time to complete your work.
Compliant with GDPR and data privacy, Insights and MyAnalytics aims to improve your productivity with AI powered suggestions to help you work smarter.