How to Increase Productivity While Working Remote
The great news for companies that have transitioned into remote working environments due to the pandemic, is that remote work has proven to be a more productive avenue for employees. But like anything, there may be stumbling blocks when you look at how to increase productivity while working remote.
While remote work comes with some stumbling blocks that we’ll address, it will likely also increase overall productivity for a few reasons. First, it eliminates the need for a commute. Employees in an office setting are also more liable to become sidetracked by conversation with their coworkers. While this may be one of the social benefits to office work, it leads to unproductive time.
At the same time, remote workers may find themselves in need of an adjustment period to better address their time behind the desk. These suggestions are designed to increase productivity while working remote.
Increase Productivity While Working Remote
Workers are inundated by notifications from every work-from-home technology platform that their company uses. They need to consider which notifications they can turn off, so not to be distracted by messages of little significance. Management can also consider what notifications their employees need, and which they don’t.
Employees can also eliminate environmental distractions by working from a home-office, rather than a bed, couch, or kitchen table. When they can find a more professional setting within the home, they are likely to get more done. This helps keep them focused on their work, rather than cleaning, laundry, or making personal calls.
Keeping a To-Do List
No matter how hard you try, those distractions may seep in. Sometimes it helps to consider the most important tasks that need to be completed in a given day and create a to-do list. A well thought out to-do list can help bring employees back to the larger tasks on hand when email, social media, and personal distractions become overwhelming. Regular phone calls or meetings between management and employees can also help to keep everyone on track and on the same page as far as priorities go.
Simply documenting what must get done on a given workday can be a powerful way to increase productivity while working remote.
Take More Breaks
When employees are able to take more breaks and step away from their work, they can reset their mental focus. You can encourage employees to get up and walk around when they get stuck or lose focus. Employees may benefit from the Pomodoro technique, which consists of breaking down larger tasks into short productive intervals, separated by short breaks.
The catch with the Pomodoro technique is that when they are at their desk and focused on a task, they must stay focused. No email, social media, or any other distraction in that window.
Work From Home Can Be Stressful
If employees are feeling additional stress or anxiety in the work from home environment, it may help to encourage short walks on breaks, or meditation. When they take action within their personal life to reduce stress and feel calmer, they will without a doubt become better employees.
The idea that employees can be more productive from home may sound counterintuitive. But encouraging them to become more well-rounded in these ways can help them bring more to the table and increase their job satisfaction. But addressing the above steps can help employees increase productivity while working remote.
5 Common Technology Problems While Working Remote
The pandemic sped up the work-from-home revolution, and with it came some wonderful benefits, and new technology problems while working remote. Companies are more agile than ever before, and workers experience the benefit of not having to commute.
It’s provided a chance to rethink how we interact in the work environment. On a whole, workers have become more productive in their home environment. While there have been tremendous benefits to stem from this development, it’s not without its problems, either.
Technology Problems While Working Remote
Workers Are Over-Informed
This is one of the most common technology problems while working remote and can sneak up before people even notice.
The communications platforms that bring us the ability to work from home are a double-edge sword. Project management platforms, instant messaging software, email, video, texting, and video calls all make it possible to quickly and easily communicate. But workers are quickly inundated with notifications to the point that it will hamper their productivity.
Each of these notifications are a distraction pulling employees away from what they were doing. It’s important to make sure employees know when they can turn notifications off. Management using these tools need to carefully consider what situations are worth notifying employees over, and which are not.
Incentives Issues and Distractions
When you are in the office and you finish early, you will still be paid. You likely need to find something to occupy your time for the rest of the shift so that you can maintain some level of productivity. But what happens when you are at home and you finish early? You won’t make more money by getting done faster. Sometimes productivity and efficiency are not properly incentivized under this situation.
When you work from home, you may be tempted to login to personal social media or email accounts. These distractions can eat away at the time you are supposed to be working. These incentive issues and distractions may need to be rethought in the home environment.
More Technology Isn’t Always The Answer
We’re tempted to replace full staff meetings with Zoom calls. Face-to-face communications may now be replaced with email. But the communication may leave something to be desired. The video or audio may go out on a Zoom call. Somebody in a large meeting may inevitably have video or audio issues. There may be interruptions from employees’ family members or cameos from pets.
All of this can slow down the communication process. It may be time to do away with this type of meeting in favor of allowing employees an extra block of time to remain productive. This can help increase productivity.
Data Security Issues
Remote work leaves your company’s network and data security more vulnerable. While work from home policies may ultimately increase productivity, there is often a cost in an inherent data security risk. That cost comes in the form of increased exposure to hacking, data theft, or exposure to cybercriminals. Many larger companies have already been in the news for data breaches.
IT departments in remote work companies must help to educate employees about common sense data measures, such as changing passwords, two-factor authentication, and network security. Taking some preemptive steps now can help thwart one of the most common technology problems while working remote. Should you experience data loss, you can always hire a data recovery company.
Fighting Isolation and Loneliness
There aren’t as many opportunities to connect with coworkers or customers via phone or video calls, and it’s just not the same. Many are experiencing isolation or loneliness when they cannot leave their home to be around their coworkers. This is a general problem in society brought on by the pandemic, but it certainly rears its head in the remote work environment.
It often goes undetected until it’s fully manifested, and may not be immediately noticeable in day-to-day activity. Steps can be taken by employees on a personal level to reintroduce some social interaction in other aspects of their lives. More phone calls, video calls, and or social media messaging can help people feel more connected.
Overcoming Technology Issues Related to Remote Work
There’s no question that remote work has led to more employee productivity. It’s likely a trend that will be here to stay, long after we’ve recovered from the pandemic. IT departments will need to address the data security issues by putting more protective measures in place. IT and management may also play a role in other technology problems while working remote.
5 Hard Drive Recovery Tips for Your Laptop
These hard drive recovery tips for your laptop can help your remote work force, should one of their computers go down.
With more employees working remote in the U.S., laptop usage is on the rise. There is no question about the convenience of portable devices, especially when it comes to companies allowing their employees to work from home.
But sometimes these devices fail, and when they do, sensitive data can be placed in jeopardy. Updates, physical damage, and a failure to save your work can all cause problems. The good news is that much of the time, it’s not the data in question that is gone, but rather the part that pointed the user to the data.
In these cases, recovery is almost always possible. The data remains on the computer, it just takes more work to regain access to it. Below are some hard drive recovery tips for your laptop, to help in these instances.
Hard Drive Recovery Tips for Your Laptop
Seek Professional Help Fast – If you’re dealing with sensitive data that would cripple your company should it be lost, the problem is likely best in the hands of a professional. Customer support or a professional data recovery company can help you restore and recover data so that your business can keep running without any hiccups.
Stop Using the Laptop in Question – If you think you are close to hard drive failure, but your computer remains in a usable state, the best thing you can do is to stop using it until the hard drive problem is resolved. Any additional use could be causing further damage and make it harder to recover the files in question.
Data Recovery Apps – There are free and paid apps that you can install from the internet to help you recover files. If you are technology savvy, and you may only be looking for a few files, this option could work for you. The risk with these apps is that installing anything on your computer, even if it is to help with this type of situation, could be making things worse by overwriting the very files that you’re looking to recover. The likelihood for unrecoverable files increases in this situation.
Hook it to a Working Computer – On a Mac laptop, you can connect it to a working computer to essentially treat it as a large USB drive. The computers can be connected with either a USB-C, Thunderbolt 2, or Firewire cable.
On the broken Mac, you’ll need to press the T button on startup. If it’s already turned on, you can go to the Apple on upper left > System Preferences > Startup Disk > Target Disk Mode. From this point, files can be grabbed, and then the disk can be wiped or repaired without concern for your data.
In some situations, starting the computer in recovery mode, or creating a bootable drive may be what’s needed to regain access to the computer so that you can access necessary files.
Remove the Hard Drive (If You Can) – PC laptops are likely to be more complicated than the Mac instructions above. They may require removing the hard drive – something that is made more complex and complicated in a laptop than a desktop. The hard drive can then be diagnosed by plugging it into a working computer. But this is something that may require experience to try it, because further damage can be caused to the computer.
Hire a Data Recovery Company
The severity of the hard drive problem may vary from situation to situation. If you’ve tried any of these hard drive recovery tips for your laptop with no success, the best thing you can do is to stop tinkering with the computer, and contact a data recovery company. Remember, when hard drive failures happen, there is still a high probability that the data can be recovered.