5 tips for your productive remote work

You will find yourself required to work remotely from home in some cases, especially when the Covid 19 pandemic is covering the world. Below are my tips to boost your productivity
Huy Ngo
Mar 25, 2020

Having all teammates located in the same office is the most efficient and productive way for work. However, you will find yourself required to work remotely from home in some cases, especially when the Covid 19 pandemic is covering the world. Below are my tips to boost your productivity.

Find a non-disruptive and quiet place

Concentration is the key of productivity. While working at home, there are ton of possible interruptions can distract you. Your spouse talks, baby cries, others watch your favorite tv shows, etc. Those kinds of activities can destroy your day. Living room, where other people do lots of their stuffs, is not the best choice for a working place. My advice is, if possible, find yourself a non-disruptive and quiet place. It could be a private room or a separate corner. Don’t forget to tell others that you are working. Ask them not to interrupt you unless it’s an urgent case.

Set up a comfortable desk

A comfortable desk is very important for working in long hours. Here are some of my tips:

  • Find a good desk and a comfortable chair. Make sure your desk is big enough for your work space, and your chair’s height is suitable for you
  • Keep your screen about same height with your eyes. It’s not good for your neck if you keep look down for long time. If you have a monitor, adjust it to have highest point about same height as your eye. If you’re using a laptop, try to put it on a stand
  • If you have multiple displays, put your main screen in middle front. Don’t let your neck rotate too much
  • Arrange enough space for your legs
  • If possible, add more natural light and green tree

Trick your brain as you are working in office

Although you’re working at home, don’t wear your pajamas to work, lay on your bed to answer emails, or working with a laptop in front of your TV. Those things can bring down your motivation.

  • Stay away from bed or sofa
  • Stick with your working desk
  • Wear clothes as similar as you’re working at office
  • Don’t put irrelative things on your sight

Keep your daily working schedule

Make your own commitment for your daily work by setting specific working hours and try to follow it strictly. Don’t do other things during your working time, and don’t work nonstop after this period. Regardless how your schedule is, be sure to establish it everyday.

Use short calls to reduce chats

Face to face conversation is the fastest and most efficient way to discuss things. When we are all working remotely, it’s pretty hard to see and talk to each other. People may redirect all communications to chats or emails. Sooner or later, you will find chats are troublesome to follow up from start to end. This problem increases exponentially when you work with more people. When a thread grow big, everyone will find it very difficult to understand all the discussions. It’s a waste of time to read, type, and check for new chat frequently.

Here are my advices:

  • Try to schedule short calls to discuss on specific problems. If you have many problems during a day, schedule many calls. Remember to write a short notes after the call to keep history for reference later
  • Schedule daily standup meeting to make sure everyone is in synced
  • Try to keep your camera on during meetings
  • Keep your team voice connected during working hours. Discord is a great tool for that, where all members can join a voice room. Whenever you wanna reach your teammate, just say hello to them. You can also set up different rooms as virtual places for your teams. It’s pretty much similar to your real office, where people sit in their own desks. When you want to reach them, go straight to their desk

Update on Jan 26, 2022: I found another excellent article about this topic on Toptal, which provides additional aspects. Check it out if you feel interested!