Whether you’re an on-assignment worker or a frequent business traveler, you’ll know all too well that it’s not easy to stay productive while working remotely.
No matter how great the location of your customized lodging or how comfortable and chic your hotel room is, new environments aren’t conducive to the kind of instant and effective focus you need to get a job done well.
Luckily, there are tried and tested methods for achieving your best, no matter where you’re working from. Ready to hear more about increasing your remote working productivity? Let’s take a look at some top tips!
1. Carve Out a Designated Workspace
Regardless of where you find yourself working from, it’s important to carve out some kind of designated workspace. Even if you’re sending emails from yet another hotel room between meetings or conducting conference calls from temporary on-site lodgings, setting up a business environment that looks and feels the part can make a big difference to your attitude, motivation, and productivity.
Don’t think that you absolutely have to sit on a swivel chair at a desk either. Yes, having a more typical office-style set-up to work from makes it easier to stay focused. But the kitchen table in your furnished corporate lodging or an intimate corner of a hotel lobby can always fit the bill if that’s all you have.
What matters most is that you only use your chosen workspace for work-related tasks. This is why sitting on a bed or couch can make it hard to concentrate. And often, you’ll find that trying to relax during breaks or once you’ve finished work will also be more difficult without that physical division of space.
2. Clear the Clutter
Clearing out your clutter before a big move can make relocation easier. But it’s important to bring this streamlined mantra to your next destination too.
This means unpacking those boxes and finding a new home for all your stuff. Or, if you’re off on a business trip, don’t even think about leaving your suitcase open on your hotel room floor and grabbing items whenever you need them. Instead, aim for a calm yet comfortable atmosphere by hanging suits and shirts in the wardrobe, lining up your bathroom essentials, and storing your suitcases out of view.
You should also maintain a clean and tidy working environment at all times. If your bed is visible from your workspace, make it before you get down to business. You should also try to keep your desk or table tidy by storing documents in neat folders or drawers, and only ever having one glass or cup on the go at a time.
3. Create a Routine
Business travel and relocating for work can mean new time zones, climates, and local customs. While all this can kill productivity, creating a routine and sticking to it no matter what is one of the best ways to make sure you stay focused.
As for what that routine looks like, everyone will probably have a different idea of a schedule that suits their working style. But, there are some key factors to incorporate into your routine for optimal success.
First, you should set your alarm for the same time every day. Then, before you have a chance to press snooze and roll over, open the blinds or drapes to let the sunlight in. The morning light helps your body know that it’s time to get going by decreasing your melatonin levels. Although you might still struggle with jet lag those first few days, this will be a big help in gaining back control over your circadian rhythms and increasing your energy levels.
Next, eat an energizing breakfast away from your designated workspace, take a shower, and get dressed in work-appropriate clothing. We know sweatpants are more comfortable than a suit but even if no one can see you, looking the part will make you feel the part. In turn, you’ll develop and maintain the right kind of mindset for optimal work productivity.
We’d also advise keeping specific “business hours” and making sure everyone knows what they are. This includes remote colleagues, fellow business travelers, hotel staff, or anyone living with you. Setting these time boundaries avoids interruptions and will help you create a healthy work-life balance within your routine, even when you’re miles from home.
4. Limit Distractions
In a hotel room or temporary lodgings, you might not have colleagues or home comforts to distract you. But these new and unfamiliar environments can be a distraction in themselves.
Keeping your hotel room or workforce accommodation tidy can help focus your mind on the task at hand. But if that’s not always possible, try to create visual boundaries so you can’t see any of the clutter or mess. If acoustics are an issue and there’s no way of blocking out distracting sounds, try noise-canceling headphones. As well as being great for hearing input from colleagues and clients in meetings, wearing them without listening to anything helps create a barrier between you and the outside world.
A smartphone can be a big distraction too, especially if you need to use it now and again for work purposes. The best tactic is to keep it close by but make sure the screen is out of your eye line. For example, you could keep it face down in a drawer or behind your laptop. And, unless you’re expecting a call or an important message, switch it to silent mode. Avoiding the constant buzz of incoming spam emails and non-urgent messages will improve your productivity no end.
5. Get Familiar With Your Destination
If business travel or constant relocation is a part of your lifestyle, getting familiar with every new destination can feel like a waste of time and energy. After all, if you’re only staying somewhere for a few days or months, why would you need to know where things are and how things work there?
But, it’s a big mistake to avoid connecting with your destination. Getting the scoop on your new city beforehand will save you valuable time when you arrive. And, talking to locals or hotel staff to find out relevant and helpful information and tips can make settling in easier from the start.
Whether it’s where the closest grocery store is, how easy it is to find a cab at night, or the best place to find your favorite food, this kind of insider knowledge can help you feel more at home and more in control. As a result, you’ll have a more positive outlook on your current location, which will translate into your work and productivity levels. And, in a practical sense, knowing your way around your new location will save you time when you need to buy food, head back to your hotel after a late meeting, or satisfy that sushi craving.
6. Take Time to Unwind
Being productive doesn’t mean working non-stop. Remote working is already hard enough without you putting yourself under pressure to complete 16-hour days and eat lunch on the go.
In fact, research shows that taking regular breaks during your working hours boosts mood, improves concentration, and increases work productivity. On the flip side, plowing away for hours on end is more likely to result in a burn-out than a breakthrough.
It’s also important to figure out how to unwind at the end of a long day. If you’ve spent all day alone in a hotel room, you might want to head out for a good meal and some stimulating company. There’s no reason not to explore your new location in your downtime too. You might be traveling for business but that doesn’t mean you can’t see the sights too.
Or, if you’ve had a full day of back-to-back meetings, some quiet alone time might be your preferred way to recharge. Relaxing at night with a book and a hot bath can help you feel more alert and energized for the following day, ensuring that you’re ready to stay focused and be productive.
7. Show Your Personality
Impersonal hotel rooms and a never-ending blur of flights and airport lounges can soon make business travel feel anything but fun and exciting. Likewise, working away for months onsite while you complete a new project can make your day-to-day life feel a little hollow and joyless.
For this reason, it’s important to surround yourself with meaningful items that show your personality, even when you’re constantly on the move. It could be a bright coffee cup, a photo of your kids, or a cozy sweater. Whatever it is, if it brings you joy and makes you feel more connected to your home life and loved ones, it deserves a place in your suitcase.
It might sound trivial, but this unique constant in your life no matter where you are can really make a difference when it comes to your happiness levels and productivity when working away.
How to Stay Productive While Working Remotely
From business travel veterans to on-assignment workers about to take on their first role, working remotely can make it difficult to be as productive as you’d like.
But, with these tips to guide you, it should now be easier to stay focused, positive, and productive, even if you’re miles away from home.
Do you want to learn more about Team Housing Solutions and our services? If so, feel free to contact our team for more information!