7 Remote Working Hacks to Stay Motivated and Productive Anywhere

To me, working remotely is the norm, not the exception. As a constant planet roamer, I’ve worked in coffee shops, hotel rooms, beach bars, bus terminals, and everywhere in between. On this basis, here are my top 7 remote working hacks to remain motivated and productive anywhere

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For newbies, staying motivated outside of a familiar office environment can be challenging. As with most endeavors, practice makes perfect. 

Whether you work at home, in a transport hub, or a coworking space, your mind needs to be fixated on work. The best way to achieve this is to replicate your most productive setup. 

My top 7 remote working hacks

Tested in some of the world’s most secluded spots, here are my top 7 remote working hacks to condition any space for efficiency.

remote working hacks to be motivated and productive anywhere - featured coffee and tablet
Picture by Devin Avery / Unsplash

1. Set up a dedicated working area 

No matter the place, finding your little quiet spot is essential to boost your remote productivity. 

What type of location?

There are no limits to your imagination. It can be a table in the corner of an Italian osteria or a bench in a calm city park. 

Two aspects should be prioritized in the context of choosing your spot: tranquility and space

Select a place with enough room for your equipment and the odd beverage. If you only have a laptop, this shouldn’t be difficult. 

Aside from space, your remote working area should not be subject to noise, distractions, and disturbances. 

As an example, if you’re sitting in a coffee shop right next to the entrance, the constant flow of people rushing in and out might become a nuisance. 

remote working hacks to be motivated and productive anywhere

2. Clear out background noise

To achieve maximum remote productivity, you need to calibrate your senses toward work. This involves clearing out background noise and other surrounding rackets. 

Noise-canceling headphones are your best friend in this regard. 

Subduing background noise is, however, only the first step. The second is to find an adequate replacement in the form of music, podcasts, or nature sounds. 

As for myself, I like to listen to soothing deep house mixes such as BLUME and ChillOutDear.

3. Decide on a schedule 

As a means to duplicate your usual working environment, it’s best to mirror your routine. 

If you usually work between 9am and 1pm before going for lunch, retaining that schedule will boost your remote working output. 

Consequently, by keeping your normal timetable, you’ll feel less inclined to take unnecessary breaks.

remote working hacks - keep your schedule

4. Use technology to be more productive – not more distracted 

My remote working hacks also encompass the use of productivity-fostering apps. 

In this context, Google Drive and Calendar are essentials to share your work and keep track of your to-dos. 

Aside from those, Serene is an excellent app for people who need a hand in cutting out distractions. As such, it blocks attention-detracting sites and filters notifications. 

When it comes to team communication, Slack and Zoom are currently the most widely-used apps. 

Finally, Daywise takes a different approach. This simple apps lets you relish breaks by eliminating notifications during pre-defined periods. 

5. Keep in touch with colleagues, friends, and family 

Working remotely does not mean working in isolation.

Be sure to contact colleagues, friends, and family as often as necessary. Keep them up to date on your schedule and inform them of your routine. This will help you respect your self-defined timetable. 

Besides, people in your social circle may be more experienced and have some additional tips for working remotely. The idea is to avoid seclusion while working outside of your usual environment. 

Vice versa, your friends might also require some tips to excel in their remote grooves. 

By helping them with your newly internalized remote working hacks, you can set an example for future collaboration. 

6. Take interesting breaks 

No matter where you’re working, periodic breaks are indispensable. To remain driven and dynamic, enticing breaks can work wonders.

In this context, I like to listen to podcasts and read a couple of pages during my breaks. In case you work in a coffee shop, you could naturally spice up your pause with a rewarding beverage.

If you work at home, be sure to take your break in an area distinct from your designated working space. Switching from the home office to the kitchen is a good idea in this instance. 

This will allow your mind to mute your working thoughts for a couple of minutes. It will also evacuate the work-related visual clutter – your eyes will enjoy a different view. 

There are many ways to use little fun breaks as a productivity stimulant. 

As an example, I have a friend who reads 5 minutes in his favorite cartoons between working blocks. Other people need some sort of physical movement while working remotely. 

The main challenge resides in finding your best type of break. 

Take interesting breaks - remote working hacks

7. Be accountable to yourself and others

Especially for first-timers, accountability is of paramount importance. 

If you work from home, remind your partner or roommate of your working schedule. 

Notwithstanding the location, set a control routine in your team. Be proactive and tell people what you have done today. This will ensure both yours and your team’s accountability. 

It’s always better to admit small lapses in productivity to yourself than to be forced to explain major failures to an entire team. 

This is why you should evaluate your progress frequently and inform your coworkers as often as possible. 

If you have a boss, showing accountability will also inspire trust in your abilities when it comes to remote work. 

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