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Remote Culture 10 min read

Remote Work Productivity Hacks & Tips: The Galactic Fed Guide

Natalie Yelton photo

Written by Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 15 Sep 2021

Galactic Fed is a fully remote digital marketing agency with a global team that stretches across five time zones. We’ve been completely remote since we were founded, well before COVID-19 triggered many firms to run their businesses working remotely so we know a thing or two about effective remote working. 

Over the years, we’ve developed strategies for overcoming remote work roadblocks, and we’ve excelled at growing our teams remotely. 77% of those who work remotely just a few times a month show increased productivity, and they also do 30% more work in less time, while 24% of WFHers doing more work in the same amount of time.

We know that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to working remotely is staying productive. With endless distractions and a lack of face-to-face connection, which is beneficial to some, how can you ensure you and your colleagues perform at your best from whatever location you work remotely from - whether that’s WFH or planted in a comfy spot at your local cafe? 

Queue Galactic Fed’s Guide to remote work productivity! 

We’ve pulled together our tried and tested hacks and tips when it comes to nailing remote work. From creating a personalized working routine that fits your lifestyle to taking regular breaks from your computer screen and optimizing your working schedule using data, learn how you can stay genuinely productive from wherever your computer or laptop finds itself.

Create a routine that works for you 

The secret ingredient to staying productive while working remotely is creating a routine that works for you and sticking to it. Your routine should get you both into and out of work mode, quickly and easily, no matter what location you are working from on any given day. 

A successful remote working routine doesn’t necessarily have to mirror a working day like commuting to an office and back. The most important aspects when it comes to developing a routine is that it fits with:

  • your working style, 
  • the expectations of your company, and 
  • the routines of others that you live with. 

Beginning and ending your work at around the same time every day can be beneficial for being more productive when you work remotely. Your body and mind will get used to working mode within these hours, making it easier for you to settle into your tasks for the day.

You might suit working a few hours early in the day, taking extended break midday, and finishing up your work later on. It all depends on at which point in the day you feel most focused and how long you can remain working at that optimal level.

Getting dressed helps many folks officially get ready for work. On the other hand, there are different ways to kickstart your working day if you like working in PJs. Making tea or coffee and having breakfast, taking your dog for a walk, or doing some yoga as part of your morning routine can help you get in the right mindset before sitting down to work.

Establish a dedicated workspace 

Having a particular area dedicated for work can help you keep a healthy work/life balance, given the boundaries between the two can start to get blurred when you’re working from home. 

Try to steer clear of placing your computer on your lap in bed or sitting on the sofa where you usually unwind in front of the television. Save yourself a trip to the chiropractor and get yourself a decent chair. You’ll look forward to sitting in a great chair or stool every day, and you’ll save a lot of time and money avoiding doctor’s appointments. 

Make sure your computer screen is at the optimal height, too. Here are some typical monitor setup tips:

  • Adjust your monitor height so that the top of the screen is at or slightly below your eye level.
  • Your eyes should be looking slightly downward when viewing the middle of your screen.
  • Position your monitor at least 20 inches from your eyes, which is about an arm’s length distance. If you’ve got a larger than average screen, add a greater viewing distance.
  • Keep the glare down by adjusting your screen’s position.
  • Maintain a reasonable distance between your screen-scanning eyes and your screen by tilting the monitor back about 15 degrees. 

If you’re working on the go, you can still establish a dedicated workspace anywhere you happen to be by building a remote work kit. Think noise-canceling headphones, a water bottle, a memory stick, and additional cables or chargers you may need. Check out Wirecutter’s WFT starter kit for more ideas on building your own.

Take a break from the screen 

A man standing up while closing the laptop to take a break.

Source: GIPHY

This tip is so vital; we can’t stress it enough! Numerous studies show taking regular short breaks can increase productivity and improve focus.

The method of short work intervals separated by even shorter breaks - known as the Pomodoro Technique - has increased in popularity across the globe. This working method suggests that you focus on work-related tasks for 25 minutes at a time, followed by a five-minute break. Once your break is finished, you return to another 25-minute work session. Over an entire eight-hour workday, this adds up to a little less than six hours of focused work and a little more than one hour of dedicated breaks from your screen. These short breaks give your brain and eyes a much-needed rest, promoting renewed mental stamina every time you return to your screen. 

There’s even a Pomodoro timer online you can use - why not give it a go today?

Pomofocus' timer

Source: Pomofocus

Invest in a reliable internet connection 

A study by Stanford University found only 65% of Americans had an internet connection fast enough to handle video calls. 

Dodgy internet can zap your productivity faster than almost anything else. Galactic Fed recommends researching the best internet service provider in your area and choosing one with excellent customer support. Outages or other connectivity problems happen, and if and when they do, you want the best people on the other end of the telephone who can help you fix the problem quickly to get on with your working day. 

In addition, research cafes nearby that have decent WIFI and have a shortlist of places you can go to work in a pinch when your connection goes down for an extending period of time for whatever reason. 

Optimize your schedule using data 

We love this personal schedule hack from Malte Scholz, Co-Founder, and CEO of Airfocus: 

“One of the best remote working productivity hacks I’ve come up with is to track my personal time meticulously for just one week. 

Every single action, whether it’s writing emails, creating marketing campaigns, drafting content, preparing presentations for external partners, hiring, etc. 

Every task that I do, I track my time for it. That way, I have a great idea on where my time goes after one week. 

Next week, I will organize my schedule according to my findings. The things that take too much time are either eliminated or restructured. I place the most time-consuming and most difficult tasks early on in the day so that the rest of my day is more productive.” 

Test out a virtual commute 

According to the New York Times, the most challenging part of working from home is the lack of face-to-face social interaction with your colleagues and isolation. 

Taking the time you would usually dedicate to your commute to check in with co-workers and connect through non-work-related topics and interests can help support social interaction and focus your brain on the day’s work. 

Here at Galactic Fed, we have dedicated Slack channels to chat pets, positivity, art, and parenting!

Slack channel communities for employees.

Stay productive, wherever you decide to work from

To reach and maintain optimal productivity, carve out some time to develop a working schedule that works for you, your company, and the people you live with. If you work from home, make sure you have a dedicated workspace and if you work remotely on the go, consider building a remote work kit so that you’re prepared to get work done anywhere. 

Make sure you’re taking regular breaks from your computer to improve your productivity and strengthen your mental stamina; try out the Pomodoro technique to ensure you’re taking breaks often. 

It’s worth paying a little more money for the best internet connection available in your area. Have a hit list of public spaces you can go and hop on WIFI if you lose connection for a period of time. Why not record your weekly working schedule and make adjustments using the data and insight you collect at the end of that week? 

Lastly, use the time you’ve saved from ditching the commute to connect with your colleagues and keep the chat non-work related. 

As we stated at the beginning of this article, Galactic Fed has been fully remote from its inception. If you’d like more ideas on how to stay productive while working remotely, check out our remote culture blog series.

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Natalie Yelton photo

Natalie Yelton

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed