The term ‘digital natives’ was coined in 2001 by Marc Presky in reference to those ‘born after 1980, when social digital technologies first came online. Digital natives all have access to networked digital technologies. And they all have the skills to use them.
Widely viewed as a significant cultural and lifestyle change, this ‘native’ digital landscape now shapes both our home and work lives – with increasing use of social media technologies permeating through to the workplace for a cohort of millenials who have been culturally conditioned to the likes of Facebook and Twitter as a primary means of communication.
Through familial commitments (having two young sons myself), in an age of ‘digital distraction’, staying productive is key to running successful collaborative projects from a home working environment.
Here are my top 3 tips for maintaining your productivity even in a home office setting:
- Stay Accountable
Accountability is the secret ingredient to productive remote work.
The ‘lonetrepreneur’ can feel distanced from company achievements or setbacks. Ensure that your successes are celebrated, and your failures are accepted with full responsibility. Online collaboration tools can help to share your deadlines and ensure your tasks are made crystal clear to yourself and the entire team.
- Set Boundaries at Home
Whilst it is important to sit away from the TV, stay away from social media and remove distracting objects, the home worker must also be mindful about setting boundaries with their family. In a similar way that co-workers may prove to be distracting in the office, family or roommates can also divert your valuable attention. Living and working in the same quarters with your family require a different approach, emotionally and communicatively. At home, the remote worker will need to be much more sensitive – this requires setting boundaries and expectations with your loved ones, which can then be reinforced with positivity.
- Create a Fun Zone
While it is important to stay focussed and productive, it is equally important to create a ‘fun zone,’ where the remote worker can interact with colleagues in a more relaxing, social setting. For example, creating an online ‘water cooler’ style video or messaging chat allows for general chitchat, team camaraderie and mutual support during projects, in turn replacing face-to-face communications.
Working from home is a convenient alternative for many, and by collaborating effectively, can prove to be an extremely rewarding, efficient, and productive option.
By Andrew Filev, CEO and founder of Wrike