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Staying Productive Whilst Working Remotely

As I end my 3rd month of working remotely and move from Cambodia to Thailand, I have had some time to reflect on the challenges this remote lifestyle has brought me. Cambodia was a particularly difficult month with the draining 38°C heat and when some fellow remote staff were robbed of their phones or purses. It highlighted just how difficult it can be, despite the many positives. I thought I would explore some of the challenges I’ve faced before moving on to tell you about some of the fantastic experiences I have had.

 

Challenges of working remotely

  • Routine – getting into and sticking to a routine is one of the bigger challenges of working remotely. It’s simply too easy to fall into the trap of working whenever you feel like. But this is detrimental to productivity and to your own life outside of work.
  • Communication – staying in touch with your team in the office can be difficult if you don’t have systems and fall backs set up for every eventuality.
  • Support and guidance – another challenge when working remotely is how you or your team gives support and guidance. When you are in your office you can go ask for assistance or others in your team may ask you for some help. This along with the communication challenges can make working remotely quite hard.

Despite these challenges working remotely is a great way to work, for both employer and employee. When these challenges are mitigated by systems and workflows that benefit both parties, great things can happen and I’ve been lucky to experience some of those benefits.

Remote Working Painting

 

Benefits of working remotely

  • Work/life balance – working remotely has its benefits in that you can create your own routine around what activities or hobbies you want to have in your life whilst balancing work around that.
  • Different scenery – working in an office day in/day out can get a little boring. When working remotely you can work where you like if it has a strong enough internet connection for any meetings or calls you may have scheduled that day.
  • Meeting interesting people – whilst I’ve been travelling and working, I’ve had the chance to meet some amazing people. Not only the people who are travelling with me but the others who have made the leap into remote working and I’ve had the pleasure of running into in our shared workspaces. These people come from all walks of life and it’s fun to bounce ideas off people who have walked a different road to your own.

Remote Working Office Cambodia

I’ve only been working remotely for about 3 months now but I feel there are some things to remember that help me keep productivity high.

 

My 5 tips for Maintaining Productivity

  1. Communication is key. Especially when there is a problem or issue you need help with, communicating effectively and efficiently with your team can make or break your experience with remote working.
  2. Getting into a routine and sticking to it. Like communication this is one of the challenges and is one of the keys to getting and maintaining productivity.
  3. Take a break. One of the hardest things I have found is going for a break. When working remotely employees tend to worry about having an always online presence. This is detrimental to yourself and to your work. Taking regular breaks even for a minute or two can help boost your energy and productivity.
  4. If a space isn’t working move to another. Finding the right work environment for remotely working in can be hard, whether it’s home, a café or an actual shared workspace. Choose the right one for your needs and don’t be afraid to try another seat or room when you feel productivity waning.
  5. Connect with your colleagues in the office. Although this can be hard to do remotely it’s still important to have a good connection with your work colleagues back in the office. It makes life much easier when you are communicating with someone who knows you and the work you do.

Cambodia and My Experience

As I said earlier Cambodia was one of the toughest months for me personally. From our first day there I wasn’t feeling great, the heat was draining and I had some days of genuine sickness from some shady Cambodian street food. To top off the sickness there was a feeling of unease in our group after a few people had been robbed on the street in daylight.

Apart from these negatives, I ended up enjoying Cambodia quite a bit. The people were genuinely nice and I have never experienced customer service like I did in some of the amazing restaurants that dotted the country. To make this month even better, my father decided come and visit me (after promising to do the same each month previously)!

Cambodia Remote Working Jonathon and Dad

We went to one of the greatest wonders of the world in Cambodia, Angkor Wat, and its surrounding temples. It was a truly amazing experience and one I would not replace with any other from my travels so far. We went to Angkor Wat for sunrise and managed to make it around it and 5 other temples before we called it a day. I don’t think my words can do it justice, so I shall leave my photos to do the talking.

Despite Cambodia’s history, the terrible things that the Cambodian people have had to endure at the hands of horrible people. They are still a people who embrace everyone with open arms, this is what made the stay in Cambodia worth all the tough parts we had to endure.

 

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