Remote work is becoming more and more popular across nearly every industry. In 2018, 3.9 million Americans reported working from home part or full-time. When it comes to flexible work environments, the perks for employees are extensive—scheduling freedom, feeling happier about the work they’re doing, and more autonomy.
While statistics show that remote work increases productivity—two thirds of managers say employees who work remotely increase their productivity—this can be negated for salespeople, who face the pressure to meet aggressive goals while feeling isolated. As a sales employee, you likely spend a lot of time on the road, so it’s important to work as efficiently as possible when you aren’t in the field.
Just because you aren’t in a cubicle doesn’t mean you work any less. Start working smarter, not harder with these 5 tips and techniques to increase productivity and efficiency.
The most difficult aspect of working from home is avoiding distractions. While you might not have chatty coworkers keeping you from focusing, there are plenty of other attention-grabbing disturbances at home that can keep you from working efficiently. One of the biggest distractions might be more obvious than you think—your smartphone. 69 percent of workers say that checking a personal device interferes with concentration. While it’s likely you need your phone for some aspect of your work, try putting it away for an hour at a time so you aren’t tempted to open social media—even if it’s just for a minute, studies show that you’ll have a harder time shifting your focus back to work.
Collaborate and Communicate with Your Team
As a remote worker, it can be easy to feel isolated—in a recent study, 21 percent of remote workers named lack of community as one of their main on-the-job issues. Just because you and your team members aren’t sitting in a room together doesn’t mean you can’t work together. A recent Stanford study showed that working together intrinsically inspires more motivation among employees. Learning what your team has been up to—whether that be tips for landing a sale, or an issue or challenge they overcame—offers you valuable insight and can help you avoid similar situations. At Beyond, 86 percent of our top producers stated that they actively use their peers for guidance and advice. In today’s digital landscape, there are a multitude of tools that allow for easy employee communication and can keep team members up to date on strategy and developments in real time.
Make an Effective To-Do List
Often, people make to-do lists as a distraction—when they aren’t sure what to do next, they just start writing down everything they think needs to get done. Unfortunately, this practice generally leaves you feeling overwhelmed and no closer to accomplishing a task. Instead, make multiple to-do lists with a plan of action for each. Always manage one long term to-do list, with broader goals you’d like to accomplish in the month, quarter, year, etc. At the start of your week, even Sunday night, make a to-do list outlining what needs to happen in the next work week. Be realistic about what can get done but be honest about what must get done. Your last, and most important list is a daily HIT list. These are your “high impact tasks” that must get done today. As a remote employee, you aren’t under constant supervision, so effectively managing your work load is imperative for increased productivity. 91 percent of Beyond’s top producers say that they always have a plan, and when they execute this plan consistently, they see consistent results.
Start with Your Hardest Tasks
While it may be alluring to start with tasks that likely won’t lead to a sale—like answering emails, digging through social media, and doing research—use mornings to tackle the tough stuff. Throughout the day we experience decision fatigue, making it harder to make critical decisions as our day progresses—make your most important decisions in the morning. Start your day by prospecting, strategically planning, and calling customers. Save your mundane tasks for later in the day when your brain needs a break from complex thinking. No one decides how to restructure a business at 4:15 PM, so don’t leave your own business strategy planning to the end of the day.
Focus Your Time on Delivering Consistent Results
When you work in a traditional office setting, it can be easy to lean on the time you spend in the office to validate your output and effort level. As a remote employee, your value can only be measured through the results you’re generating. It doesn’t matter if a task “should” take several days—if you can accomplish it faster, do so, and keep chipping away at more. As a salesperson, the faster you can accomplish your day-to-day objectives, the more time you’ll have for prospecting and meeting clients. By keeping results at the forefront of your focus, you’ll spend more time generating leads and hitting your goals.
There’s no question being your own boss can be challenging—but when you deliver results and grow your business, the reward is limitless. Looking for a career that gives you the freedom to live your life? Learn more about joining our growing salesforce.