The 5 best tips these productivity and focus experts use when working remotely with their team

  • Two productivity experts explain how they work smarter.
  • Like thousands of others, listen to the Business Break Podcast from Business Insider and Vodafone Business with tips from Mark Tigchelaar and Celine Charlotte van ‘t Wout.
  • And also download the e-book accompanying this podcast for more backgrounds, interviews and useful tips!

More than 14,000 entrepreneurs and executives have already taken a course on entrepreneurship and productivity with Charlotte van ‘t Wout. Mark Tigchelaar in turn sold more than 100,000 copies of his books on focus, among other things.

But which tips do they use in daily practice with their team? Due to the corona pandemic, everything that seemed so obvious a year ago is suddenly very different. How do the experts deal with the challenge of ‘working remotely’? You could hear it in the Business Break Podcast over the past few weeks. A podcast by Vodafone Business – the connector of flexible working in the Netherlands – and Business Insider with thousands of listeners. In this article you will find some of their tips and the episodes.

Read also: These 45 professional services professions will earn you between €3,000 and €4,000 – from scrum master to consultant.

Also download the e-book about working smarter with your company. Read how five Dutch companies made the switch to remote working well, view the research results from the Future Ready report and get tips from Celine Charlotte and Mark.

1. Give people the space to be unavailable – and plan this for yourself too

“Getting into creativity mode together from a distance is difficult. Whether you call via Microsoft Teams or any other system,” explains Mark Tigchelaar. If you really want to do some creative work, it’s good to do it independently. And so turn off your phone and turn on your out-of-office reply.

“Every distraction – answering an app, responding to an email – creates attention residue. If you then want to get back to work creatively, your brain literally has to recover. As a result, you work slower and you have fewer ideas. So facilitate the space for creativity in your team.” In other words: accept that colleagues say that they cannot be reached before eleven o’clock, for example.

Read also: LinkedIn gives all employees a week off to prevent burnouts and to recover from the pandemic.

Listen to the episode about creativity here:

2. On the umpteenth video call invitation, ask yourself: would I have initiated this appointment?

Mark: “Know what your goals and ambitions are, otherwise you will never be able to distinguish between an opportunity and a distraction. Without a goal there is no focus. An email can be a distraction or in line with your goal. It happens so often in companies that teams work on great products that don’t align with the business.What if it hadn’t come to you? Would you have looked up this opportunity yourself?”

Listen to the full episode on time management:

3. Make clear agreements about video calling: 45 minutes or an hour?

The habit creeps in: ‘Oh, are we going to video call? Then I schedule an hour.’ Celine Charlotte: ‘While, 45 minutes is already quite long. I also often try to put 20-minute appointments in the agenda, so that I make it clear: we are not going to talk for an entire hour. The atmosphere is immediately different. “Do you have a cup of coffee, are you ready, how are you?” You skip all that.”

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She adds: “Every Monday morning I come online with my team to make video calls. The first half hour we are going through meeting points, the second half hour everyone works independently and Teams is still on, for example. This way we can discuss small matters with each other during work. Now that you suddenly have to miss your colleagues, you can still work together easily.”

Listen to the entire remote communication episode:

4. Do you really want to focus? Let go of the classic working hours and see when you are most productive

“I’m already standing next to my bed at five in the morning,” says Celine Charlotte. “A cold shower and then I start my focus hours. That means I do creative tasks with my phone on airplane mode for two hours. All the tasks I normally don’t get around to.”

Getting up this early may be something for diehards, but you can also start an hour earlier. Mark: “We have it in our heads that you have to work from nine to five. Even within a large company, the pandemic makes it easier to say: I have my most productive hours in the morning. I can no longer be reached after three o’clock in the afternoon. See what intuitively suits you and start the conversation.”

Listen to the full episode on focus:

5. Forget work hard, play hard

Mark: “The line between work and private life is blurring enormously because of working from home, so many people have the idea that they have to be ‘on’ all day. Especially if you also receive an email in the evening from a colleague who is just a bit too enthusiastic. Out of commitment or courtesy you will read it anyway, and that’s why you secretly work long days.”

Guard your own limits, but don’t go too far in work hard, play hard. “I often hear it coming back to smaller organizations and SMEs: I work very hard, and then I relax very hard. That’s technically the same for your brain. It is not the case that all work tasks are stored on the left side of your head and all private tasks are stored on the right. In addition, work hard, play hard implies that you hardly take breaks.What do they have in common? Five Dutch, growing companies share in this e-book from Vodafone Business and Business Insider how they changed course. What will you learn from this eBook?

  • What Future Ready companies around the world have in common
  • How to ensure the right focus during a pandemic
  • How to work more flexibly as a company
  • How to make it easier for your team to work remotely with the right tools
  • The best tips from the Business Break Podcast on focus, communication and time management.

Download the eBook here!.

Author: Jobly