Learn to optimize production and stay on task as a remote manager.

The “working from home” lifestyle is a popular option that can increase the work productivity of an employee. CNN Money reported, “3.9 million workers, or almost 3 percent of the total U.S. workforce, [are] working from home at least half the time in 2015, an increase from 1.8 million in 2005.”

Studies show employees are happier working from home, but what about managers? For the first time remote managers can easily get distracted or feel isolated. With a few pointers, remote managers can take their lackluster performance results and boost them up a bit.

These seven productivity hacks will make remote work easier for managers as they are ways to use time wisely to exceed expectations while working from home.

The Right Home Office Location

A home office next to an entertainment or living room with a television can be tempting. Work in a room that’s in the basement or a quiet area of the home. If you have a family, discuss a closed-door policy in which certain hours you need time alone to work. Place the schedule on the refrigerator for family members to know when you need to focus. Schedule tasks like walking the dog or running errands to responsible members that are at home during business hours to reduce personal responsibilities after work.

Job Search Hacks

Planning to search for a new job? The reality of job hunting can take time searching through multiple job search engines. You can reduce this time by searching for a new job by finding a remote job using the keywords

  • remote
  • telecommute
  • telecommuting
  • work from home
  • distributed company

Some people make a mistake of using one or two of the keywords, limiting an opportunity to apply for new jobs. Take the time to search the above terms for a new remote position that best suits your needs.

Schedule Responsibilities

The role of a boss can vary from setting up webinar meetings, completing performance reviews, monitoring the status of assignments, and hiring new employees. It’s a handful. One way to avoid forgetting responsibilities is to set up a schedule on paper or visible calendar based on time and the task.

Network During Lunch

Working from home is a blessing, but it can also be an isolating experience. The mistake some people make is forgetting to continue building professional relationships with their network. If you have a one-hour lunch, find a coffee shop or a nearby restaurant to meet previous colleagues, a mentor, or friend at least once a month. While work from home managers can socialize with colleagues via video chat, a Workforce Mood Track study show “89 percent say that work relationships are important for their overall quality of life.”

Delegate Tasks

The moment your workload becomes overwhelming, it’s time to ask for help. As a boss, members of the team would be delighted to take on some of your work. It can be an addition to their resume and employees will feel empowered to help their manager.

Simplify Team Meetings

One-on-one meetings for biannual performance review works, but if the meeting requires light conversation, invite the entire team. It will save the team and yourself time in scheduling multiple team members at different times. The bonus is it creates healthy competition among colleagues when discussing monthly objectives. The team can become acquainted on a personal level with colleagues, improving the overall work from home experience.

The Reality of Working from Home

There are pros and cons to working from home, including losing touch with your network, feeling isolated, or appreciating the flexible work-life balance. It can be mastered with careful thought that is consistent with a company’s goals. Once a routine is set to use time wisely by leveraging the help of the team, it can be less stressful than the experience some remote employees have.