In lockdown and trying to get your head around working remotely? For some this may be an awesome opportunity to demonstrate to your employer that working from home is possible. For others it may be your absolute worst nightmare.
So how can you stay productive, creative, inspired and live up to all of the expectations that you’ve set for yourself within this new lifestyle?
As a virtual service with our team all working remotely, we are particularly skilled at this way of operating. Here are a few of our tips and tricks for those new to the remote working way of life.
- Communicate More
The key to being successful in any professional role is communication, and it is even more important when you work remotely. Since you’re no longer a few desks down from your co-workers or your manager, it’s your job to schedule 1:1 online or phone check-in meetings with them on a weekly basis to connect on your goals, upcoming projects and daily tasks.
Make sure to advocate for yourself and clearly state the progress you’ve made in the past week, which goals you’ve surpassed and which projects you’ve led. When you’re not in the office, it can be difficult for your manager to keep your work top-of-mind, so don’t be afraid to bring important milestones up on your own.
- Make Technology Your Friend
Any remote worker will tell you that access to consistent WiFi is integral to their success, but there’s more to a successful setup than an internet connection. Along with having the ability to take video calls without losing connection, you should consider what tools and tech you’ll need to do your job well. For starters you should consider investing in or setting up two screens, have a wireless keyboard and mouse, get some good quality noise cancelling headphones.
Also think carefully about your online software and platforms you use for creating, sharing and managing your documents, files and other content.
- Stay Connected
One of the major myths surrounding remote work is that people who don’t work in a corporate office are lonely. To make sure that you’re feeling supported and connected to the “real world”, set up online working groups with your peers or colleagues using Facebook or LinkedIn groups, messenger or What’s App groups or other online chat and meeting platforms to ensure you don’t become isolated while working from home.
- Design Your Office
Set yourself up for success in a place where you can focus on the tasks at hand. Keep that space as your dedicated work area or office, set up and ready to go with everything you need on hand including a good desk and chair (thinking about correct sitting or standing while working), good lighting and ventilation plus any other tools or systems you need such as a desk pad, wall planner, pin board, printer, pens, post-it pads, etc.
We see OfficeMax is still operating as an essential service which means you can get the materials you need to have your home office set up and operating comfortably even now.
- Work to Your Routine
At the start of your remote work journey, it’s a great idea to figure out what sort of work day routine suits you best – especially now that you are not on call to meeting requests and not interrupted by office chatter. Think about working to your own rhythm.
Maybe you have more energy in the morning and so schedule your tougher tasks for then, or do you prefer a gentler start in which case your might push your bigger tasks out to the afternoon or evening. This is the beauty of remote work – getting to work during your best hours, whatever they may be.
- Take Care of Yourself
When the line between “work” and “home” starts to blur, you might find yourself stuck to your computer screen for a longer period of time (see next point). While that can sometimes be necessary when closing a major deal or finalizing an important presentation, make sure you are clear about work time vs life time.
Real productivity, innovation and inspiration happens when we are calm, well-rested, fit and healthy. Now that you can adjust your hours to suit you, think about factoring in some time to exercise, maybe build in a 10min meditation. Also think about those things outside of work like getting to bed at a good hour, switching off electronics an hour before bed-time and getting your 5+ A Day.
- Don’t Forget to Switch Off
This can be one of the most challenging aspects for remote work beginners, as the world is becoming increasingly connected. Though you may receive emails and chat notifications at any hour (especially if you’re working in a different time zone than your co-workers), it’s important to develop a habit of setting a time when you officially “log off” for the night. The best part of working remotely is having the flexibility to work when you are most productive, so be careful about setting the standard that you are available 24/7.