Some people are work-from-home geniuses. For them, working from home means fewer distractions, more flexibility, and greater productivity.
However, for some, remote work can be quite a challenge, full of countless distractions, grueling hours, and high levels of stress.
If you are in this second category, don’t worry—you are not alone. Here are five important tips for working remotely to help you do great work no matter where you are.
When team members and managers can’t see each other sitting at their desks hard at work, it’s dangerously easy to assume the worst.
Questions like: “Why didn’t they answer my chat message?” “Are they even working right now?” often pop up.
Trust is imperative for remote teams to work well together, and without proper communication, that trust breaks down.
To keep up effective communication, here are a few things to do:
- Set a regular time to check in on chat each day.
- Don’t hesitate to schedule a video call (cameras on) to discuss things when email and chat don’t cut it.
- If you need to step away from your computer now and then (which we all do), drop a note in your team chat to let them know you’re taking a break and when you’ll be back online.
- If you need some help or support to be more effective, let your manager know. On that same note, reach out to your teammates to see if there’s any way you can help them while remote.
Create A Routine
Due to the convenience of working from home, it’s tempting to slide out of your normal routine and stop waking up early or changing out of your pajamas. Don’t give in!
You may not be able to stick to your old routine exactly as it was, but you should still structure your day.
Here’s how to do that:
- Wake up on time, giving yourself enough time to get ready in the morning before the workday starts.
- Get ready for the day ahead – shower, brush your teeth, and get dressed.
- Start the workday by deciding what you want to focus on that day. You can use a traditional to-do list or something more sophisticated like an app.
- Organize your calendar so it includes all your meetings and appointments.
You don’t have to map out every minute of every day to be an effective remote worker, but it helps to establish a clear, consistent routine to make you more productive.
Take Care Of Yourself
While you’re working from home, you may feel pressure to squeeze every ounce of productivity out of your day.
You may be tempted to measure your productivity by how many tasks you tick off your to-do lists and when things are left undone you feel guilty.
Sometimes, slowing down and taking time for yourself are the keys to unlocking greater productivity.
Here are some self-care tips for working remotely:
- Schedule regular breaks to stand, move around, get away from your computer, or eat a meal.
- Exercise and get outside regularly. Even a simple walk around the block can do wonders for your health both physically and mentally.
- Practice mindfulness to lower stress and build your focus.
- Set a cutoff time at the end of the day when you disconnect and “go home.”
Doing the basics to take care of yourself will make you a healthier, happier, and more effective worker whether you’re in an office or at home.
Create The Right Environment For Work
If you’ve never worked from home before, or if you only do it occasionally, you probably don’t have an ideal home-office setup.
Maybe your “home office” is actually the kitchen table or a desk in your unfinished basement. When you don’t have a proper workspace, it can be tricky to focus on your work. Here are some strategies for creating the best home-office setup for productivity:
- Designate a workspace for yourself, however small, where only work takes place.
- Communicate with others in your home to let them know you need focus time.
- Make sure your space is clean with minimal distractions.
- Schedule uninterrupted focus time. Eliminating distractions from your home environment won’t do much good if your email, chat, and phone notifications won’t leave you alone.
Use The Right Tools
The previous tips for creating the right environment become even easier if you have the right tools for working remotely.
There are numerous resources, both online and offline, you can use to set yourself up for success while working at home, but these are a few of our favorites:
- Get noise-canceling headphones to help you shut out distractions and concentrate, especially if you work while your children or roommates are home.
- Use a standing desk or standing desk converter to get your blood flowing and relieve the strain of sitting all day.
- A comfortable chair can make or break your work-from-home experience.
As you take it one day at a time and use the tips in this guide, you can transform your work-from-home experience.