Over the last decade or so, there’s been a distinct rise in the push for “from home” work. Whether you call it remote working, virtual working, or a chance to stay in your pajamas all day, working from our own house has increased in desirability in recent days.
Which is perfect for the tumultuous times we’re living in!
Even as we go through major events such as worldwide health scares, experts are predicting that how we work — and where we work — has changed for good. Obviously, businesses won’t stay shut forever. But since it’s being proven every day that many jobs can be done from home, it leads to the question — why not?
If you are looking into working from home, either because of circumstances or simply on account of your own wish to do so, you probably have some concerns. How can you keep your productivity levels high? How do you maintain your creativity? How do you motivate yourself to get up in the morning when you know your boss won’t be waiting impatiently for you to show?
Working from home brings a whole different set of challenges — but there are lots of blessings, too. And in this article, there are eight solid tips for the new remote employee, no matter the reason for your change in location.
1 — Have A Dedicated Workspace
We love the idea of “working from anywhere,” but that doesn’t literally mean, “working from anywhere.” If you leave your workspace up to chance, the odds are much higher that you will get distracted, whether it’s by your kids, your spouse, or the dirty dishes in the sink.
To give yourself the best shot at successfully staying on-task, set up a dedicated workspace. Make sure it is comfortable (but not too comfortable), organized, and free of clutter. The same basic tips apply to workspaces wherever they are, but working from home gives you a greater opportunity to create an environment that is motivational and inspirational.
2 — Invest In Your Tools
Here’s a tip: if you’re trying to work from home and your WiFi might as well be dial-up, your work-related frustration is going to go through the roof.
And the same is true of any other tool that you need on a day to day basis. From your tablet or computer to the programs you use, opt for the higher-end, faster, and more efficient choices. If you need to conduct video conference calls, make sure that you have the necessary apps and programs to do so efficiently. You might also want to consider auxiliary tools such as noise-cancelling headphones.
3 — Don’t Stop Communicating
With that cutting edge technology and those video chat apps, you should be well set up to communicate with your team, wherever they are — and it’s highly advised that you communicate more when you work from home, rather than less.
No man is an island, and just because you’re working from home does not mean that you are a lone wolf. Communication is a key aspect to success, especially when you can no longer simply poke your head into the next cubicle to check on a joint project.
Scheduling comes into play here; as a remote worker, you have the responsibility to set up the face-to-face video meetings that are necessary in order to communicate progress, coordinate projects, and check in on daily tasks. Your office manager may not be keeping track of everything that you’re working on, so don’t shy away from bringing up questions, points of interest, or milestones.
4 — Know Your Working Style
Let’s face it: there’s a vast difference between the environment at our places of work and the environment in our homes. And we tend to be very different people when we’re with our family than we are in the workplace. Neither of those things will stop being true just because you become a remote worker.
In order to set yourself up as a successful remote worker, it’s wise to determine what sort of environment most facilitates your work. Do you need absolute silence? Is it okay for there to be some noise in another room? Do you need to work early, or late? What about taking breaks?
Analyzing when you are most productive, and what environment suits your style best, saves a lot of headache as you try to find and keep your motivation to work from home. And building an adaptive work day is one of the big perks of working remotely!
5 — Reach Out To Others In The Remote Community
With working from home suddenly being a hot topic, you have to know that you aren’t alone in this new endeavor. Literally thousands of people are finding themselves in the same position that you are in! That means that you have a built-in community of people who can understand and empathize with the challenges that you face — why not take advantage of that?
Take some time to search out virtual “remote working” communities. These may be available for your specific career, for your area, or for more general criteria — such as communities that have been started specifically for newby remote workers as a result of the coronavirus! Learn from their experiences, and be inspired by their motivation, creativity, and success. Positive feedback and peer pressure is a big factor in helping you to remain productive.
6 — Follow A Self-Care Regimen
You’re at home, and you’re at work — the line has been blurred. Your worlds are colliding, and it might be very difficult to know where one stops and the other one begins. It’s almost enough to make you panic!
Pro tip: don’t panic. Instead, make sure that you take the time you need to just be yourself, outside of your work-related role. Schedule time for exercise. Make sure that you eat a balanced, healthy diet. Get enough sleep. Spend time with your family. Work will always be there, waiting for you — but your well-being is more important, and balance is key to success.
7 — Unplug
That balance that we just talked about? That can be very difficult to achieve, especially for those who are new to the world of working from home. It’s hard enough to ignore a call from work after-hours even when you know you’ll have to go in the next morning and deal with it — no wonder it’s that much more difficult when you’re three feet away from your desk at all times!
Working remotely has extra challenges, in that it enables you to work with people all over the world, in all different time zones — so you may be getting notifications or emails at two in the morning. So here’s a suggestion: set quiet times for yourself. Set an “out of office” automatic response if necessary. Know when your hours of work are, and don’t let them bleed into your hours of not-work. Don’t force yourself to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; if you do, you face very high odds of running into burnout well before your days of working from home are over.
8 — Concentrate On The Positive
In times like these, it is more important than ever that we keep our gaze focused on the positive side of things. Our attitude goes a long way towards changes for the better, both on a personal level and on a worldwide scale.
So keep the benefits of remote work in mind. Remote work gives you increased flexibility — no more asking for an entire day off so you can make sure your kid gets to his doctor’s appointment. No more needing to stay overtime at the office to get things done. No more pesky changing out of your pajamas every single day — working from home is a comfortable, viable, and above all health-conscious way to make sure that you get your work done, regardless of the strange times in which we live.
So, yes, your life will be different when you work from home. But it doesn’t have to be different in a bad way! In fact, thousands of people have been actively seeking the opportunity to work from home — and thousands of people are getting that opportunity right now.
With these eight tips listed above, you can make a smooth transition to a more flexible career path — and you might never look back!
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have, we have been working as a remote team for a long time.