In this article, I’m going to share with you six remote working tips that will help you stay productive and keep healthy too. For years it was believed that employees simply could not work remotely they had to be in the same location as the person or the people they support. Luckily, however, these days that thinking has changed. In fact, recent research (before the COVID pandemic) suggests roughly 62% of employees between 22 and 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally.
Even if you don’t currently work remotely you may find yourself doing it more in the future. I don’t think we will be just putting all our business equipment into storage units any time this year, however there is something liberating not having to sit in freeway traffic, having the opportunity to wear slippers or being able to start a load of laundry on your lunch break.
Whether you do this daily or just once in a while, here are six remote working tips that will make you a more effective remote employee.
Dress for success
Filed under weird but true remote working tips, dressing for the office is a great way to help with this get business ready every day. Avoid the temptation of wearing tracksuit pants and an old torn t-shirt. This life may sound fantastic, however scrounging around and sloppy clothes can be really dangerous for your mindset. Research shows the clothes you wear can actually impact your work performance precisely because it changes how you think and how you behave.
When you’re dressed professionally, you feel more confident and empowered. Therefore you act that way and people perceive you that way. This is true whether you’re in the office or working remotely.
Stick to a schedule
You need to keep a regular schedule. Start your day by entering your designated work space at the same time every day. This is helpful for your colleagues to know when you’re on the clock and helps you create the mental and physical rhythm you need for work.
Having said that, staying at your desk all day is totally counterproductive. Regardless if you are in the office or at home, put a reoccurring appointment in your calendar to remind you to get up and leave your work space. Have a stretch, walk around the block, whatever it is, make sure you do this regularly for your own physical and mental health.
Have a dedicated workspace
Your workspace is incredibly important when you’re working remotely. It can be easy for things to get disorganised fast, so you need a designated office space for a number of different reasons. When working remotely, you must have a quiet space to concentrate and not be interrupted by the rest of the family (maybe with commercial carpet to keep the sound down?).
Having this designated separate workspace also helps create a separation between work and regular life. When you walk into your office, your mind should automatically know it’s time to switch into work mode, and your family will know when you leave your office at the end of the day, you are now available.
One of my favourite remote working tips is to use video and text tools to communicate as often as I can with my team mates. We all know that not being physically present can be a big obstacle to creating strong working relationships and building your professional reputation, so if you’re not careful out of sight can also put you out of mind. Many people rely way too heavily on email instead of jumping on a video conference, or using tools like Slack to keep in touch all day.
Tools like these mean you are able to communicate in real-time with colleagues that you’ve perhaps never even met before in person. This can be an absolute game changer when it comes to building interpersonal relationships and a sense of team.
Embrace F2F when possible
Obviously when we are in a pandemic lock down, face to face won’t work, however if you do work remotely part of the time or all of the time it’s still important to find opportunities for face to face conversations with your colleagues. You may have colleagues in the next street, or across the country, so obviously distance is going to impact how often you can be physically present with your team mates.
Maybe you can arrange a whole day get together, or one of you can drive an hour or two to attend a team meeting. You can go as far as annual off-site retreats. It is very worthwhile to invest that time when it comes to building relationships with your peers. Nothing is as powerful as in-person contact, even if it’s brief and infrequent.
You need to always resist the temptations of the home. Sure, you can unload the dishwasher during your lunch hour, however please make sure you keep it at that, and don’t end up letting household duties interrupt your day often.
Even worse are those friends and family who drop in, because they know you are home. Be strict with them,and let them know you are unavailable.
Remote Working Tips
So I hope that you find the six remote working tips above useful, and that you now have a better appreciations that working remotely isn’t always a walk in the park. As someone who is now working remotely, your employer has placed a lot of trust in you. Don’t squander it by being unproductive or by making foolish choices. Follow these six tips offered above and you’ll be well on your way to success. Good luck!