Your alarm clock rings, and for once you don’t have to jump out of bed and rush through getting ready or prepare yourself for that dreaded commute through morning rush hour. How did you luck out? You get the opportunity to work from home! For many of us, the chance to work from home may seem strange and too good to be true. I know it did for me. But once you get the hang of it, it can be the best thing that ever happened to your work life. A survey by Business News Daily, showed that “working from home not only benefits employees by eliminating their daily commutes, it also increases productivity and leads to a healthier lifestyle.”
Studies have shown that taking the time to stand up from your desk and walk away from your work for a period of time will help boost your creativity and give you a clear thought process. You’ve often heard people say to “sleep on it” before making an important decision. Well, the same theory applies at work, whether it’s in the office or at home. Taking the time to step away and think about something else may be all your brain needs for that last piece of the puzzle to click. For more advice on the different techniques for taking breaks, check out this Forbes article: Want To Get More Done? Try Taking More Breaks.
Keep Yourself On Track
It can be very easy to feel the pull to daydream or to quickly scroll through that social media feed when you know that there’s no boss looking over your shoulder. So how do you keep yourself on track and stay productive throughout your day? In a survey by Airtasker Blog, they asked remote employees what they used to keep themselves productive, the top three results being: taking breaks, having set work hours, keeping a to-do list. to-do lists are something that almost everyone recommends as a helpful way to stay productive! Organizing your tasks in order of their priority can give you a clear idea of what needs to be done right now and what doesn’t. The same survey also showed that nearly a quarter of the employees polled say that their boss distracts them from doing their work when they are in office. On the other hand, out of those same employees, only 15% complained of distractions when working remotely.
Unplug At The End Of The Day
A big part of successfully working remotely is to have a definitive end to your work. If you work in your home office, this could be as easy as getting up walking out of your office and shutting the door. Telling yourself that once that time hits, you are off of the clock. Just because you don’t have to commute home, doesn’t mean you then have to work longer. More and more you will see companies hitting hard on their employees having a work life balance. If you have a hard time stopping yourself from working at a certain time, sign up for a workout class that happens after work, so you are forced to log off on time in order to make it. Or plan to meet up with a friend during happy hour or pick your kids up from school. Make sure you have that split, so your work brain can be shut off, and you can take the time to be you.
One thing that can make remote work difficult is being separated from your coworkers. There is a fine line between catching up with your coworkers and wasting work time shooting the breeze, but there a few tried and true solutions that you can try out to keep those relationships going! If your company features a chat messaging service, maybe get your team to turn on their cameras during meetings so that you can see facial expressions and body language. Remember Hanlon’s Razor when communicating via text with your coworkers, always assume ignorance over malice. Before jumping to conclusions, take a moment to think about if maybe you read the tone of their message in the wrong way, and if need be, give them a call to talk it out. It is always better to clear the air! Meeting up with your coworkers after work to de-stress from your day can be another way to both unplug from your day and lean on each other, especially through a busy season.
The most important suggestion I have on successfully working remote is to find what works best for you! If you start to feel isolated working from home every day, try scaling it back to three days a week and so on. None of these ideas are the end-all, be-all, but try them out and see if they work for you. If you have other useful tips for remote work, share them with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.