More and more companies, especially IT ones, are allowing their employees to work remotely. Working from the comfort of your home or a coffee shop, whether daily or infrequently, can provide a lot of flexibility. But it also requires a different mindset and self-discipline. So we reached out to our remote employees, including some of our trainers, for their advice on how to work remotely and conquer!
- Set a routine. You might not be heading into the office, but treat each day like you are. Shower, get dressed, make a cup of coffee, check your email, etc. Doing this will help you approach each day with the same mindset you’d have if you were at the office, and can help you stay focused throughout the day.
- Don’t sacrifice comfort. There’s a good chance that if you’re working from home, your workspace isn’t as large or open as it would be in an office. So be sure to dress comfortably. A dress shirt and tie in a tight space could get uncomfortable, and probably isn’t necessary. But a shirt and pants are always good idea in case you get called into a last-minute video chat.
- Be properly equipped. This one is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: Make SURE that you have all the equipment and services you need to be successful, from your desk to your internet connection. Not only is this critical for you being able to do your work, but also for communicating with supervisors and co-workers remotely.
- Keep your workspace neat. Trainer Chris Ward said that while it’s important to be comfortable, it’s also crucial to keep your workspace clean and organized. You don’t want waste time searching for stuff or dealing with messes. If you have packrat tendencies like Chris does, he suggests creating a filing system, or regularly shredding unneeded materials.
- Create a dedicated workspace. If possible, turn extra space in your house or apartment into an office. Trainer Brian Alderman said that a room with a door is ideal because you can “treat it like you are going into the company office by closing the door, and then leaving the office at end of day by opening the door.” Which leads to the next tip…
- Notify family and friends. “If you have family, they have to be ready to honor your schedule, no matter how crazy it might be from day to day.” That’s trainer Anthony Sequeira’s advice. It might sound harsh, but you’d be surprised how even quick conversations can hamper your productivity.
- Listen to tunes. Music can help you block out distractions and keep you energized throughout the day, whether you prefer heavy metal or classical music. Another benefit of listening to music is that it can get you in a groove and keep you focused on the task at hand. And you can turn it off whenever you want!
- Set goals. As important as it is to maintain your productivity, you also need to know when to call it a day. Determine what you want to accomplish each day, complete those tasks, and then end your workday. It’s tempting to stay in the zone and keep going, but it’s not good for work-life balance. Give yourself a break.
- Communicate effectively, and often. Working outside of the office means you aren’t just a desk away from your boss or coworkers. To stay on the same page with the rest of your team, you need to be in touch often, whether it’s through email or video chat. This will you stay connected and feel like a part of the team.
- Eliminate distractions. Arguably the hardest thing about working remotely is that there can be a lot of distractions, especially when working from home (family members, pets, etc.). Here’s more advice from Chris: “When working on something important, turn off the notifications from social media, email, etc. They can be distractors that will pull you away.”
If you work remotely, what are your tips?