10 Crucial Tips And Tricks For Working Remotely
Working remotely almost sounds like a dream come true for so many of us. Working in your PJs, no office politics, taking an afternoon break for a yoga class, or even working on vacation. Perfect, right?
The truth is that remote work is pretty perfect, but it’s not necessarily as easy breezy as outsiders sometimes think. The lines between home and office are pretty thin. In fact, since you usually don’t have a boss looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re working, remote work can actually be more challenging to get right than a typical desk job.
It’s easy to get unproductive. And there can be a major learning curve when it comes to taking meetings remotely and communicating with coworkers.
There are things you need to learn to successfully work remotely. All it takes is some planning ahead and a little tweaking till you figure out how it works best for you.
Below are few tips and tricks for working remotely and absolutely loving it:
Figure out a schedule that works best for you
One of the best things about working remotely is that there is no need to punch a time clock at a particular time each morning. Are you a night owl and get most of your work done post dinner? Go for it! Or maybe you prefer to wake up early and jump start your day by 7Am. That's okay, too!
You can usually set your schedule in a way that works for you and your most productive times. There are some commitments such as meetings you need to attend at times that work for the whole team and jobs where you’ll need to have more of a set schedule like incase of customer support. Other than that, you're good to go.
Take regular breaks
It is important to schedule regular breaks where you get up from your desk and move around. It can be small trips to grab coffee, taking short walks or moving from one spot to another. When you don't have coworkers around, it can be easy to stay at your desk way longer than it is healthy.
Group meetings and appointments
Want to get longer stretches of uninterrupted time outside meetings to get your work done? Schedule a bunch of meetings together with only short breaks in between.
Give it a thought- if you take an hour break between meetings, you don't really have a solid hour to do work. You'll want to take a bathroom break, maybe stretch, refill your coffee or grab a snack and what looked like an hour’s break is over. Instead, scheduling meetings back to back makes you break up those between meetings tasks, leaving you with more uninterrupted time when your meetings are done.
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Plan your week ahead of time
Blocking out time on your calendar for actual work you need to get done will help prevent clients from scheduling all your available time with meetings. A great way to stay on top of your work is to look at your to-do list at the beginning of the week and planning how to align all the work that needs to be done keeping in mind uninterrupted blocks of time for work, personal and social obligations. By practicing just this, can make your week way less stressful.
Don’t work in your pajamas
It can be so tempting to stay in your PJs all day long when you don't have to step out of home. But to boost your productivity it is extremely important that you start your work day the way you would if you were to commute to the office.
Your brain gets a signal that says it is time to work, and not relax. Now, it doesn't mean you need to put on an outfit you’d wear to the office. The point is to just wear something that you wouldn't wear to bed.
Invest in a dedicated work space
Figure out a space where you can put a dedicated desk that isn't used for anything like a dining table or a kitchen slab. Working at your kitchen or dining room table can seem logical but that means any time you want to use your table for other things, you have to clean up and put away all your work.
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A change of scenery can do wonders in terms of productivity
Instead of just working from your desk everyday, you can consider switching up where you work. That doesn't mean you should use spaces where you will have to pick up all your work if you or someone at home wants to use that space (eg., dining table). Consider sitting on your porch, terrace or balcony instead of sitting at your desk can give you a whole new energy about what you’re doing.
Tip- resist the urge to work in bed. It's okay if you're unwell or if it's too late at night. Working from bed almost never results in being more productive.
Plan social interaction into your days
It's so easy to slip into becoming a hermit when you don't have to leave the house. Anything that gets you around people (even if it is virtually) on a regular basis is a good idea when you're working remotely. Example- A mid-day yoga class, catch up video call with a friend, coffee or lunch with family and friends, etc.
Find your productivity playlist
Some music may not be as conducive to working as others. Sometimes working in a completely silent space can make you feel super isolated. It can be anything like, nature sound, pop music, soundtracks without lyrics, white noise, etc.
Engage with your colleagues and embrace video calls
If you work with a team, team engagement on a daily basis will take you a long way. You can hold team meetings through video calls. Make sure you have headphones handy. You can also engage in team building games with your team members that will not only engage everyone but will also help you build new bonds.