Are you among the few people privileged to work remotely?
If so, and to help you reap the maximum benefits of this new work order, read on for the six best tips you ought to practice while working remotely.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, most people have had to work remotely from home and have stuck with this practice ever since.
Credit/Pexels Ivan Samkov
According to the Pew Research Center, roughly 35% of Americans are now working from home. This is slightly less than the 55% all-high figure of October 2020 at the peak of COVID-19.
While working remotely exploded in the few months after the outbreak, some people went back to the office thereafter.
However, for some, there seemed to have been no relenting after realizing the benefits and freedom that remote work brought.
Take my story, for example…
In 2022, I unexpectedly got laid off at age 56. I had no plans for the immediate future and, sadly, no prospects for any more gainful employment.
In my frantic effort to look for ways to survive, working remotely never featured in those plans. Typical of Gen X, where I belong, I had my mind fixed on traditional business.
I’m sure you are thinking…
What did I do next?
It was after many false starts, including a liquor business that failed miserably, that I started exploring remote work and found it to be a different ballgame altogether.
Over several months, I’ve discovered that to succeed in remote work, you’ll need to have in place some checks and balances.
This article delves into them. Stay with me.
Best Practices for Remote Work
1. Establish a Proper, Designated Work Environment
As you embark on your remote work, it is essential to have an environment that allows for efficiency and maximum output.
Similarly, just as a worker in a traditional workspace needs an enabling environment to work, you equally should have a place you are comfortable and proud to work in.
Ensure to have:
- A comfortable chair for good ergonomics. Remember, you’ll spend much of your time seated. Plus, you can have a standing work desk and alternate using the two
- Essential office supplies like pens, notepads, e.t.c. are readily available
- Minimum noise in your workspace. If you share the house with other family members, let them know their place and limits and give you the privacy you need
Courtesy of Barion McQueen
2. Set Clear Communication Expectations
When working from home for either a company or client, have a strategy to communicate with them.
You should spell out the timing and mode of communication to aMcQueenvoid confusion and misinformation. Your availability schedule ought to be transparent for a seamless workflow.
Be it email, messages, or phone calls, make your preference for communication known and open.
If you need additional support or resources, let them know promptly.
Likewise, provide regular project and work updates for progress markups.
3. Manage Your Time Effectively
Whether you are working from your couch, bedroom, patio, or even your garden, managing your time efficiently is paramount.
For instance, when on your couch with your laptop open, avoid the temptation of switching on the TV, as it will distract you.
Eliminate all other distractions, including spending too much time on social media.
At length, have a routine that sets work and personal time boundaries.
Use these other tips for effective time management:
- Calendars, alerts, and time trackers to help you stay organized
- Take intervals to avoid burnout, and recharge to maintain overall discipline. Try the Pomodoro technique, which advocates for brief breaks throughout your work schedule
- Have a regular schedule to help inculcate discipline. Do you wake up at the same time and have a regular sleep pattern? It is good health-wise
4. Dress Up to Work Remotely
Silly as it may sound, it is important to dress up, working remotely notwithstanding.
Working in your PJs may be fun, but, in all truth, it does not set you up for a positive working vibe.
Try sprucing when you wake up. Take a shower, dress reasonably, brush your teeth, and have a healthy breakfast. It will surprise you how rejuvenated you’ll feel to face your day and affect your productivity.
5. Strike a Work-Life Balance of Remote Work
Remember the slogan: ‘All work makes Jack a dull boy because of no play’
Let this not be you.
As much as you need to work, your body needs a break and reasonable exercise. Walk around your neighborhood for fresh air and good blood circulation. If you are a dog lover, take it along for a walk.
Just as important, prioritize your mental health as well. Yoga and aerobics will do you a lot of good.
When working remotely, avoid the temptation of going to the kitchen during your breaks. Otherwise, you’ll binge negatively, affecting your health. Always maintain good eating habits.
While at it, have within reach lots of water to dehydrate yourself throughout the day.
6. Measure Productivity Realistically
When adjusting to remote work, set clear key performance metrics to understand whether you are meeting your desired targets.
Similarly, strive to have clear goals and marked deadlines. Track your work by using productivity tools. These range from time tracking to productivity management and will be excellent assets in your remote work.
Whether working either for someone else or on your own projects, the emphasis should be on results to combat trust issues.
In summary, working remotely is a marvel that’s here to stay, with hybrid models expected to rule the workplace.
Millennials and Gen Z are gravitating towards working remotely and want to hear nothing of getting tied down to 9-5 schedules.
Don’t you wish you could join the fray and work remotely from home, the beach, the local café, or wherever you please?
By focusing on the fundamentals – setting up a dedicated workstation properly, communicating, managing your time well, and outcome-oriented productivity tracking—you can pave the path to satisfaction and success as a remote worker.
With the right discipline and tools, you can enjoy both flexibility and productivity. This will set you up for remote success.
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