Remote work can be challenging. In spite of the freedom of working away from a dedicated workspace, you have to find the motivation to get your work done and fulfill your duties. If you can do it successfully, remote working can be an ideal arrangement for workers seeking flexibility in location.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for succeeding at a remote job.
1. Communication is Everything
No matter what type of remote job you have, communication is very important. Any communication tool you use — such as email, phone, video calls, or chat — can help you sync up with co-workers and managers. Use these tools often, and use them well.
2. Manage Expectations
Having regular discussions with co-workers about what you will accomplish, and when, helps define clear expectations. This sets the tone for strong working relationships and helps remote teams get plenty of work done together in different locations. You can always ask for clarification if needed, and requesting feedback after successfully completing a project is a good idea.
3. Have Office Hours
By setting aside specific work hours you set expectations for both team members and yourself. Once you know what your hours are you don’t have to wonder about when you will get things done. It becomes a lot easier to plan out your day and week in some type of day planner or calendar software.
4. Dress for Success
For some people, wearing work clothes during office hours helps their brain get into work mode. Wearing pyjamas or casual clothing may be more comfortable, but can make it more difficult to get into the right mental space to be productive.
5. Structure Your Work Day
Structuring the work day and doing some things in ‘bulk’ can be a more efficient way to work, as it reduces task switching costs. Remote workers should schedule tasks in a way that takes advantage of energy levels throughout the day.
6. Have Office Space
Setting aside a dedicated space for work is a good idea. This may be a separate office room, or it could be a corner of an existing room. It’s generally best to avoid using a kitchen table for work, as this is a hub in the home that provides many distractions.
7. Use Task Management Tools
Keeping track of projects and tasks is critical to a well-functioning remote team. Task management tools provide clarity about what is getting done.
8. Take Regular Breaks
Taking frequent brain breaks can help boost productivity, and is highly recommended. Do this at whatever interval makes sense — perhaps one or two minutes for every half hour of work, or a five-minute break after 45 minutes of progress.
Are You Ready for Remote Work?
These are just a few tips for succeeding as a remote worker. As long as remote employees take the time to communicate properly, set expectations, and manage their workload, they can be just as successful as people who work on-site.