By Danielle Jackola
Remote work has become increasingly popular, and while many companies utilized it as a temporary solution during the pandemic, others have realized the endless benefits of maintaining a remote workforce. Working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing work from your home; it represents the freedom to work from a variety of locations, including on the road while you travel, from a coffee shop or somewhere that inspires you.
Whether you are considering remote work or need some strategies for keeping sane while working remotely, here are some tried and true work-from-home tips to set you up for success.
The Power of Routine
Creating and maintaining a routine will help you work efficiently and effectively. If starting your day without a cup of coffee in hand sounds like torture, set a timer on your coffee maker, so it’s ready to go. Consider the steps you need to be prepared and focused as an employee. This includes choosing a bedtime and wake-up time that supports your schedule and sleep requirements. Allow extra time for things like feeding pets, getting kids off to school or checking personal emails.
Allowing yourself adequate time to complete and shift from one task to another before you sit down for work will let you start your workday energized, focused and ready to thrive in your role. Think about the time you saved by not commuting to an office and use it to your advantage.
Maintain your Rituals
Daily rituals are an effective tool for creating balance in your personal and professional life, but they also allow you to transition in and out of work smoothly. When you wrap up your workday, tidy your workspace, shut everything down and if you’re able to, separate from your job so you can shift your energy to your personal life. Taking a walk after work to get fresh air and exercise is the perfect way to use the adjustment time to your advantage. If you live with others, define roles in your house so everyone knows what to expect and how they can contribute to fostering a low-stress environment.
Dress for Success
While the idea of working from bed in pajamas is tempting, consider the impact on your sleep cycle and your body’s ability to recognize the signals that it’s time for rest. Your bed should be a sacred space for rest. When you start your day, select attire that aligns with your job and projects confidence. As a professional, leggings and the college sweatshirt you have quite literally worn to pieces aren’t the best options. You shouldn’t be looking for places to hide when a last-minute video conference pops up. If you’re not comfortable on-screen, you need to reconsider your attire.
Dedicate a Workspace
Design a space that allows you to be organized and productive. Even with space limitations, you can choose a spot that fosters both creativity and concentration and supports you in bringing your A-game every day. Give yourself the gift of a dedicated workspace that will enable you to focus on work.
Connectivity is Crucial
Test your internet and cell phone connections throughout your home. It’s critical to perform your job as well remotely as you would in-house at your company. If your signals are weak, find ways to improve them, like asking your cell provider for a signal booster or increasing the speed of your internet service.
Consider the type of work you do and what you need to perform your position effectively. Do you need a second computer screen, specialized software, do you maintain paper files, or do you need a dedicated printer? Your role will help you determine the tools you need to be successful. Ask your employer if they provide these tools or if they are the responsibility of their employees.
Maintain contact with your colleagues and communicate your preferences for communication throughout the day. Do you prefer to receive texts, emails or a phone call when something urgent arises? Does your team utilize weekly or even daily meetings to keep everyone connected and up-to-speed?
The secret to maintaining sanity while working remotely? Schedule time for lunch and mini breaks, so you give your brain a break. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to crush your goals for the day.
Reflect and Adjust
Periodically consider what is and isn’t working in your remote work environment. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge if something isn’t serving you and then determine the steps you can take to adjust your situation. By allowing yourself the ability to be flexible, you can make changes along the way that keep you thriving as a remote employee.