Many employers are in uncharted waters with a majority of their workforce trying to find a new normal of working from home. Working remotely can have some advantages, but it can also bring many challenges - especially in households with children. Now more than ever your employer needs to know you're taking work seriously and being productive. Recently, we took some of Glassdoor's recommendations and added some of our own thoughts for how employees can be successful working remotely:
1. Get Dressed
While working in PJs sounds great, successful remote workers get dressed before beginning their day. When you sit around in PJs with blankets and pillows, it is easy to get lazy and not get anything done because you are too comfy. Video calls will become the norm and your clients and employer don't want to see you in your pajamas.
2. Set a Schedule
While many of us will need to follow an 8 to 5 type of schedule because our work relies on collaborating with others, for those that have flexibility you may want to consider the time of day you tend to be most productive and set your scheduled based on that. If you are a morning person, start your day early. If you are more of a night owl, make plans to work in the evening after everyone else is in bed. Just remember, once you set a schedule, you need to stick with it in order to get your work done. Create a schedule that will allow you to get the most done with as few interruptions as possible. Don’t forget to include appointments, meetings, and allow some time for unexpected interruptions. That way, you won’t become frazzled when the unexpected happens. Make sure that within that schedule is a sleep schedule as well. Adequate amounts of sleep are extremely important to performing at your best for any job or task you take on. Take a look at our article about how Sleep Affects Your Job Performance.
3. Group Your Meetings
If you are required to have meetings with your team, clients, etc., try to schedule everything to take place back-to-back, within the same time block. That way, you don’t have to stop and start what you are doing to go from one meeting to another. You can get them done all at once, and get back to work without having to worry about further interruptions. If you have other appointments, you can schedule them in the same manner so you can get things done faster and be more productive.
4. Create a Dedicated Workspace
When you set up a space that is specifically for your work and nothing else, it is a lot easier to get your work done because you don’t have a lot of distractions. Find a room in your home that is not used for other purposes, and turn that into your office. Of course, you always have the freedom to switch it up once in a while and create a new and different workspace to keep you from becoming bored and easily distracted.
5. Become Proficient with Email
As a remote worker, you are going to be using your email more than ever, so it is time to become an expert at it. First of all, be precise in your wording, as it is easy to take things the wrong way in email communications. Keep all emails documented, and make sure that you take the time to read and answer all of your business emails. Use your email to share everything with your team, from face-to-face conversations to online conversations, and more. Take advantage of this important tool, and set up distribution lists to make sure that the emails you send always get to the right parties.
6. Use the Right Tools
Your workspace should include all of the tools you will need to get your work done. As a remote worker, there are specific tools you are going to need, including a headset, a laptop or other mobile device, video conferencing, meeting tools, a microphone (external and noise-cancelling, not the laptop internal microphone, which is low quality), etc. Not only do you need to use the right tools, you also need to make sure that you know how to use them properly, in order to get the most out of them.
7. Switch Up Your Workplace
Because you work remotely, you are not tied down to any one specific location. You might be surprised at how much more productive you can be if you move to a different location once in a while. Instead of sitting inside, move to your yard, or to a local coffee shop. It is going to help tore-energize you, and you won’t be bored by looking at the same surroundings all the time. Working remotely is about freedom, after all, and as long as you have an Internet connection, you have the freedom to work from just about any wherein the world.