Home : Tips for the Remote Worker – Jaz Zepatos – Medium
It’s no surprise that remote work is a growing trend with recent studies pointing to increased efficiency and an all around boost of that warm, fuzzy feeling in remote worker bees. After all, happy employees are productive and long-lasting employees. Working from home, or wherever you choose, is undoubtedly packed with perks; take a meeting with your dog by your side, save on commuting costs, and pass on water cooler chat with Jared…As good as this sounds, remote work is not without its challenges. A few common pitfalls include overworking, being drawn to distraction, and just plain feeling lonely. Let’s dive in to a few best practices to help ensure the home office stays sweet!
- Create a focused work space
There is no wrong way to find focus; the key is figuring out what works best for you. Some argue that a messy room is a messy mind, while thriving in a quiet and clutter-free work space. Others find themselves most creatively productive while knee-deep in vision boards and Spotify playlists. No matter your personal productivity style, it is important your brain knows it’s time to get down to business. Home is where we go to unwind, so you’ll want to create a space that triggers a “This is my office!” response instead of a “Let’s binge watch The Office!” response.
2. Find a routine
Having a morning routine lets our body know it’s go time. Studies have shown that waking up and getting dressed for work, even if that work is from home, can enhance focus and productivity. So instead of opening your laptop before you’ve even brushed your teeth, use the time you’ve saved on a morning commute to ditch your pjs, maybe get in a work out, and make a solid breakfast. At very least, take advantage of the fact that you make a way better latte than the vending machine in the break room.
3. Delete distraction
We live in an age of distraction. Whether it’s food or Facebook, temptation lurks around every corner. Don’t get me started on how many times I’ve checked my own Instagram since I began writing this (…sentence). Try setting a goal for how long you want to work without disturbances, then set a timer on your phone. Maybe start with 30 minutes to an hour. Once the alarm goes off, feel free to grab a snack or check your newsfeed. Until then, commit to working on through! Your mind is a muscle that needs just as much of a work out as any other. Practice in sustaining focus should make continuous work flow easier and easier.
4. Take a break
A great way to avoid burnout is to take breaks, and not just a quick social media scroll as mentioned above. Give yourself some time away from the screen to stretch your legs and take some strain off those peepers. If it’s a sunny day, take a walk. If it’s raining, and you’re into that sort of thing, go dance in it. Just be sure that a little breathing room is scheduled into your day, which leads us to our next tip!
5. Set a schedule
This is a BIG one! When your home becomes your office it can be easy to feel as if you’re always on the clock. The fact that you are able to get work done at any time does not mean you should. That constant nagging feeling to check e-mails can be a real bummer, leading to unnecessary stress and overwork. Set your work schedule for the week and stick to it! When it’s time to work, make that the priority. When it’s time to clock out and unplug, allow yourself to do that. Create a firm schedule so your home can continue to feel like your cozy sanctuary in the off hours.
6. Establish boundaries
As much as we love our partners, our children, and our super fun roommates, it’s helpful to establish boundaries. Just as it’s imperative for you to honor your work schedule, it should be just as much of a priority for them to respect it. Make it known that your work at home is as important as it would be at your office. Your boyfriend wouldn’t be killing zombies at full volume in your cubicle….we hope.
7. Stay connected
It’s natural to miss the camaraderie of your fellow coworkers sometimes, even Jared. Remote work can certainly become a bit isolating. That’s why it’s so important to keep your team connected! Programs like HipChat, Slack, and Sqwiggle are used by many companies, in office and remotely as well, to ensure that team members are on the same page. Having a little face time with your team helps to boost connectivity and productivity. Remote companies such as Buffer plan company retreats every year at locations around the globe to give employees a chance to work and bond in the same time zone! Not a bad idea for keeping your team tight and making sure you feel part of a community.
8. Enjoy the perks
Chances are, if you’re working remotely, it’s because you’ve worked hard to get here! Stop to smell the roses once in a while. You’re in a unique position to create your work environment and sometimes your own hours. Take pride in your work. Make the happiest and healthiest choices for you. Use your 30 minute break to get outside with your pet, cut food delivery costs by enjoying some home-cooked meals, or turn casual Friday into Pants-Optional Friday. Whatever is going to keep you feeling motivated and accomplished in your work should be a priority, pants or otherwise.