Essential Tips for Working Remotely
Working remotely means the employee is remotely located and is working outside the traditional office environment. The employee may be working from home, library, coffee shop or while commuting etc. Remote work is no longer an add-on to the conventional business practices. It is a powerful tool for companies and individuals; evolving the way we work.
The present situation of the world forced people to rapidly switch to remote working without any training or experience. Here are some tips to help you efficiently work remotely:
Set up your work space
Work at your kitchen countertop, from the comfort of your couch/recliner in the living room, in your study/library, coffee shop, co-working space or any place at all. It is necessary that you make it your designated work space and place the work things neatly near your computer/laptop like notepad, pen, headphones, mouse, usb etc or anything that you can possibly need during your work hours. Setting up your work space sets the things in order and makes you feel comfortable and ready for the work.
Create a starting routine
Start with a cup of coffee or a glass of water, go into your workspace, switch on your laptop/desktop/tablet, go through your todo list and start your work or simply create your own unique starting routine that can prepare you for the work. A starting routine is essential for setting the rhythm and pace of the work.
Maintain a consistent schedule
In order to achieve your objectives for the day and be proactive you need to structure and maintain a consistent schedule. Set the starting and ending times for the work hours. Whether you work in the middle of the night, early hours of the day or in the afternoon; create a properly planned schedule of the work hours for the day and assign time slots for the different segments of the work process. This will help you get a lot done in a timely manner.
Set ground rules with the people in your space
To avoid interruptions and chaos you need to set ground rules for the people around you.
Make rules like:
- No one will go in the living room when I am working.
- No one will go in the kitchen or make noise for these three hours because I will be on a conference call.
- Don’t talk to me or approach me for the next two hours as I need to concentrate on the work.
Setting up these kinds of rules will help you concentrate on your work and perform better and certainly prevent mishaps and embarrassing situations.
Take scheduled breaks
Breaks are very important for maintaining and improving productivity. Take scheduled breaks to conserve your energy, refresh and improve focus. Taking breaks is not a waste of time actually it ensures proper use of time; as you focus and function better when you’ve refilled your energy by eating or you’re rested (mentally and physically).
Clear, concise and effective communication is the key to successfully work remotely. It can actually be the root of all problems too.
Miscommunication can easily and frequently happen while working remotely. Specially written instructions may lack proper expression or intention and easily misguide the reader. Conversation in voice calls too can be rushed and difficult to understand.
But as Tom Peters said, “Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.”
Proper communication can remedy almost all of the situations. Carefully and clearly communicate with your boss, team or client and over communicate when you feel your message has not been effectively received and/or understood. Email, message or call more often, check and recheck to make sure the objective has been understood completely.
Plan ahead for the next step of the work process. Schedule the work hours according to your availability and ease.
Planning ahead will save you from procrastinating, burnout due to workload and will keep you on track and ahead of your schedule.
Pick a definitive finishing time each day
Working remotely means you can be accessible online at almost all the times but it doesn’t mean you burn the candle at both the ends. Whether you work online or offline; pick a definitive finishing time and wind-up your work day by that time. This will prevent burnout, will set proper working hours for you and the people involved and keep you focused during work hours.