More than ever before, businesses are offering their employees the option to work from home or from the office. The flexibility that working remotely offers appeals to many employees. We should recognize that remote work has a significant impact on the work day. It demands not only the ability to work independently, but also to be very organized.
The office provides an optimal setting for completing your tasks and responsibilities. When you choose to work from home, you become entirely responsible for creating a productive work setting. Exchanging the office for the home is a bit like becoming self-employed—you are responsible for your motivation, your efficiency and your work environment. 😉
Just short of a year ago, I decided to work remotely. I learned a lot from this experience and today I would like to share with you a few tips that helped me get on top of my new work reality.
1. Set up a work and availability schedule
In almost all cases, setting up and sticking to a work and availability schedule is a must. Don’t let work spill into your personal life and daily activities.
2. Set up a work space
Set aside a space in your home that will only be used for work and that you can leave at the end of the work day. Ideally, the space should be as free from distractions as possible.
3. Invest in your work environment
Give yourself comfortable office furniture and quality office technology. You may have to upgrade your internet connection and software. Just like a mechanic, you also have the right to quality tools! 😉
4. Establish a morning routine
Human beings are creatures of habit so we might as well work to our benefit by establishing good habits! By getting into the habit of following an established morning routine, you avoid creating bad habits.
5. No pajama days!
Yes, I know. The temptation is strong! Why dress for work when you can pass the day comfortably in your pajamas? The answer is simple: in getting dressed for work, you are mentally preparing yourself to be productive. It’s all about getting into the right state of mind!
6. Video conference whenever possible
When you work remotely it becomes very important to remain in close contact with your colleagues. Even if it’s only for a short chat, you’ll maintain clearer communication when nonverbal communication is included.
7. Use team collaboration apps
There are ever more numerous solutions available to help work teams collaborate remotely. Use a messaging app designed for work, for example, Slack, and track deadlines and task completion using Trello.
8. Stay in contact with your colleagues
Spending an entire day at work alone in your home office can have a negative impact on how you and others perceive your position in the company or your job. It is important to continue to have conversations on various subjects with your colleagues. Recently, our company has started hosting remote informal meetings on Fridays from 5pm to 7pm, as an opportunity for employees to relax together. It might seem like an “out there” idea, but we highly recommend it!
9. Listen to music
Maybe it’s time to invest in a music streaming platform (Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) or purchase noise cancelling headphones? Listening to music helps maintain motivation which then increases your productivity!
10. Don’t forget to take breaks
When we work alone, it is very easy to get in your “zone” only to come out of it much later and realize you forgot to take a break. It is easier to fall into working too hard without an office routine and regularly scheduled breaks. In the long run, you will tire yourself out. Use alarms to remind you to take breaks and your brain will thank you.
If you only take away one piece of advice from this list, make it this: don’t neglect your work environment.
Motivation is maintained by several factors, but if you’re not comfortable or your equipment is inadequate, you will immediately become irritated.
If you feel that your environment is not adequate, you alone are responsible for making the necessary changes.
To conclude, I offer one small bonus piece of advice: since you no longer have to travel to work, use this time to maintain and improve your home work environment. And above all, don’t forget to take full advantage of the benefits offered by working from home! For example, you can finish your work day on Fridays on your deck enjoying the sunshine and warm weather! 🌞