Whether you are new to the at home setup, or a long time pro, we could all use some guidance for creating a better and more effective environment when working from home. So with that in mind, here are our 5 essential tips for working remotely – A guide for beginners and pros alike!
Tips for Working Remotely
Set a Routine
Working from home means creating your own boundaries, and sticking to them! Pick a start and stop time to regulate your day, preferably similar to what you are used to when working from your office.
When you get up, keep your morning routine of getting ready, such as taking a shower, making coffee etc. How you start your morning makes so much difference to your day. Getting up and not doing much for a while can leave you feeling unmotivated. On the other hand, rolling out of bed and opening your computer, while it might feel productive at first, can make it hard long after a few days or weeks to feel boundaries between your personal time and work time.
Similarly, give yourself a “set” lunch time, as well as a couple breaks in the day. Working straight through the day is ok once and a while, but you will thank yourself for getting some down time.
If you can create an “end of workday” routine, such as taking the dog for a walk. Equally as important as how you start your day, is how you end it. Whatever you can do that gives your brain and body a clear signal that, “the workday is over”, will help tremendously. And yes, this means that once the laptop is closed for the night, you keep it closed!
Try to appreciate the benefits that do come with remote work. You’re not commuting. You’re able to make your own lunch and save money doing so. You have more control over your schedule and more time with family. Focus on whatever positives you can find.
Create a Workspace
No matter what your home layout is, setting some type of dedicated workspace if possible is very helpful for creating and maintaining work boundaries. Whatever space you decide on, try and clear it of distractions, and make it a place you can just work. I personally recommend keeping the TV off as much as possible. If you wouldn’t have it on at work, it will only act as distraction at home. Anything you can do to train your brain that “this is where we go to work” will help with transitions and set your mindset for work.
Make sure you have solid Internet connections
Can you work without the internet? Because I certainly can’t do my job without it! Robust internet access is critical to being able to run all the programs and tasks you want, such as video conferencing.
If you don’t have any options right now to increase a low bandwidth, then be mindful of how many programs you have running at a time, as the more you run, the slower they will all go.
Similarly, if you are sharing a connection with family, roommates or partners, you may need to have a discussion about allocating internet time. Especially for those of you with kids who will want to be sucking up bandwidth 24/7, setting aside some rules for connection usage can be critical.
Set up Digital Social Engagements
Wherever you fall on the Introvert/Extrovert spectrum, social engagements are important to maintain balance and mental health. Schedule extra video chats with your colleagues, engage in your team’s group chat (set one up if you don’t have one yet!)
Embrace the webcam.
That’s right! Think of it as a reason to shower and comb your hair in the morning. Sitting on conference calls all day can be mentally draining, but even more so when you can’t see anyone. There are time delays, not knowing who’s talking because you can’t see the person, people getting interrupted on accident, etc.
Webcams can solve a number of these issues: the sense of isolation and that confusion behind. Being able to see who you are talking to helps you get body language cues or other non-verbal items, that make a huge difference to communication and feeling connected.
Finally, if you are struggling with the distance between yourself and others, make an effort to over communicate. While it might seem awkward to some, making that extra effort can really help to bridge the gap.
-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team
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