I have worked remotely with several of our customers and I have a few tips for those finding their new remote working situation difficult. It comes in waves and I’ve heard from many people that they are exhausted of working remotely after 8+ months. In time, you may start to enjoy your new remote status again or at least learn how to make it work for you while you have no choice. Working remotely seems for me, to be a better way to do my work. There are some things I’ve found help me be successful and made a difference in my work from home situation:
I still get up early and shower and put on work clothes. Just rolling out of bed and putting on sweats did not make me feel ready for work. Getting ready helps me prepare for my day. Even if you won’t see anyone in person, it’s a great habit to help set you up for success. It is also very nice not to have to spend hours on the road to get to your workplace especially on those snowy winter days.
Have a workspace
Make sure to have a set workspace. It might be time to invest in a desk and chair to use only for work. Using your couch or your bed might not be the best choice of workplaces during your workday. Look on the bright side, having use of your own kitchen for beverages and meals is convenient and having your own bathroom is nice as well. You will need an area to work that you can concentrate on your work and be in meetings without distractions. Invest in a comfortable office chair – it makes a difference.
Use time wisely
Overall, I think working remotely has opened my eyes to how much time there is in a day. Adjusting to the options that you have when you work from home is something that over time you will make work for you. I feel that I am actually happier and more productive working remotely now. The old 9-5 work hours have become more flexible for people. You are sometimes able to work when it works best for you and your team. You will still need to be available for meetings, core hours and things depending on your job but there should be a few minutes in there to plan a walk outdoors, keep an eye on your slow cooker, or change a load of laundry.
Master communication tools
You may have put off getting to know your communication tools because you thought you would be going back to work in person soon. Well, it might be a little bit before you return to the office. Take the time to master your tools:
- Login and use your company communication tool like Slack and spend time on non-work-related communication to continue building relationships.
- Working remotely is different than being able to talk to team members in person. I found turning on your camera for a video chat on Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom, or any video conference really helps by seeing people’s facial expressions and smiles. You can use email too but seeing and hearing people seems so much better than typing questions and just replying to things. We are humans after all and need to socialize.
- Get to love your product tracking tool such as JIRA to organize and keep track of the work needed to be done. Being able to smoothly communicate things to a team on all of the work going on and moving it through the process correctly is very important to the success of the product and project.
I feel that after I mastered the remote work experience and I am actually more happy, comfortable and productive working remotely and I hope you can use these tips to feel that way too. Remote work might be the future of work. We have been forced to try it and it might reveal if it works best for certain people and companies. Do you have any working from home tips? We would love to hear how remote work is going for you.