With a remote worker showing higher levels of engagement and better productivity, it should come as no surprise that more companies are enabling employees to work remotely. Advances in technology and employee performance management tools are making it even easier to work from almost anywhere in the world while attaining a better work/life balance.
However, working remotely comes with its own set of responsibilities and advantages. One of the most important is to ensure you remain productive to avoid burnout and the associated ills that working on your own schedule can bring.
Thanks to the freedom of remote jobs, you not only get to choose where you work but also when.
Map out your typical day and include all the regular tasks that need doing, both work and non-work related. Then, try to schedule your work time around when you’re inherently the most creative and your other activities like doing the laundry or taking time for yourself in the natural lulls. There will be days when jobs won’t fit your personal routine, but establishing one will help you work smarter rather than harder.
While life as a remote worker can be a joy, it can also be difficult to switch off from projects when your office is just a few steps away from everyday life. Based on your routine, create a schedule of hours you can be contacted in which you will sit down to attend to tasks or respond to emails. Make your employer or clients aware of these limits, and notify your friends and family as well.
Try to stick to this schedule yourself to avoid working when you need to relax, and vice versa. Clear limits will help you schedule work, know how much you can take on, and, of course, stop you from constantly working.
Working from home doesn’t mean slacking off. If you don’t set and reach goals, you’ll end up losing clients or being called back to the drudgery of office-hour working.
Set realistic deadlines for achieving goals by approaching projects in parts and considering your limits within your routine. Then, communicate those deadlines to your team as well as agreeing to them with your boss. Consistently meet these targets and your coworkers will know you can be relied upon, ensuring your life as a remote worker can continue.
Open, regular communication is critical for keeping on track and staying aware of what is going on within the wider organization. While it isn’t feasible to walk by someone’s desk for a quick catch-up, it is still possible to maintain workplace relationships via other methods such as email, IM, or phone.
Keep communication professional yet friendly and be watchful of opportunities for misinterpretation. Communication across digital channels is more open to misunderstandings.
Working from anywhere means you may find yourself regularly spending hours working from the couch, leading to poor posture, back pain, or just general poor physical health. Remember to take breaks periodically and move away from your computer screen to rest your eyes.
Get into the habit of standing up to take calls, stretching regularly, or stopping for short exercise breaks through your day. Doing so will improve your health and increase your productivity.
It helps to have good tech if you are working remotely. Slow computer speeds or not having enough RAM to run the programs you need will slow you down and cut your productivity drastically.
Tech of all kinds should help you to deliver your best every day and reach goals and deadlines. If you are thinking of upgrading your laptop and it’s still in good condition, you might want to consider selling it online to raise funds for a newer and more powerful option.
To keep you working at your best, it is important to remember to stop to eat and keep yourself hydrated. It can be all too easy to lose hours absorbed in a project only to look up and realize you’ve not eaten or drunk anything for most of the day.
It helps to have a bottle of water close at hand so you can take sips without breaking your pace. It may also help to set reminders or an alarm to let you know when to stop for lunch. Regularly working through lunch, forgetting to eat until the end of your day, or neglecting to take breaks to re-fuel and re-focus, will leave you without the energy needed to produce brilliant work.