How To Prepare For The Ups & Downs of Remote Working
Remote working has its fair share of ups and downs. Some days it’s awesome — you don’t have to commute, you can drink all the coffee you want, and it’s comfortable as hell. On the flip side, remote working also has its downsides. There are a lot of challenges to overcome when working from home — isolation, pressure to work harder and faster, limited connection with your co-workers… the list goes on. These factors ultimately end up having a drastic impact on your productivity.
But what’s better: the office, or working from home? The answer depends on who you ask.
There is a lot of debate about whether working remotely is better than working from the office. A majority of professionals and employers say that telecommuting can be beneficial, but there are also those who believe that nothing is as good as spending time together in the workplace.
Working remotely isn’t for everyone, but if you’re considering it, you should be prepared for the ups and downs. That being said, if you are looking to get into remote working, prepare yourself for the journey ahead with these tips.
Set ground rules
Unless your home is a distance-working goldmine, don’t expect it to be a utopia of productivity.
Even though you work from home, there’s no guarantee you won’t have to deal with distractions. If you live with other people, you’ll have to learn how to set boundaries, enforce quiet hours and make ground rules. Thus, it’s important to think about how you can make remote working a positive experience for everyone in the long run.
Make a dedicated office space
Home is where the heart is. So if you’re working from home, the space you create to work in should be one that makes you happy and productive. Your home office should be a place where you can put all your attention into creating something spectacular. Whether that place is just the corner of the basement or your spare room, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re comfortable and excited to be there.
Separate work from your life
It can be easy for your work to bleed into your personal life while remote working.
This is because remote working often comes with the expectation that you’ll stay online even after your normal working hours, because of easy access to your workspace. Because of this, you end up intertwining both your personal and private lives. And most times, this leads to a major issue — burnout. It’s not uncommon for many remote workers to become burnt out, especially when they haven’t adopted a good work routine for themselves.
That being said, it’s important to keep your work and personal lives separate while working remotely. A great way to do so is to set an alarm at the end of the day to indicate your normal workday is coming to an end. You don’t necessarily have to stop at exactly that time, but knowing that your workday is over can help you start the process of saving your work and wrapping things up for the night.
Over-communicate at work
We all know that communication is key for success in the workplace, and with remote work, this is amplified tenfold.
While remote working may be convenient for many, the daily face-to-face interactions you had with your coworkers often set the benchmark for communication. Whether it was a quick chat by the water cooler or a full meeting in the conference room, replicating the same feeling or environment online is extremely hard. Hence, it’s important to overcommunicate with your team (and yes, that includes your boss) about the tasks you accomplished and everything you’re about to do next. Rather than only communicating with your manager once per week in an office setting, you need to e-mail, call, or video chat with them daily. This way they’ll always be made aware of what projects you are working on and which ones you’ve completed.
Invest in reliable tools
Remote workers will undoubtedly find their work equipment to be one of their holy grails without which they will be unable to function. In addition to being able to make video calls without losing connection, you should consider what tools and tech you’ll need to succeed at work. Remote workers, for example, invest in a great pair of noise-canceling headphones so that they can work anywhere – regardless of background noise. Others find that using wireless keyboards and mouses, or even a second screen, is integral to their efficiency.
You know that old saying: all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy? It’s true. If you spend every single minute of your work and waking hours connected and working away, at some point, you’re going to break. Make sure to carve out time to do actual things that you enjoy — whether that’s a hobby, or even just spending quality time with friends and family. Incorporate some self-care into your routine and watch the wonders it does to your productivity!