Working From Home to Avoid COVID-19? 15 Tips for Working Remotely
Is your office going remote? Whether you’ve been impacted by COVID-19, the Coronavirus, or you’re finally making the jump to a digital workplace; you’ll want to keep reading.
In this definitive guide to working remotely, we’ll cover pro tips for employers and employees.
Plus, we’ll share a few easy to implement strategies that you’re sure to find helpful, even if you’re a seasoned remote team member. So, whether you’re brand new to telecommuting or you’ve been working from home for years, this is your article!
If you want to know more, don’t stop now. Check out these 15 awesome tips for working remotely, and get ready to go remote.
15 Tips for Working Remotely
No matter what position you hold in your company, these tips can help keep you happy and productive while working from home.
If you’re an employer, consider passing some of this wisdom on to your staff. We promise they’ll thank you for it later. And if your an employee, consider using this guide like a checklist. That way, you’ll be 100% prepared to make the switch to a digital workplace.
1. Make Space
If you’re about to start telecommuting, don’t plan to spread out on the couch. Instead, dedicate a quiet and well-lit space where you’ll be working.
This will help you make a comfortable transition to working from home, boost your productivity, and offer better ergonomics. So, even if it feels like a lot of work, it’ll be worth it in the long run.
2. Get Organized
If you’re used to keeping a messy workspace, take this opportunity to clean up your act!
A cluttered environment can drain your productivity and waste time. Before you start arguing in favor of controlled chaos, consider how many times you’ve had to go searching for an important piece of paperwork on your cluttered desk.
This tip doesn’t just apply to your physical surroundings. If your computer’s desktop or external storage is a mess, your work will suffer.
3. Start Your Day Right
You’ve heard a thousand times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But how often do you take the time to eat before work?
Starting your day with a healthy meal will help you focus on work and reduce the temptation to snack later on.
Other healthy habits that will help you feel great during your workday include minimizing caffeine intake, changing out of pajamas and into “work clothes,” and beginning your morning routine with a few minutes of mindful practice like yoga or meditation.
These healthy tips will help you clear out the morning cobwebs and keep your mind clear while you work.
4. Set Office Hours
If you’re wondering how to work from home successfully, don’t skip this tip!
Setting office hours will help you stay on task, make sure you are being paid accurately for your time, and encourage a healthy work-life balance. This is the number one way you can avoid burnout, especially if you’re brand new to telecommuting.
If you’re part of a work from home sales or marketing team, you might not be able to keep traditional nine to five office hours. And, if you have kids at home, you’ll probably work with their schedules, too.
Be sure to keep your business and personal needs in mind when you decide on office hours. And, don’t be afraid to tweak them a bit if you notice any issues. It might take you a few weeks to find your rhythm.
5. Structure Your Time
Wondering how to be productive as a home office employee? Planning your day out will make a big difference. Try to schedule your time by the hour, so you can limit how much of your day each task takes up.
Use a paper day planner, Google Calendar, old fashioned whiteboard, or any other tool you feel comfortable with to map out your time. Don’t forget to include solid start and stop times, plus a few breaks.
Schedule phone calls for the afternoon to save time. That way, if an important conference with clients or coworkers runs late, you won’t be scrambling to make the time up later in your day.
6. Minimize Distractions
If you’re new to working from home, it’s easy to let everyday distractions like kids, pets, and even the television get in the way of productivity. But, with a bit of planning, you can cut out the background noise and get focused.
Start by removing obvious distractions, yes, even your fur baby, from the area that you’ve set aside to work in. Then, focus on structuring your time around the times when you’ll find it easiest to work. This is especially helpful if you have a family at home.
7. Limit Social Media
While it’s true that marketing on platforms like Facebook can boost your business, you shouldn’t spend all day on social media. This type of internet browsing is distracting and can rob you of precious time during your office hours.
If you find the temptation hard to resist, consider downloading an extension for your internet browser that blocks social media. Or, set yourself a specific time to catch up after your workday is done.
8. Take a Break
Schedule breaks from the computer screen throughout your day. This will help fight fatigue, protect your eyesight, and help you stay focused for longer.
One of the easiest ways to stay on schedule is to use a timer. Once an hour, give your eyes a five-minute break. This is an excellent opportunity to stand up, stretch, and get your blood flowing.
Don’t get in the habit of eating at your desk.
This can lead to constant snacking and other unhealthy behavior. Instead, leave your office and prepare a meal in your kitchen. Then, sit down and enjoy it without the distraction of phones or screens.
9. Healthy Habits
Working from home makes it easy to slack off when it comes to your health. Don’t fall into the trap!
Make sure your desk is comfortable enough to work at for extended periods. And, if possible, try working from a few other positions, too. Some home office workers prefer sitting on an exercise ball or using a standing desk to improve their posture.
Keep track of what you’re eating. If you are used to dining out during your lunch break, do a bit of meal prep at the start of your week to save time. If you usually pack a lunch for your day, keep the habit going even if you don’t plan to leave home.
If your daily commute used to include exercise, like walking or cycling, you’ll need to set time aside to stay active. Starting your morning with yoga, and stretching throughout the day will help. But, you’ve got to burn some calories, too!
10. Expect an Adjustment Period
It’s going to take you a while to get used to working from home. Be patient with yourself.
You may need to try out a few different strategies to optimize your performance. That is totally normal. Just be sure to communicate with the rest of your team while you’re adapting!
If you’re struggling to stay focused, try keeping a journal of when you feel the most motivated. Your office hours, exercise routine, or diet might be to blame.
11. Trust Your Team
If you’re an employer, now is the time to put a little faith in your people. While going remote is a big shift, you’ve invested in your team and trained them well. They can handle it!
Employees might feel nervous about working from home. That’s why we wrote this guide!
If you have some questions about your new role, don’t be embarrassed. Talk with your team and get the support that you need.
If some of your colleagues have a lot of experience working remotely, reach out to them directly. They probably have tons of excellent advice that they’d be happy to share.
12. Utilize Technology
If you’re used to communicating with your team in person, switching to a digital workplace can lead to breakdowns in communication.
Stop this problem before it starts by using software to keep everybody connected. Some top picks for communication include Slack and Zoom. And, if you need to oversee a lot of tasks, opt for a project management platform like Trello.
You can also share files and collaborate easily with your coworkers by using shared cloud storage like Google Drive or Dropbox.
13. Daily Updates
If you or some of your team members are new to working from home, it’ll take some extra effort to keep everybody in the loop. Don’t go silent.
Sending out a daily update is a great way to keep everybody on the same page. And, it can help fight feelings of isolation for employees who are more used to a social workplace.
If time permits, consider sending a morning update outlining goals for the day. Then, follow up with a progress report at the end of your office hours.
This kind of daily communication is key to maintaining a happy and motivated team and ensuring steady productivity.
14. Celebrate Your Wins
It’s easy to feel separated from your team while working remotely. This can allow business victories to go uncelebrated and even lower morale in the long run.
If you noticed a coworker doing a great job, be sure to let them know! Got an awesome online review? Don’t forget to praise your team and spend a bit of time focusing on a winning strategy to keep that momentum going.
If you don’t see your colleagues every day, it’s especially important to have a system in place that tracks everybody’s progress and performance. That way, you know when it’s time to reward your team.
15. Mix and Mingle
Don’t forget to set time aside for human interaction.
Some digital workplaces host online events for their teams like happy hours, socials, and gaming get-togethers. This can help social employees feel engaged, and give more reserved staff members a chance to engage from a distance.
Leave your house!
Even if it’s just to sit on your patio and call a friend, make sure you are spending some time interacting with people outside your home every day. This is part of keeping a healthy balance between work and life. Plus, it will help you feel energized if you’re putting in long hours on the computer.
You’re Ready to Go Remote
Now that you’ve taken in these tips for working remotely, you’re ready to take the plunge.
Remember that it’s normal to spend a few days adjusting to your new workspace and routine. And, if you start feeling nervous or stressed, try to focus on your purpose as a part of your team.
When in doubt, talk about your concerns with your boss or a coworker. Communication is the key to a smooth transition!
For more advice and inspiration, check out our blog. We write about marketing, SEO, PPC, social media, graphic design, business development, sales, and more.
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