Workplaces were already trending towards more flexible, remote work. But COVID-19 has pushed millions into 100% remote work environments before they were ready—often with other family members at home and with conditions that aren’t ideal for remote work success.
It’s not too late to change your ways and optimize your home workspace! Many are now realizing that remote work could be a longer term part of their routine.
How can you set up your home workspace for maximum productivity and even enjoyment?
7 Key Ingredients for Remote Work Success
In this quick video, you’ll learn to develop the habits and practices that will make remote work more enjoyable and profitable for you. Check it out:
COVID-19 dramatically sped up the adoption of remote work, forcing many to transition instantly and unexpectedly to working from home. Here are 7 key ingredients to help you stay productive, collaborate more effectively, and even enjoy your remote work experience.
Working remotely can leave people feeling disconnected from the company and their colleagues. Make sure you are clear on what channels of communication are available to you and your team, and how each one can be used. Keep your emails and project management software focused and clear of chatter. If your employer has not yet set up channels or events where you can socialize with colleagues, ask them if this is possible. Attend co-working or brainstorming sessions by video whenever possible.
2. Remote Work Tools
How will you manage your to-do list? Are you making sure you take breaks? Do you have the software at home that you had access to at the office? If you’re struggling to get organized and productive, talk to other remote workers about how they’re managing. Ask your employer to provide the tools you need to structure your day for maximum productivity.
3. Workable Home Office Space
Whether you’ve laid claim to an entire room or had to carve out a space in the corner of the basement, make it a place you actually want to come to work. Spend an afternoon decorating and personalizing. Make sure your chair is comfortable and that it’s an ergonomically-correct workspace. Get the temperature right so you aren’t focusing your energy on the space around you rather than your work.
Concentration can be incredibly difficult with social media, children and other family members, pets, housework and more all vying for your attention. If you can only manage an hour of uninterrupted time here and there, make sure you tell family members not to interrupt. Turn off notifications that could derail your focus. Give other tasks your full attention when it’s time. Otherwise, you will feel that you are constantly working but never really being productive.
You can’t do your best work if you’re dragging yourself exhausted to your desk every day. Self-care is more than a buzzword. It looks different for each individual but could include quiet/meditative time, journaling, light exercise and walking, spending time in the sun, listening to music, getting dressed up or any other activity that helps you relax and recharge.
Take a few minutes at the end of each day to seriously contemplate what’s working and what’s not in your remote routine. Are there efficiencies that could be created? Is there perhaps a better process for collaborating with a team member? Could you be doing a better job if you had access to a different tool or type of support? Bring these ideas to your employer in a focused, helpful way. Don’t get discouraged if your contributions aren’t adopted right away (or at all). Keep taking the initiative to make your remote work experience better.
Take responsibility for the work you are producing and be proactive in communicating your daily accomplishments to your team or employer. If you’ve had an unproductive day, own it and move on. If you need help, ask for it. These are exceptional times that require an above-average level of accountability and creativity to manage. Don’t hide your struggles or let them snowball into an avalanche.
Don’t despair if you haven’t gotten it all figured out yet. Work at your remote work environment and habits regularly and make your enjoyment of the experience a priority. You deserve better than just muddling through. Although millions have been forced into remote work due to COVID-19, many will stay at it long after the pandemic is over. This could be your transition to a fully flexible career that will take you anywhere. It’s up to you!