With recent developments, many of you are being asked to work from home. For some, it is a dream come true, but for many, it is a time of uncertainty and you might be unsure of how to be successful when working remotely. I’d like to share a few tips to help you be successful in working from home.
Tips for Working Remotely
Create an Office
Designate an area in your house that is going to be your temporary work office space. Working from the kitchen table in the middle of where everyone will be in and out is not a good idea. Try to select something that is not in the middle of the life of your house. If you need to get creative, perhaps you can carve out a piece of a quiet room, or use a big closet space. Some people use a spare bedroom or the corner of their bedroom. Even if it is a temporary thing, it will help you be successful while you do have to work from home.
Set Office Hours
Setting traditional office hours for yourself that are boundaries and keep you in work-mode even though you’re in the home. If you don’t do this, you might find yourself not starting work till noon or not ending work at a reasonable time. When you work from home it is easy to blur the lines between work and home life. According to the Owl Labs 2019 State Of Remote Work report, US-based remote employees tend to work more than the standard 40 hours per week—that’s 43% more than on-site workers. Setting regular hours and sticking to them will help to avoid working all the time.
Think About Ergonomics
Light, seating arrangements, the height of your desk and chair matter. If you don’t take these things into consideration you will soon find yourself aching and they will take a toll on your body. Your eyes should be in the middle of your computer screen when looking straight ahead. Not looking down at a screen on the table.
Dress for Work
Working in PJ’s might sound enticing, but it really doesn’t lend itself to productivity. It is important to get up in the morning and get dressed even though you are not going to the office. There is something about the routine and being dressed that flips a mindset switch into work mode. You don’t have to wear heels, etc. but dress so that if your boss would walk in you wouldn’t be embarrassed. After all, you may end up talking to him or coworkers through Zoom or Skype and you want to appear professional.
Working remotely can make you more productive, but there is also a lot more isolation which for some people can lead to depression, overworking, and increased impostor syndrome episodes. It is important to stay connected via email, chat, texting, facetime, and other means. If there isn’t restrictions due to illness, make plans to meet people in person. Meet for breakfast or lunch, or meet at the park and go for a walk. People need people for emotional wellbeing and to live a longer, healthier life and when working remotely it is easy to just become a hermit. So make an effort to stay connected.
It is important to take breaks from your work and do other things. When working remotely there is no one to turn off the lights and tell you to go home. You need to do this for yourself. Just as it is important to have start and stop times, you also need to schedule breaks. Time to walk around the block, go for a run, read a book, watch a favorite TV show, cook a meal, spend time with the kids, etc. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Regular, moderate, exercise can be correlated to an increase in productivity, and according to Harvard Business Review, is a key factor in helping you achieve a better work-life balance.
Schedule times to stand up, stretch, walk around and then to get back to work. You need to move at least once every hour. It is important to move but don’t get distracted by household things and end up taking a big break. When you are being paid to work, you need to focus on work.
Eat Healthy Foods
It is easy to work through lunch or just eat a bag of chips or a cookie. Make sure you are eating healthy meals so your brain functions properly. Keep fruits, celery, carrots, and other healthy snacks on hand.
Remember to drink plenty of fluids. Chances are, you might be sitting more and moving less, it is imperative that you stay hydrated for your health. Hydration helps regulate body temperature, deliver nutrients to cells, prevent infections, keep joints lubricated, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood.
Whether your remote work is temporary or permanent, Taking these nine tips into consideration when you work remotely will increase your chances of success and help you get through the stressful times.