People have been working from home for a long time. With the rise of technology, there’s been a surge in remote workers in the last few decades. Then, when our world was hit with Covid-19, working from home became a necessity for millions of employees.
However, this new trend in the business world is likely to stick around long after Covid 19 becomes a thing of the past. Working from home is convenient, cost-effective, and easier than ever for employers, employees, and entrepreneurs.
That being said, you need to adopt some vital remote work tips if you want to be successful and productive. It’s much easier to get distracted, fall behind, and lose track of time when you’re in the comfort of your own home.
We’re here to provide some guidance. Keep reading for our top tips for working remotely.’
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- 1. 1. Create a Designated Workspace
- 2. 2. Make Goals for Yourself
- 3. 3. Maintain a Regular and Consistent Work Schedule
- 4. 4. Manage Your Time
- 5. 5. Invest in the Best Work Essentials
- 6. 6. Set Boundaries With the Other People in the House
- 7. 7. Stay Organized
- 8. 8. Take Care of Yourself
1. Create a Designated Workspace
Learning how to work remotely and efficiently takes time. The process begins by creating a workspace dedicated to productivity. It is the foundation of each and every day of work.
Depending on your home setup, you may or may not be able to designate an entire room for your office. This is the ideal situation. A separate room allows you to create an office where you can close the door to keep out noise and get in the zone.
If you can’t designate an entire room as your office, find the most appropriate setting. We recommend an area of the house that is somewhat secluded from regular traffic. During the school year, it might be okay to work in the living room, but during summer, your kids will be home running back and forth through the house, which can be rather distracting.
Once again, the ideal space for your office will have a door you can close to limit distractions. Even if you don’t have a separate room, try to separate your workspace from your personal space as much as possible. This will help you stay focused.
For example, this might include keeping your personal phone outside of the room while you’re working. Otherwise, you might be tempted to check your Facebook, text friends, etc.
2. Make Goals for Yourself
One of the most important remote work tips is to give yourself daily, weekly, and monthly goals. This will help you stay motivated and driven throughout the day.
Sometimes, working from home puts us in a lackadaisical mindset. While it’s okay to be relaxed, it’s not a good idea to let ourselves fall behind or become less productive.
Set SMART goals for your workweek. SMART stands for:
For example, if you are a freelance worker and your income is directly reflected by how much work you do each day, give yourself a specific amount of money you want to make each month. Then break it down by week and day.
We recommend giving yourself a daily minimum goal. If you only give yourself a goal for the week, it’s easy to procrastinate and leave the “heavy-lifting” for the end of the week.
Additionally, track your productivity each week on your calendar or on a spreadsheet. Monitor your efficiency and keep track of your progress. If you don’t, you might assume you’re making $800 a week when you are only making $650.
3. Maintain a Regular and Consistent Work Schedule
Most people do their best when they have a consistent routine to follow. At a regular job, this means:
- Waking up at the same time every day
- Showering and dressing for work
- Eating breakfast and getting coffee
- Arriving at work at the same time every day.
This routine is an automatic part of your day that becomes a ritual of sorts. It puts you in the right mindset to get work done.
When working from home, you must establish a similar routine so you can start your day right. Give yourself designated work hours, as if you had a regular job. We recommend starting your day as early as possible.
Then, shower and get dressed as if you were going to work. A suit and tie may be a little extreme (assuming you don’t have online meetings), but you can still look presentable.
After breakfast, start your workday at the same time every day.
4. Manage Your Time
Some of the most important remote work tips for efficiency revolve around time management. When working from home, it’s easier to lost track of time, take breaks that are too long, etc.
Create a planner for yourself (written or digital) to keep you on track throughout the day. Tackle high-priority tasks first. The heavy-lifting should be at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy.
To protect your eyes and prevent headaches, follow the 20/20/20 rule:
- Look away from the screen every 20 minutes
- Focus on something 20 feet away
- Look at the object for 20 seconds
Additionally, don’t forget about scheduling breaks for yourself. We recommend getting up from your work desk for 10 minutes for every hour of work. It sounds like a lot of time, but you’ll be more productive in the long-run.
However, don’t allow your breaks to go on for too long. For example, keep your lunch break to 30 to 45 minutes. Otherwise, it might be hard to get back into working.
5. Invest in the Best Work Essentials
Learning how to work remotely and productively also means investing in the proper tools of the trade. Most often, this means finding a capable remote work laptop.
Depending on the type of work you do, you may have different requirements. For example, if most of your work involves typing and dealing with text, you don’t need an especially fast or powerful computer.
However, if you deal with various forms of content, like images, videos, and graphics, you’ll need something with more processing power. Additionally, if you conduct online meetings (or are part of them), your computer and online connection must provide a solid, high-speed connection.
Look online to find the best business laptops for your needs. This is one area where you should not skimp or try to save money.
However, you also need to invest in an appropriate desk and office chair. Sitting in your bed or on the couch all day can limit your productivity by making you sleepy. It can also promote a terrible posture, which can lead to neck and back pain.
6. Set Boundaries With the Other People in the House
One of the most difficult tips for working remotely is setting boundaries with your family members and other roommates. Whether it’s your kids, your spouse, or someone else, they must respect your workspace and work schedule.
Talk to everyone in the house about when you will be working each day. For your children, let them know that there will be consequences if they interrupt you. Obviously, if there’s an emergency, they should find you, but not to tattle on their sibling or complain about being bored.
We suggest making a sign for your door. If you don’t have a workspace with a door, make it a sign with a small stand. The sign should say something along the lines of “Silence please” or “meeting in progress.”
The purpose of the sign is to let the other people of your household know when you are in an important meeting or when your focus is especially important.
7. Stay Organized
One of the best remote work tips encourages you to keep your workspace clean and organized. The more organized you are, the more efficient you will be throughout the day. This applies to the physical and digital realms.
Your desk needs to stay neat and tidy, but you should also keep all of your digital files organized. The longer you take to find things hidden by clutter, the less efficient you’ll be.
Spend time at the end of each day cleaning up after yourself and organizing your digital and physical workspaces.
8. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, remember that you won’t be any good to yourself or others if you aren’t taking care of your own personal needs. For example, when working from home, it can feel less important to go to bed on time.
However, if you stay up late, you’re going to have a hard time waking up and you’ll feel ragged all day long. Additionally, you might be tempted to snooze the alarm, which will mean you’re getting a slower, later start to your day.
That being said, you must also give yourself plenty of time for self-care. This is one of the most important work tips to keep you working efficiently. Work hard, yes, but don’t work yourself into the ground.
At the end of the day, you need to be relaxing and recharging. Spend time with your family, watch TV, take a bath and drink wine, etc.
Lastly, remember to take care of your physical health. Eat well-balanced meals and find time in your day to be physically active. This could mean lifting weights, walking the dog, playing with your kids at the park, or anything that gets you moving.
Looking for More Remote Work Tips or Tech Advice?
If you’ve recently started working from home, we understand the mix of emotions you must be feeling. On the one hand, how nice will it be to work from the comfort of your own house? But on the other hand, are you sure you can be productive?
We believe you can have the best of both worlds (convenience and productivity). Follow the remote work tips listed above and you’ll find success.
And if you’re looking for more tech advice or business tips, stick around for a bit. Our articles are full of content created for people just like you.