Not everyone finds it easy to work from home and these Top 5 tips for remote working might just come in handy in the near future for many people.
Some people think of working from home as rolling out of bed in the morning and working all day in your pajamas. Well, I can tell you that just doesn’t work, you might do it once or twice. However, to sustain a healthy work-life routine, this behavior, however much fun it seems just doesn’t work. Your brain thinks you are ready for bed! So I thought I’d give you my top 5 tips for remote working
Working remotely might mean that you are traveling all over and can work from coffee shops and hotels, like Nomads, but these tips are mostly for setting up work at home. Although some tips can help the Nomad types, it’s more about structure.
When you first work remotely, especially if you are used to working with a team in a big office, it might seem strange. And it might take a little while for you and your family to get used to it, some people even find it isolating and lonely.
To stay in touch is even easier now than when I started over 10 years ago – it sometimes feels that technology has advanced in such a way to push us into remote working.
As I say I’ve been working remotely solidly for over 10 years now, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done – you save time and money on traveling and I’ve hardly ever got sick during that time. This is good actually because I don’t get sick pay, being a self-employed contract worker. And I am happy to be working from home during this time, with the #coronavirus at our doors – many should be taking advantage of this opportunity and I hope that these Top 5 tips for remote working really do help.
Amazon, Google, and Apple have measures in place to allow remote working for their staff and many businesses are also changing to have their events and conferences virtually!
I’ve often wondered how much this would save our NHS if more people worked remotely.
Apart from the obvious recently with the coronavirus, there are so many bonuses to working from your home.
Great things about working remotely from home
- Saves time
- Saves money
- Less stress
- More comfortable
- Fewer distractions
- Great for the environment
- Better Health
- Better work-life balance
- Increased Productivity
- Less time off sick
I’m lucky also that I don’t get lonely, I know even people who have been working remotely for some time do have this problem my solution is to network with others, find a place online to call home you can go for a chat now and then, especially if you don’t have a team to work with. If you are looking for just that place, please do contact me, as I have some spaces in my networking groups. No one needs to be alone!
So back to the tips, these work for me, so you might find some of them useful especially when just starting out.
Top 5 tips for remote working
Set work hours
Have set work hours, its best for your sanity. Depending on what your boss/client wants, you don’t really need to work 9-5 if those were your office hours. If it’s up to you, for instance, you might be able to pick up the kids from school and work a 7 am-3 pm day, or break up the day in other ways. But whatever you decide to do its important to stick to those times, especially if working with a team. It’s great if your office, you and your family know when you are working. This way everyone knows where they stand. It can be frustrating for people to think they can ask you to do errands for them while you are working. So set the rules right away.
Don’t be tempted to think you can put the washing on or do the washing up at any time. No, this has to be done after or before work hours, you’d be surprised how much this personal time takes up work time, and they need to be separate. You can use your lunch break for that; make sure you do have a lunch break to have a break, a walk, some healthy food too.
Stick to a Morning Routine
In the morning, get up, shower, get dressed and even put makeup on (if you wear it) like you would normally for going to work, that way you are always ready for the impromptu Zoom meeting or Google hangout with the boss and you FEEL ready for work.
Make use of apps tools available to help you get things done
As I said before the Technology now, has grown for us to choose whenever app or platform we want, many of them are free too.
- Use a planner or calendar to write down deadlines or to block out time for meetings
- Have a to-do list – there’s an app for that – Todoist
- Keep a track of ongoing work, for just your or your team with Trello
- Track your time with Toggl
- Keep in touch with colleagues and share work using Slack or Discord.
To name just a few, have a google and see what tools are available
Create a permanent workspace
Have an area that you can call your office. This way other people in the house know that when you are at your desk you are at work and not to be disturbed. It helps you also you know that when you leave that area, you are not at work and can rest. This could be a spare room or just the corner of a room somewhere but not the bedroom, you will feel like you are always at work.
Relying on working at the kitchen table, or on the sofa, isn’t really a great idea, there can be distractions and it doesn’t provide you with a line between work and home life.
If you are working with a team, calendar planning can let everyone know when you are available, like I said being available for that short notice meeting. Communicating with colleagues is a must, but they must also know when you are working and when you are not. You don’t want to get into being available 24/7 that’s not good for anyone’s mental health.
Block time on your calendar – have this available for all.
This will show others when you are at your desk working. It’s a good idea to have an instant message system that is always on, on a status update that says “I’m available now”. That way people know they can contact you to get an immediate response like in the office. For instant messages, you could use Skype, WhatsApp, Discord, Slack app/platforms like are perfect for that reason. You can turn on notifications @ messages to your name so you can respond right away. This way your team, boss or client can know what you are doing and that they can get hold of you at short notice.
Blocking time is also good for planning even if you are working alone – to block time, like calls, and appointments so you can see clearly what time is available. We can take up a lot of time on unnecessary calls.
I hope my top Top 5 tips for remote working will help people who might suddenly find themselves remote working. Who might be worried and wondering how it’s going to work out.
Please do let me know how you manage – if you have any tips. Or if you are now suddenly finding yourself working from home.