Six Tips For Working Remotely

Six Tips For Working Remotely

Employees accustomed to working in-office on a full-time basis may find themselves uncertain of how to take advantage of their newfound freedom while working remotely. Here are some solutions to capitalize on this opportunity while staying productive and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Benefits of Working Remotely

While there are obvious drawbacks to isolation and social distancing, there are several positives that come along with this change of pace. A flexible work schedule reduces stress, increases productivity, and saves employee's time and money. 

Take advantage of the opportunities that come from social distancing rather than focusing on its setbacks. 

Employees save more than $4,000 per year by spending less on travel, food, and clothing. Research shows that 90% of employees say working remotely arrangements would increase morale. Another study saw productivity increased in 85% of businesses due to greater work flexibility. Remote workers can maximize productivity and maintain a healthy work-life balance by implementing simple tips and practices to their daily routine.

Thinking Ahead Around Working Remotely

Throughout history, global crises that have impacted the US often resulted in permanent changes to the way we govern or do business after the crisis is over. Research estimates 25-30% of the workforce will be working remotely one or more days a week within the next two years as a result of the pandemic. By 2028, one study estimates that 73% of all departments will have remote workers.

While remote work may be temporary for many, some employees could see a permanent change moving forward.

Because 56% of employees have a job where at least some of what they do could be done by working remotely, it's likely remote work isn't just temporary for some. Therefore, establishing remote work skills and routines now will better prepare employees for all possible outcomes in the future. 

Here's what you need to implement to successfully work from home as a tech professional. 

6 Tips to Successfully Work From Home

1. Establish a Routine

The stability and structure that comes from upholding a daily routine – especially during unpredictable periods of time – will help reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase productivity. Start by establishing and routinely sticking to a start and end time for your work day. Aside from your work tasks, create a daily checklist to include hobbies, exercise, family time, reading, or anything that will help you feel a sense of accomplishment each day. On the days you find yourself cooped up indoors, having a to-do list to check off is a great way to remain productive while working remotely.

Tip For Working Remotely

Create daily, weekly, and monthly plans that are in line with your professional and personal objectives. Start out with small, easy-to-achieve daily tasks that will ultimately help you accomplish your long-term goals.

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2. Create a Productive Work Space

Establish a suitable home work space away from any distractions. Separate yourself from family, roommates, or anyone else who might hinder your productivity. Stepping away from your designated work space at the end of the day will help you mentally "log off" for the night. Working in a space with natural sunlight improves overall health and wellness and reduces eyestrain and headaches. Furthermore, working around plants can lead to a 15% increase in productivity and happiness.  

Tip For Working Remotely

Designate an area of your house for work with natural sunlight and plants. Work in the kitchen during the day, relax on the couch in the afternoon, and return to bed in the evening. This helps you compartmentalize your day

Register here to attend a free webcast: How to Mobilize a Remote Workforce on Wednesday, April 22nd

3. Clarify Expectations With Your Manager

When switching to remote work, managers adjust expectations for their team by shifting focus on accomplishment over activity. Clarify these expectations with your manager by asking questions like, "What does quality work look like to you?" Developing trust and building rapport is very important in curating a remote relationship with your employer.

Furthermore, communicate with your manager if you have children or sick loved ones that might take time out of your day. As long as you are transparent, your employer will adjust their expectations of your work to accommodate for the situation.

Tip For Working Remotely

Evaluate your current workload and create a list of weekly tasks you could reasonably accomplish. Sharing your progress with your manager displays trust by proving you can remain accountable without supervision.  


4. Communicate Often With Your Team

Social interactions - even with coworkers - can alleviate feelings of isolation and loneliness. Communicate with your team often throughout the day and schedule weekly check-ins to collaborate on projects. As a remote developer, you could encourage peer-to-peer code reviews with your team to track your progress and stay connected. Don't be afraid to over-communicate with colleagues to make up for the lack of face time.

Tip For Working Remotely

Plan a virtual happy hour and play free, online games with your colleagues. This allows you to socialize while building trust with your team. 

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5. Take Care of Your Body & Mind

Simply maintaining personal hygiene by showering and getting dressed in the morning can increase your abstract thinking and improve your productivity for the day. Because you are not pressed for time getting ready for working from home tips in the morning, you have the luxury of putting a little more effort into self-care. Use this time for exercise, meditation, or another activity that will help you mentally prepare for the day. 

Tip For Working Remotely

Prepare for the day the night before by writing out your daily to-do list or picking out your clothes for tomorrow. These tiny acts of preparation will boost your motivation when you wake up in the morning. 

Read: Virtual Interview Tips for Your Job Search for best practices on the virtual interviewing process for candidates

6. Establish Healthy Habits & Pick up a Hobby

Do you have personal goals that you've put on the back burner due to work or social obligations? Now is the perfect time to pick up that book, hop on your bike, or learn how to cook. Whatever you choose, dedicate an hour of your time each day to developing these skills. Practicing these habits now will increase the likelihood of maintaining them in the future.

Tip For Working Remotely

Dedicating time to a hobby or skill each day increases creativity and thought. Take advantage of this extra time to learn a new language that could benefit your tech stack or join an online programming community to learn new things from peers in your industry.

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