Remote working conjures up images of late starts, lounging in your pyjamas and binge-watching Netflix, but the reality is very different indeed. There are huge advantages for both employees and employers, but it’s a fine art that needs to be mastered. Here, we offer our advice on how to make the most of remote working to maximise productivity—and make your work-life balance that little bit happier and healthier.
1. Establish a work area
This means creating a space that has what you need and is quiet enough for you to focus and avoid distractions. Having a space that’s set up for working helps you to separate work time from home time.
Be sure that, if you work on a computer, you have a chair and desk area that are ergonomic to help prevent fatigue. When you’re comfortable, it’s also easier to get more work done. Limit access to this area to family only. Let everyone know that this is your work and it’s important to treat it as a business space.
2. Plan your working hours
When working from home or freelancing, the lines between your personal and working lives can blur. This can make it difficult to focus or know when to stop for the day. Determine your working hours and stick to them. Let clients and coworkers know your hours, and be available during those times. Let family know that during working hours you won’t be available to them unless it’s something urgent.
3. Become your own IT specialist
Make sure you keep your equipment protected and up to date with virus protection and software rollouts to avoid issues. It makes sense to invest in high-speed internet so you can access documents and downloads without frustration, too. Consider keeping important documents in cloud storage accounts so you can view your work anywhere if you’re on the go.
The key to successfully running your business from home is treating it like you’re working in an office. Conduct your day and business just like you would in an office environment to give yourself some structure and boost your productivity.
4. Stay connected
When you work in an office, it’s easy to stay connected with coworkers, but working from home can feel isolating. Set aside time once a week (or as often as you feel comfortable) to do some remote networking. Catch up over email, instant messenger, video chat, or whatever works best for you.
5. Take breaks
You won’t have the opportunity to chat at the water cooler or in the break room, so it’s important to schedule breaks throughout your workday. Get up, take a walk and grab some water or just play some esports game. Be sure to take time away from your desk for meal breaks. You’ll feel more refreshed and focused. Working too long without a break can put a damper on your productivity. Do whatever it takes to make sure your physical and mental needs are being met throughout the day. Your wellbeing is essential for your best work.
Working remotely is a golden opportunity that an astounding 99% of digital nomads recently interviewed want to continue for the rest of their careers. Just remember, you’re still working the same job that you did in an office, so treat your work in the same way. Be disciplined, organised and professional—and yes, that does mean getting out of your pyjamas.