Working remotely may be the closest thing to bliss any employee could ever hope for, but it does come with its own set of challenges. Want to know the two practices you must implement if you’re going to thrive as a remote worker? We’ve got them for you (and even a few extra tips). Make sure you never burn out while enjoying the freedom and flexibility of remote working. The answer lies in creating a structured system and forming your own remote community.
1) Structure, Structure, Structure
We know, structure is the last thing you think of when daydreaming about being a remote worker that’s free to make your own schedule. However, the fact of the matter is, sometimes having too much freedom can be arresting. Nearly all successful remote workers create some sort of structured workflow for themselves, creating a schedule that they can attempt to adhere to during a majority of their workdays.
Of course, the beauty of remote working isn’t to be lost in this advocation of structure, as you have to remember, you’re the one making the schedule. That being said, create one that works for your own, individual lifestyle. If you’re most productive during the morning hours, then schedule your working hours from sunrise to noon. If you’d rather spend the day running errands and enjoying the outdoors, then set aside time to work in the evenings. Truly, remote working is all about catering to your own needs.
Finally, though some solid structure will do you wonders, that doesn’t mean that you can’t make exceptions when need be. If you find yourself wanting to escape the house on a Wednesday morning when you’d normally be working, do it — just be sure to pencil some time into your schedule to make up for the lost hours later. Want a first hand account of how important structure is in the life of remote worker? Check out Zoe Björnson’s story.
Once you begin working remotely, you may soon realize that it can get a little lonely working from home all the time. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Coworking spaces are a great way to become a part of a professional community while still maintaining your independence and location freedom. Joining a coworking space allows you to enjoy all the benefits of working in an office (community, professional workspace, networking, business mailing address, conference rooms, etc.) without any of the politics. (Interested in signing up? Take a look at our list of the best coworking spaces across the globe).
If renting out a coworking desk isn’t within your budget, you can still find community for yourself by regularly working from local coffee shops, cafes, and even libraries. Also, be sure to check out social media to see if there are any remote worker meetup groups in your city. You might be surprised to find that there are dozens, if not hundreds, of others like you living all around your home.
Some Extra Tips
Look for a few extra pointers? Check out these three tips that will help you perform at your best.
Keep in Communication
Even if you know exactly what you’re doing and what your boss expects of you, it’s still useful to keep in close communication with your employers. Aside from proving to them that you’re a pro at staying in communication, you’ll also benefit yourself by fostering a motivational relationship with the company you’re employed by. Not quite sure what we mean? It’s quite simple, actually. If you’re blasting through assignments without any real sense of who you’re creating these assignments for, your work can become quite meaningless. On the other side of things, knowing your employers well, and regularly checking in with them, will promote a healthy sense of responsibility and determination to succeed.
Dress to Impress
While it’s true that you can stay in your pajamas while you work through the morning if you want to, it may not actually be the smartest move on your part. According to a PsychNet study, research showed that workers who dressed well, in business attire, had higher levels of productivity and even higher hormone output than those dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt. It makes a lot of sense when you really stop and think about it for a moment. Your PJs may be comfy, but they may also have you feeling like you should be sitting on the couch watching T.V., not working hard at your desk.
Create Breaks for Yourself
Just like in any office, nine to five can pass without you even realizing you didn’t break for lunch or step foot outside. Allot yourself time to break for snack, stretch, and even take a brisk walk outside if you have the stamina. As most of us know by now, and as LifeHacker so aptly confirms, people are most productive when working in 90 minute segments. If you have to, set a timer for yourself so that you stop working and take a break every time an hour and a half rolls around.
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Originally written by Chelsey Grasso on Remote.com