In the past, a remote job was a dream job scenario for many office employees. In reality, the transition from office to home can be challenging and difficult to manage at first. In this blog, we will cover ten tips that will ease to transition to working remotely.
The first step you take from transitioning over from a regular full-time job to working remotely is difficult. We, as a society, have become accustomed to the norm of working a full 9 to 5 job at a designated workplace. For the lucky few, you might have a 4-day workweek.
Many companies today already support remote work and have flexible policies to support remote employees. At the same time, many companies are having to quickly adapt to entire offices closing for a period of time.
Benefits of Working from Home
Working remotely can benefit employers just as much as it helps the employees. Many companies that implement remote work have noticed increases in productivity and cost savings. Employees that work from home are more inclined to meet their deadlines due to maintaining the trust they have with their employer. Not making deadlines means that the employee is not cut out for remote work, so it’s back to the office.
10 Tips For Working From Home
Up to this point, we covered some of the pros and cons of working from home. We also looked at how to transition from an office job to a work from home job. These are the essential building blocks for starting your career working from home.
Now comes the important bit. Here are 10 tips to help you be more productive when working from home.
1. Get into a Routine
Working from home does offer flexibility regarding your time, but you still have a job to do and only 24 hours in a day to accomplish your goals. A challenge that remote workers often face is balancing online and offline availability. Seasoned professionals know the right balance and are sure to keep their two worlds separated, even when in the same space.
2. Find Your Optimal Working Hours
Everyone is different, which is why we are most efficient at different hours in the day. Some of us are most productive in the early hours of the morning, while others work best at night. Keep trying out different time slots in the day to find out when you work at your best.
3. Document Your Work Process
Take note of all the different steps you take when completing a project. If you are an SEO consultant developing a content marketing strategy, then you can develop a checklist to streamline this process.
Even the best of writers are prone to mistakes and can skip a few steps, especially when they are trying to meet deadlines. A checklist will help to keep your systems in check. Your efficiency shows and clients do take notice.
4. Stay Motivated
There’s going to be plenty of alone time when you work remotely. Sometimes, a bit too much alone time! Once you get settled into your routine, you can quickly become demotivated, or bored, or even lonely. It helps if you take on work that you enjoy.
People in your close circles might not always approve of the work you do and will offer advice on adjusting your career path. Negative input can discourage you and make you think twice. Stay focused by continually communicating with other people that you may know who work remotely as well.
5. Maintain a Work/Life Routine
Working from home is exciting. However, you can get caught up in working for longer hours than expected because there is no separation between your work-life and homelife.
Try to maintain a healthy balance between work and life. You can go all out during the workweek and then take the weekend off. There is nothing wrong with not having working hours, but the danger is that you can work evenings and weekends. This can turn into a habit, and before you know it, you will be working every day of your life.
6. Take Regular Breaks
If you are a freelance writer or web designer, hours can fly past you when you hit your flow. It’s a great feeling when you are in the zone for hours, and there are no interruptions. However, your body and mind need to have a break from intense work sessions.
The Pomodoro technique is a method of time management that breaks down work into 25 minute intervals with short breaks in between. Also known as the tomato timer, you can easily do the Pomodoro technique with a mobile app or online software that tracks and guides your work sessions and breaks.
7. Work Out Regularly
Yes, you will get plenty done in a day without breaks and without leaving your laptop. Hard work can translate to more money and success. The danger is you eventually burn out! Productivity and success are best accomplished with a healthy mind and body. Sitting all day in front of a computer isn’t healthy and over time, not productive, as our minds can experience fatigue if there are no healthy breaks in between work times.
The best kind of break that you can have is a workout. Going to the gym or for a run will force you to take time away from your work environment. This much-needed break will allow your body and mind to ‘reset’ so when you get back to work, you will have fresh ideas and a burst of energy. Consistently working out will help you to maintain high energy levels and improve your mood.
If you aren’t into sweaty workouts and runs, then getting up and walking around the house or stretching is a good start.
8. Communicate Effectively
Communication is crucial to any work scenario. When working remotely, you won’t have the pleasure to talk face to face with co-workers and clients. You need to be able to show your manager and colleagues to see that you are online, active, and available. To do so, you must invest your time in getting to know the tools you use to make calls, send messages, and meet online.
9. Additional Tools for Working Remotely
If you plan to work from a cafe from time to time, consider buying some noise-canceling headphones. Noise-canceling headphones are ideal for crowded locations. They cut out the sound of people talking and cars driving by, which can cause unnecessary distractions.
More useful gear for working remotely:
- Portable Wifi Hotspot
- iPad or E-Reader
- USB LED lamp
10. Work to Live, Not Live for Work
You mustn’t let working from home take over your life. Working from home is a lifestyle choice, and it is not your life. The idea of working from home is to depart the office and to enter a more flexible work lifestyle that provides you with more time to spend with friends and family.
That being said, you can still choose to work for 10 hours a day within the four walls of your bedroom. Alternatively, you might work flexible hours. Whatever your decision, stick to doing sufficient work to allow you to live a good life while enjoying the perks of working from home.
Wrapping Things Up
If done right, working from home should be a choice that results from you wanting to find the right work-life balance. That doesn’t mean that working from home is not without its problems.
These 10 tips for working from home should help you overcome some of the issues you face as you adjust from an office environment. Of course, not all of the tips for working from home shared in this post will apply to you. Pick and choose the ones which are most relevant to your needs.
Originally published Mar 13, 2020, updated Sep 10, 2021