Here’s How to Excel at Working Remotely
Businesses operate a lot differently than they used to. Thankfully, the standard clock-in-clock-out nine to five seems to be dying out— at least a little. According to recent surveys, remote work has grown 91% over the last 10 years.
If done right, remote work can be more productive, more flexible (depending on the job at hand), and quite possibly, more rewarding. However, working from home is not for everyone and that’s ok.
If you’re considering remote work, or are struggling to stay afloat in the work-from-home world, here are some tips to excel when out-of-office.
Stay on a schedule
Remote work and full-on freelancing are different entities entirely. Yet, you will need to establish a schedule with both— with a remote work schedule being more strict.
Over half of remote workers still work fixed hours. If you’re working with a team it’s vital they can communicate with you throughout your work day. If you have the flexibility to run an errand during working hours, great! Just know that you’re still on the clock. Be available at all hours between the start and finish of your work day.
Get familiar with communication technology
Slack, Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Dropbox, GoToMeeting etc.— these are all your friends. Familiarize yourself with the technology that helps you communicate and share with your team.
Many companies provide new employees with on-boarding and training tools aka Learning Management Systems (LMS). If not, YouTube tutorials can do wonders.
Fine-tune your communication skills
Determine what channels your team uses to communicate and for what purpose. It’s critical to know how each channel is used and what tone it’s used in.
Slack may be more for laidback idea sharing, while email threads could be a more official channel to discuss major projects.
Focus is key
Working from home can distract even the most disciplined workers. Do you work better in silence? Or with some meditative music in the background? Determine what works best for you.
Also, establish a dedicated work space. Most people may not have the space for a home office, but a small nook in the corner will do just fine. Associate that area with work, your bed for relaxation, and kitchen for cooking and socializing.
Manage your time and get organized
These speak for themselves. At home, you won’t feel as much pressure to stay on task. Create lists at the beginning or end of every day, in order of priority, to determine how to distribute your time over the next eight or so hours.