Robust ThemeDec 09, 2019 2020-04-08 7:40
10 Tips to Be Successful When Working Remotely
Being in the world of a worldwide pandemic, more and more of us are finding that we are ditching the office space and setting up shop in our homes. Seems easy enough that you wake up in the morning and open up your laptop to begin the day, right? Even the most organized people might get a bit overwhelmed and become unsure of how to keep their minds in tip-top shape, avoiding burnout.
I have always prided myself on being very productive during work hours when I worked in an office. Never a moment would go by that I didn’t find something for myself to do. Cut to the pandemic and I thought that the switch to working remotely would be a breeze! I was very wrong. I found myself working into the dinner hours and starting my days within 30 minutes of walking since ‘I’m home anyway, so why not open my laptop while I have my coffee and watch the morning news?’ This simple mindset had me working upwards of 10 hour days, never feeling fully satisfied with how much I knew I could fit into my day. After my friends and family began to notice my burnout, I knew that it was time to change something… but what? Speaking with coworkers, I asked them what they do to keep their week moving smoothly and not overdoing it. I gathered a lot of great information, as well as some additional items along the way! Working from home can be really great and some of these tips below will help you to make that happen.
- Set a schedule for yourself. By making a deal with both yourself and your work, you know when it is time to start and end your day. When you don’t set a schedule for yourself, it is very easy to find yourself working at all times. Rest is important for peak performance, and setting some time boundaries is a way to ensure you’re giving 100% during those dedicated work hours.
- Always take a lunch break - unconnected. Taking a step away from your work during the day allows you time to recharge with food, as well as come back for the second half of your day with renewed energy.
- Keep your working area as far from any “rest” areas as possible. This means not your bed or couch. Having a separate space for working allows your mind to know when it is time to rest and when it is time to work, simply by dedicating space to a specific use.
- Keep a clean and clutter-free background for your calls. You give away a lot of unspoken information about yourself on a call by what’s behind you. Give the best impression you can simply by keeping your background in check. Some ideas to convert any space into a zoom-positive space:
- Grab a green screen on Amazon for cheap!
- Turn on an artificial background (Google Meet and Zoom both offer this feature)
- Sit against a plain wall
- Be communicative. Respond to messages within a reasonable time frame. If the message comes in after your workday ends, make sure to answer in the morning. During the day and depending on the urgency, within an hour or two is usually acceptable.
- Ditch the sweatpants. They are very comfortable, however, are not good for your mental health. Even if you don’t leave the house, by simply changing your clothes and signalling the beginning of your workday, your mindset can distinguish between “workday” and “home life”. That line is very easy to cross when we work at home, so setting two mindsets is key.
- Silent Mode. When you are done for the day, set your notifications to silent mode. Continually reading notifications during your home time can cause stress and feel as though you are not having time to unwind.
- Bucket your weekdays. If you have the luxury of doing so depending on your job, plan your week out by the day. Try to bundle tasks. I’ll share mine as an example:
Monday: Plan out the week
Tuesday: Meet with the team individually to touch base on upcoming tasks
Wednesday: Client Meetings
Thursday: One or two client meetings, in addition to a department meeting
Friday: Ensure all tasks from the week have been completed and the weekend prepped with advertising content.
- Grab a coffee (or drink of choice!) It is easy to never leave the house if you work remotely, simply because you don’t have to commute. Don’t get into that habit. Take a break each day and try to get out of the house whether that is for a walk or maybe a trip to Starbucks (my personal favourite!). A change of scenery each day for at least 15 minutes can really give your mind a chance to get out of ‘work mode’ and reset.
- The mute button can be your friend. If you live in a building or in a busy area, sometimes background noise that cannot be controlled is able to be heard. We all know that feeling of having someone on the group video chat that has a weird noise that can be heard and the little volume image on their video is popping up repeatedly. If you do find that there is background noise, do yourself and your coworkers a favour by pressing mute when you are not actively speaking. This allows everyone to remain focused and not distracted by the sound of the garbage truck on the road.
Make working from home something to be enjoyed and cherished! A few simple changes to the way that you organize your time can make a world of difference.
Now, off to Starbucks for a 15-minute change of scenery. Here’s to working from home!