Tips for Working Remotely
You’re probably hearing a lot about working from home right now. Whether you’re new to telecommuting, or you’ve done it for years, there are always new tricks to pick up. As a business leader who travels extensively offering coaching and consulting to a variety of global companies, I’ve learned a thing or two about working away from the office.
- Set hours that you will be working, and then abide by them. When you’re at home, it’s all too easy to let your personal and professional lives blur the lines of one another. For the sake of your own health and stress, designate specific working hours for yourself. That will make it easier for you to buckle down and focus, and then you won’t feel guilty about taking the evenings off to relax.
- Get used to conference calls. I’ve sat in on Zoom and Skype calls from airport waiting rooms, hotel lobbies, and the backseats of rental cars. If you’re not already, take a few hours to familiarize yourself with the technology so you’re ready when the meeting invite comes.
- Dress in your normal business clothes. It sounds tempting to spend the day working in your pajamas, but for most people, that’s a terrible idea. It is hard to get into the work mindset when you’re still wearing your mickey mouse pajama bottoms. Not to mention you’ll still be taking those video conference calls.
- Use this as an opportunity to streamline processes. You’ll quickly figure out what parts of your old routine were truly necessary and what was time-sucking fluff. The cessation of seemingly endless in-person meetings can free up time in your calendar to work on other important projects.
- Set aside a dedicated work area (if possible). Even when I work from airports, I take a few minutes to pick out the right spot to get my work done: somewhere not too distracting, with a functional power source and plenty of tablespace nearby. From home, I like to work from my home office, and I try not to take my work into my bedroom, living room, or other personal spaces. That way, it’s easier for me to “unplug” at the end of the workday. Plus, I can keep everything I need within reach at all times.
- Neglect your duties as a leader or manager. You might be remote, but you’re still leading a team. Since you can’t just pop your head over the cubicle to chat with your colleagues, you’ll have to get used to checking in via Slack, Hipchat, email, text, or other programs you prefer. Just because you’re working separately doesn’t mean you’re alone!
- Let your work invade every waking hour. It’s all about balance. You won’t be your best self if you’re attached to your laptop or work phone from the time you wake up to the time you sleep. And you can’t expect that of your employees either.
Even if remote work is a new experience for you, you’ll quickly get in the rhythm of it. What working from home tips are your favorites?
Let me know in the comments below!