Everyone is talking about remote work now. It has become more important than ever to understand the fundamentals of remote working and how to make it work for you and your organization.
Gone are those days when our ability to get work done was restricted to one building. Now it is possible to work from anywhere with just a computer and high-speed internet.
But, is this enough to be a successful remote worker? What does it take, not just to survive, but to thrive in a remote work environment? Is it easy to embrace the remote work lifestyle? A lot of people are working remotely as an emergency measure now, but are they equipped with the necessary skills and technology to switch to remote work permanently?
We have some answers for you that explains what it really takes to succeed at remote working. We talk about having a basic remote work infrastructure, importance of good communication, self discipline, having the right work-from-home set up and how to create a work-life balance to succeed at remote working.
WHAT IT REALLY TAKES TO SUCCEED AT REMOTE WORKING
REMOTE WORK INFRASTRUCTURE
The basic infrastructure is having a computer/laptop, a strong internet connection and equipment to take audio and video calls – Camera, Headset with microphone.
Since you will be using only your computer to save a lot of files, this might slow down your machine. For this reason, it is a good idea to use cloud storage such as Dropbox, that offers secure storage plans. If you are an Android User, you can use Google Drive that offers 15GB of free storage. For all Mac users, Apple offers 5GB storage for free. You can also purchase more storage space with iCloud at very reasonable prices.
Lastly, if you work in a country where power cuts are common, investing in a reliable backup power source is advisable. You definitely don’t want to go offline during an important client meeting!
Even though a lot of people choose remote work to have a perfect work-life balance, it is easier said than done. Achieving true remote work success requires a lot of practice and discipline. Otherwise, you will soon see the line between your personal and professional life blur, productivity plummet, and morale hit rock bottom.
Read here to know what steps you can take to develop self-discipline and achieve work-life balance while working remotely.
With zero distractions from co-workers, working solo may seem like a productivity haven for many, but it’s also important to remember that even though you work in solitude, communicating with your team is as important as it is for anyone working on-site.
Have a schedule where you respond to emails, chats, or any communication from managers, clients, co-workers, etc. Maintain an open communication channel to make your team feel you are available and ready to work with them.
Become familiar with communication tools such as Skype and Zoom for quick video sessions with your team. If you’d rather prefer a quick chat, Slack is a great choice.
CONDUCIVE WORK ENVIRONMENT AT HOME
Are you a fan of working from the couch? Sure, it’s one of the perks of working remotely, but we aren’t entirely sure of how it will affect your long term productivity, your posture, and overall health!
Designating a place at home specifically for working has an undeniable positive effect on your morale, energy, and your ability to focus on work better. If you don’t have a spare room, you could get a room separator, or clear out a corner of your living room for work. Getting a standing desk is also a good idea to keep you active throughout the day.
Unlimited supply of coffee, a cozy couch to rest after lunch, and the Xbox crying out loud for one last game. These are just some distractions faced by remote workers. And this kills your productivity.
To fix this, create a schedule that allows you to focus on your priorities and shut yourself off from distractions. One effective way is to use Time Blocking – a time management method where you organize your day into blocks of time, and each block is dedicated to completing certain tasks. Some free time blocking apps are Clockify, Google Calender, Todoist, Remember the Milk, etc.
And if you are someone who is addicted to checking your social media every few minutes, check out Freedom– An app that locks you out of social media so you can minimize distraction and get things done!. Offtime is another cool app that keeps your smartphone habits in check.
DISCONNECTING FROM WORK
One of the biggest pitfalls of working remotely is that you feel like you are always at work. It is really easy to work just a little bit longer – after all, your laptop is right there on the table and you have unhindered access to it.
But this will also result in burn out, stress, and a big drop in productivity. For this reason, it is important to disconnect from work and do other things that don’t involve WORK. Set a schedule for work and stick to it. Clock out at the end of the day. Understand that relaxation is an investment that is necessary for your body to rest and recoup.
Here are some tips to disconnect from work –
Turn off email and chat notifications
Get a hobby
Get active – join a gym, take online classes, or go for a jog
Cook dinner (spending time in the kitchen can be really therapeutic!)
Enjoy your downtime without feeling guilty
It’s not an easy transition to working remotely and one has to undergo a transformation in order to fit into the remote work culture. These top tips will help you kick start your remote career and create a work life that you love.