Tips for Effectively Working Remotely

With the onset of Covid-19, the world has quickly changed from one of 9 to 5 desk jobs and daily meetings to that of working from home and virtual check-ins. While this switch has been relatively easy to navigate (and maybe even welcome) for quite a few of us, just as many have struggled with the transition. After all, the ability to hit snooze a few extra times, attend meetings in your pajamas and have 24/7 access to your favorite Netflix series doesn’t always encourage motivation. That being said, this change has prompted many companies to rethink the traditional office and remote work doesn’t look like it will be disappearing any time soon! If you haven’t found yourself able to fully embrace this new reality yet, follow these 14 tips to make working remotely feel a whole lot more accessible.

1. Create a Morning Routine
Starting your workday off right is an important part of maintaining healthy work-from-home habits. Create a morning routine that clearly defines your personal time from your work time. If you typically wake up early to get in a workout and a healthy breakfast, make sure that you are still finding time to do these things before committing to work for the day.

2. Set Regular Hours
It’s equally important to maintain consistent workday hours. Get yourself on a regular schedule so you know exactly what time your work day is set to begin and end. The great part about working remotely is that you don’t have to work straight through, but making sure your hours are the same each day will keep you on track.

3. Set Boundaries
If you have other people living with you, it’s important to set firm boundaries around what you all expect from one another working remotely. Do you have times each day where meetings are scheduled? If so, you will want to ensure your housemates are respectful of that time and can stay quiet.

4. Assign a Designated Workspace
If you are able to do so, try your hardest to choose a space in your home that is exclusively dedicated to your work. This can be a spare bedroom, an office, or even just a fold-away desk that you can tuck back out of view once your workday is over. It can be tempting to just plop down at your kitchen table, but it will be much harder to get into a work mindset doing so.

5. Schedule Regular Breaks
Make sure you are taking regular breaks throughout your workday. If you were at the office, you would likely take bathroom breaks, engage in some water cooler chat and pop into the kitchen for a snack every now and then. Maintaining these same healthy habits at home will help you to keep your sanity as you navigate these new waters.

6. Turn Off Your Television
Trying to work in front of the television is pretty much setting yourself up for failure. Eliminate the distraction by working in a room without a television or turning it off completely (and putting the remote far out of reach).

7. Get Dressed
It is extremely tempting to work remotely in your pajamas or your favorite yoga pants. While doing this every once in a while might be okay, getting dressed as though you were going into the office will help you to maintain a professional mindset and stay focused on your job.

8. Ask for What You Need
If you find there are things you might be lacking that will make working remotely easier for you, don’t be afraid to ask your employer to provide them for you. Creating a comfortable, ergonomic workspace with all of the necessary technology you need will help keep you as productive and efficient as you were in the office.

9. Get Organized
Clutter will only add to any stress and anxiety you might be feeling as you make the switch from in-office to remote working. Do what you can to ensure your workspace is clean and organized to keep your head clear.

10. Go Outside
Being stuck in your house all day is enough to drive anybody crazy. Take the time to get outside and get some fresh air whenever possible, even if it’s only to stroll around your yard or to the end of your street. Getting out and about will keep you sharp and focused throughout the day.

11. Interact with Your Coworkers
Just because you aren’t in the office doesn’t mean that you should go the entire day without some face time with the people you are accustomed to spending most of your time with. Even if you don’t have scheduled meetings, use chat and video platforms to keep in constant connection with your coworkers.

12. Mute Your Devices
Treat your cellphone and tablets exactly as you would if you were at work. Putting your devices on mute will help eliminate unnecessary distractions.

13. Take Sick/Personal Days
Continue to take advantage of your sick and personal days. They are equally (if not more) important now as they were when you were in-office. If you do cash in some time, get out of your house in any ways you can.

14. End Your Day on Time
Lastly, commit to a concrete end-time to your day. If you are set to end at 5, don’t end at 5:30. Start cleaning up your desk space and shutting things down about ten minutes prior so that you won’t be tempted to start a new project.

Working remotely can be done successfully by almost anyone, as long as these general guidelines are followed!

Ryan Clayton | Associate Broker
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