Guest Post, Remote Worker

Five Essential Tips for Remote Workers Who Want to Increase Their Productivity

Remote work is consistently evolving. More companies are adopting it, while new tools emerge to facilitate it more effectively. However, there will always be a "learning curve" associated with going remote. The norm is working around others in an office, and moving to the emerging world of remote work can be overwhelming.

This reason is why RemoteHabits exists. RemoteHabits is a platform that houses over 60 interviews with current remote work professionals. This collection of interviews is meant to be a guide for remote work newcomers, as well as established workers who are looking to learn some new productivity tricks.

Who better to hear from regarding remote work tips than those who are efficiently working from home?
We invite you to take a look at some of the tips from our remote work interviewees, along with some takeaways about how you can integrate the advice into your daily routine.

Have a Morning Routine

"After waking up, I spend 20 minutes meditating. This hasn't always been the case, but I've found it remarkably efficient at forcing you to slow down and see things as they are and not what you perceive them to be in the moment." – Jacob, a site reliability engineer

It is tempting to jump right into checking emails or cranking out your to-do list. However, you will help your day to get off to a better start if you don't do this. Getting yourself into the right headspace will give you the energy you need to start your day effectively. So, take at least 30 minutes to enjoy breakfast, write in your journal for the day, meditate, or go on a morning jog with the dog. Your brain will thank you once you begin your first task for the day.

Ensure Your Family Understands your Schedule

"Be prepared to have conversations with family and friends about the boundaries of work time. That's a real conversation I've had with family who thinks that because I am home, I'm not working. Be firm and know that remote work means flexible hours, but if you don't work during the day, you might be pulling all-nighters to complete tasks."Alaina, nonprofit program state director

Remote work does provide you with the flexibility to spend more time with family. However, it is crucial that you are open and honest for when you need uninterrupted time to work. The lines can become blurred when it comes to handling family obligations and keeping up with deadlines. So, don't hesitate to sit down with spouses and parents to inform them of your schedule, while having age-appropriate conversations with children about when you will be available during the day.

When It Comes to Hybrid Teams, Be Visible

"I visit the mothership often enough to know what the culture is like. What are people's commutes like? Where do they lunch? What is their working environment? What's the setup in the conference room where they're all huddled for our daily? Knowing these things helps me be a fuller social participant in our conversations."Scott, UX designer, and front-end developer

It would be ideal for everyone to work from home; however, many companies facilitate the use of hybrid teams. These are teams where some individuals are working in the office while others are working from home. There could be a variety of reasons why some are needed in the office. However, whatever the reason, it is crucial to have a plan for navigating this setup.
Scott, as well as other RemoteHabits interviewees who have been a part of hybrid teams, realized it is vital to ensure you are visible to those in the office. Being "visible" could mean something as involved as going to visit the offices every quarter, or facilitating "virtual coffee meetings" with other remote workers and in-office staff. These acts can help strengthen trust and collaboration between the remote and in-office team.

Work Around the Times of Day When You Have the Most Energy

"The first things I do are the hardest tasks and those with the earliest deadlines. I'll take a mid-day break to walk Melody and Carrie, the furry company mascots. I save the less challenging tasks for the afternoon."Meryl, digital marketer

One of the main perks of remote work is the flexibility it affords. Unless you have a remote job that requires you to be available specific hours during the day, you can decide when you work. So, make sure you capitalize on this benefit. It is highly likely that Meryl's energy levels are highest during the day. Therefore, she tackles some of the challenging and more involved tasks during a time that works best for her productivity. So, make sure you take the same care with your calendar. If your energy levels are higher later in the day, adjust your schedule accordingly so you can move through your day efficiently.

Set Work and Contact Boundaries

"However, over the last year or so, I've put my foot down and told my clients that I will not be available from midnight my time to 6 AM my time unless there is a dire emergency."Debabrata, sales copywriter

For many, signing off for the day can be difficult. You no longer have the advantage of leaving your work—and workspace—behind in a physical office. As a remote worker, hopping back on the desktop or laptop is always an option. So, as a result, it is crucial that you set work and contact boundaries and stick to them. Our RemoteHabits interviewees have a variety of ways they establish healthy work-life balances, and one of the methods is Debabrata's advice to decide on a time when he would and would not be available. Be sure to do the same for your work schedule and stick to it.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of ways to make sure remote work "works" for you. However, figuring out how to organize your day can be overwhelming. This reason is why platforms like Operate Remote and Remote Habits exists. The ultimate goal is to ensure professionals across the world can painlessly begin working remotely, and thrive while doing so. 

Bio

Chanell Alexander is a freelance writer and content strategist. She is a writer and social media manager for RemoteHabits, a platform for remote workers to share their tips and advice for how they thrive.

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