Working from home is an advantageous situation. You get to set your own schedule, you can take breaks when you want, and you don’t have to deal with anyone bothering you. The downsides are minimal, too. There’s no dress code, and it can be hard to find an open space big enough to accommodate all your home offices. Still, being able to work remotely is the definition of modern management. It’s beneficial for employees as well. According to a FlexJobs survey, 84% of remote workers would recommend working from home as a way to get ahead in their careers. While some prefer to go directly to work when they wake up, others want to take a quick break from the hustle and bustle first.
The key to successfully working remotely is to make early preparations. It’s a good idea to prepare your home office area well in advance. This gives you the freedom to fix any last-minute kinks in your workflow as soon as possible. It also minimizes the amount of stress you have later on when you’re trying to get something done. If you rush the set-up stage, you’ll have a chaotic jumble of cables and gadgets everywhere. That’ll make working from home unpleasant, if not actually dangerous. Keep track of all the devices you have and make sure they’re all plugged in and charged before you start using them. Also, ensure that your network is secure and that your internet connection is stable. If everything is connected and functioning properly, you can be sure that you’ll be able to work effectively even when you’re remotely.
One of the most beneficial things about working remotely is all the technology you have at your fingertips. Even if you don’t consider yourself a technology wizard, you’ll be able to leverage the tools available to you to make your job easier. Take advantage of whatever tech tools your company provides to access files, communicate with your colleagues, and get work done. Don’t be afraid to ask your system administrator for help if you’re stumped on how to use a specific piece of software. He or she will be able to help you navigate it efficiently and effectively. Your company might even have invested in special software that is designed specifically for working remotely. If not, though, there are still plenty of tools out there that can help you accomplish your tasks.
One of the things that made working from home so appealing to FlexJobs respondents was regular check-ins with their team. It’s important to acknowledge that not all teams are cohesive or communicative. Some work better alone, whereas others need frequent checks to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Regular check-ins with your team will help you identify any problems early on and prevent them from spiraling out of control. It also helps you be sure that everyone is working toward the same goal. Regular check-ins tend to build trust between teammates, too. It shows that you value their input and that you’re willing to listen to them. FlexJobs respondents reported that regular, face-to-face meetings with their colleagues increased their productivity by 12%.
Another important tip that came up time and time again in the FlexJobs survey was to delegate tasks and keep your focus on the bigger picture. Respondents reported that by taking on more responsibility, they were able to increase their productivity by 28%. This is especially beneficial if you’re working remotely, since there’s no one standing over your shoulder giving you instructions. Take a step back and look at the big picture. If you feel like you’re getting distracted by a task that seems insignificant, it’s probably because there’s something more important that you’re not focusing on. When you give someone else a task, it takes the pressure off and allows you to return to what you were doing before. Plus, if you’re handing out tasks that aren’t already in your job description, it shows that you trust your employees and are confident that they’ll be able to take on more responsibility. This ultimately leads to increased productivity and job satisfaction. It’s important to remember that not all delegation is bad. If you have someone on your team that is better equipped to handle a certain task or project, it might be a smart move to let them take the helm. The key is to make sure that you’re aware of what is going on and that you’re in control of the bigger picture.
If you’re working remotely, you might not need to worry about getting distracted by outside stimuli. There’s always something happening somewhere in your neighborhood. You might, however, need to worry about getting cold. While you’re perfectly happy to stay warm (especially in summer), you might want to put some extra clothing on in winter. Working remotely in winter is especially challenging because there’s so much going on that you can easily be distracted by it. One way to overcome this is to take regular breaks. If you need a mental break from your work, take a walk, go for a bike ride, or catch up on some TV shows. Even if you don’t normally enjoy spending time on your own, it’s important to take breaks whenever you can. Schedule some time off work to spend with your family and friends. A good work-life balance is extremely beneficial, both for your mental and physical health. It also helps you produce higher quality work because you’re not burnt out and exhausted. Having a good work-life balance prevents over- or under-exposure to stress. This, in turn, prevents issues from arising later on when you’re under pressure.
It’s important to manage your time effectively. This means that you need to be conscious of how you spend your time and ensure that you’re using it productively. There are several ways that you can do this. First, make sure that you block out time for tasks that you need to actually accomplish. This is especially important if you’re working remotely because there’s no one keeping an eye on you. Second, be sure to set aside time for breaks. If you can, get some sunlight during the day. This helps your body produce more serotonin, the “happy” hormone. Exposure to sunlight benefits more than your physical health. It also has a positive effect on your mental health. Third, read and respond to emails only when you have time to do so. It’s easy for your inbox to become overloaded with emails, even if you’re not the type of person who gets a lot of them. It’s important to keep your inbox clean by only responding to important emails. Finally, try to work on projects that you find satisfying. This will help you produce higher quality work and feel happier overall. It can also be beneficial for your mental health to have a project that you’re working on. It gives you something to focus on and look forward to. Some projects might even be able to be completed remotely, which would allow you to get some extra hours of work in each week. The key is to find something that you can enjoy and that helps you become more productive. If you need a change of pace, take a walk, visit a museum, catch a movie, or go for a bike ride. These are all activities that you can do alone or with your family. They don’t require a lot of technology and can be done anytime. If you can, take advantage of whatever free time you have during the day. It’s never easy to get things done, and it can be frustrating when you don’t have time to yourself to get everything done. Make sure that you’re using your time effectively and that you’re getting as much done as possible.