8 HACKS TO MAKE YOUR REMOTE WORKING EASY
Do you feel like your productivity is challenged by the mundane environment of an office space? Does the commute to your workplace feel like a drag on most days? Want to spare some time and get that morning jog done without having to hurry to your job? If you feel like you’ve been having trouble getting around any of these things then it’s time you learn about ‘Remote Work.’
WHAT IS REMOTE WORKING?
You might have heard of the term Remote working while speaking to your friends, colleagues or in one of those water cooler conversations at the office and nodded in agreement not quite understanding the entirety of the concept. In a nutshell, Remote working can be defined as the ability to do your work on the go, meaning the idea of a traditional workspace isn’t necessary anymore. Yes, It’s a thing! While there have been a lot of speculations about how effective the idea of remote working could be, due to the current pandemic all over the world many companies have opted for a ‘work from home’ or ‘remote working’ strategies.
Work cultures are changing around the world and most companies are focused upon maximizing productivity and maintaining a sense of loyalty from their employees. This can only happen when employers can value their employees' work life balance more effectively. Remote working can be a brilliant example of the same.
HOW TO MANAGE WORKING FROM HOME EFFICIENTLY?
There are a few common problems that are generally faced while remote working such as prioritizing work, being able to meet deadlines, feeling isolated due to lack of human interaction as well as burning out. Below are a few hacks we thought would make working from home easier for you as well as applicable in your work of field :
1. Set your workspace
When working remotely, it’s super important to separate work and relaxation, and a key part of establishing that is deciding where to work. For the same reason you shouldn’t work in pyjamas, neither should you work from your couch or your bed, which can cause a lot of obstacles to your overall productivity. It’s crucial to set a dedicated space for work separate from where you sleep and relax. If you don’t, your brain subconsciously goes into relaxation mode through association. If you can’t set up a workstation at home, try out a coworking space or plan out cafes and libraries to work at for your coming week.
2. Optimize your workspace
Once it’s clutter free, optimize your work space further by adding air-filtering plants, action figures, a music player, or a white marker board wall.
Most importantly, get a desk or table with the right height and a proper chair with good back support. Or consider using a firm chair or a bean bag to sit on. This will make working much more comfortable and helps to avoid back pain.
Pro tip: You can easily DIY your own standing desk by placing a cardboard box upside-down on your desk to lift up your keyboard to the ideal height. Or use a stack of books that you do not read anymore to create your own desk to work upon.
Avoid keeping a refrigerator, snacks, or unhealthy drinks within easy reach. Instead, keep a big bottle of water close by and refill it at least once, preferably twice each day.
3. Avoid distractions & procrastination
Distraction is the killer of productivity. But when working from home you’re facing a whole lot of new distractions that need to be avoided. Consider checking your emails / notifications only on set times during the day. Don’t leave your messenger or email program open, because as soon as you see new messages coming in, we guarantee that you’ll be tempted to check them. This can easily lead to you spending the whole day playing catch up and constantly jumping from one request to another, without ever having the chance to focus on your priorities.
There are also plenty of apps that can help with avoiding distractions by blocking certain time-sucking websites or social media platforms for desired hours. If you don’t trust yourself around those websites, use an app like Freedom or Limit to block them.
4. Communicate with your team
Communication is the backbone of remote teams, so don’t neglect it. When communicating in writing, make sure to phrase your messages carefully. Add more context, explain things more thoroughly and think about what your message might sound like to the other person. Intentionally use a friendly tone in your messages, which can go a long way in improving the whole exchange as well as nurturing a healthy team spirit among you and your colleagues.
Also, allow more room for questions and comments. In conference calls, you need to allow for delayed sound and for people to un-mute their devices. So, give people more time to respond. When asking someone a question, lead with their name, so they know you’re talking directly to them and can listen more carefully straight away. There are quite a few apps like Slack, Trello, Basecamp 3, Zoom that will help you to carry out communications with the team seamlessly.
5. Set a schedule and stick to it
Flexibility is one of the biggest perks of working remotely, but it’s easy to get carried away. Just because you no longer have to stick to someone else’s schedule doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create your own. Having a consistent routine is one of the most beneficial productivity practices and the beauty of it is that you can shape your schedule around how you want to spend the day and according to when you are most productive.
Maybe you like to wake up early and get a good few hours of work in before 10:00; maybe you prefer to start easy and catch up with emails over coffee before getting into work mode. Either is fine, as long as you have structure. Set a time when you’ll wake up, start work, take lunch and finish for the day. Remember to squeeze in regular breaks. Just like getting dressed in the morning, having a set schedule helps trigger the brain and remind you that it’s time to work. Head over to Gorewo job listings to find out which job offer sits well with your productive hours.
6. Be wardrobe disciplined
Getting dressed in the morning is a small act with a big impact. You’d be surprised how many remote workers never get out of their pyjamas; one UK survey found that 61% of women and 53% of men who work remotely don’t get dressed in the morning. While it’s tempting to stay in your PJs, getting dressed can have a big impact on productivity: psychologically, shedding your pyjamas and stepping into "work wear" helps you get into work mode. Working from home, you have the opportunity to wear clothes you actually feel comfortable in. While you don’t have to get suited and booted, do actually get dressed!
7. Work life balance
Some people think working from home is great and cool, and gives you all these perks. You do get flexibility, but a lot of people feel like they always have to be checking on or working on something. Here’s an example of how you could plan out your working hours , you could set an alarm on your calendar to start the workday and then set up two-hour blocks. Do two hours and then take an hour break. Then two more hours and an hour break.
Working at home, something that would normally take you a few hours in an office setting takes me 45 minutes to an hour, due to lesser distractions and having a sense of comfort in your own space. Breaks are not to be underestimated though. You could eventually burn out. Having a pet at home helps. When you take your breaks, you could play with it for a little while or take it for a walk perhaps. Or interacting with a family member or just catching up on daily affairs could help you refresh your mood.
8. Don’t overlook your physical health.
One of the best ways you can stay productive is by making sure that your physical health is on a high enough level to sustain the effort. You need to have some physical activity in your daily routine especially if your entire job revolves around you sitting in front of your laptop at home.
Being productive doesn’t mean working non-stop. It requires a lot of different components, one of which is physical exercise. So, take a moment to breathe and soak in the sun. Believe it or not, it’ll help you be a better worker.
One of the benefits of taking a breathing moment for yourself is to adjust your course and change directions if necessary. Taking a deep breath enables you to look at your work and see if you’re staying in the right direction or if you need to change.
The future is remote work
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way much of the world works. But just because many of us are being forced to figure out new routines and habits doesn’t mean we can’t still get a lot of work done every day.
These eight hacks can help you and your team increase productivity perhaps to the point you’re getting even more done while working remotely than you did when you were all in the office.
As the pandemic has taught us too well, the future of work is all about the ability to adapt to situations quickly, including newer work culture elements such as remote work. By being self-motivated, keeping your wits about you, learning how to prioritize, finding a great place to work, and doing what you can to stay healthy as well as constantly finding new ways to increase productivity. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing you experience remote working at Gorewo. Hopefully some of these remote working hacks will help you kickstart your remote working journey and help you in optimising working from home. All the best!