Earlier this year, Neil Patel wrote an article on the booming business of working remotely. There have been several studies and surveys showcasing the benefits of working remotely, and as Neil points out in his article, it’s all about managing remote work and workers effectively. Driving progress is more important than measuring presence, and working remotely can boost productivity if done correctly.
But is trading in the cubicle for the comfort of home in the cards for you? Here are 5 ways to make working remotely work for you.
1. Find A Routine
Just as you might have a morning routine on the way to the office, you need a routine working from home to get your head in the game.
Home isn’t necessarily associated in your mind’s eye as a work-zone, so establishing a routine to work well in will help boost your productivity and keep you focused.
I start my day far earlier than most, brew my coffee, catch up on the news, and get right to work. By the time most are strolling to their first water cooler break in the corporate world, I’ve put in half a day’s work. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely the routine that works for me.
What are the perk-points of your day? How can you utilize those for pushing you toward your goals? Set a schedule you’re not only comfortable with, but can maintain, and etch it into your every day. Training your brain to work from home might be challenging at first, but a routine will cement that transition pretty quickly.
2. Stay Connected
It’s easy to hole-up and forget about the rest of the world when you get in the swing of remote work. It’s important to stay in touch with your team on a continual, consistent basis.
I would say working remotely places even greater importance on the art of communication since you have less person-to-person contact.
Use programs like Zoom or Skype for regular check-in conferences. They provide the opportunity for face-to-face contact, genuine conversation, and a sense of connection that’s easily lost through email or instant messaging.
Stay in touch with your team, keep everyone posted on your projects and progress, and don’t assume anyone knows what you’re up to. There’s a lot of space between you and the rest of the world when working remotely, so try to keep it as cinched up as possible.
3. Customize Your Space
Working from home means every comfortable nook and cranny are free for the taking. For some of us, though, that poses an organizational problem.
Just like creating a routine trains your brain to function in work-mode, making the right space for work does the same.
I have my whiteboard(s), computer, notebooks, sticky notes (I can’t survive without them) and markers all within arm’s reach in my workspace at home. Whatever helps you stay focused and productive, make sure it’s in one area, accessible, and you don’t have to waste time searching for it.
Keep in mind you’ll be having those frequent communication calls (see tip #2), so you’ll want your space to be appealing to you and those your webcam will allow into your world.
If you need some ideas for setting up a workspace, check out our Pinterest board and see what we’ve dreamt of so far.
4. Get Equipped
In order to work remotely, you’ll need the right equipment. High-speed internet (the faster, the better) is a MUST. In order to stay connected with the people and places that make your work worthwhile, you’ll need reliable internet you can count on in a hurry.
I’ve got a list of my favorite apps and tools here, and I consider most of them essentials for working remotely.
The trick isn’t just in having the right physical equipment, but in equipping yourself to learn what you need in order to get the job done.
You can check out Lynda.com (this is an affiliate link, but prices have not been modified for personal gain) for training on all sorts of programs, processes, and procedures that will help you get ahead in the virtual world.
Making sure you’re on top of your game by equipping yourself properly, will put you ahead of the pack, and will only benefit your working remotely.
5. Be Disciplined
Working remotely isn’t a cakewalk. It takes focus, drive and discipline. It absolutely has its perks and benefits, but not without cost or sacrifice.
Working remotely for most means having to prove even more you have what it takes to get the work done and drive results. No one wants to pay someone they believe is slacking off watching soap operas instead of completing projects or meeting important deadlines.
Stay focused. Keep your heart in your work, and be disciplined to do what you need to do, before you need to rush to get it done. Build your character and always follow through.
The flexibility that comes with working from home is a definite bonus, but if you’re not careful, it can flex you right out of work. Keep your clients happy by keeping your work up-to-speed and relevant, then enjoy the perks of working remotely.
It may not be for everybody, but I can’t imagine working any other way. In the age of working remotely, I’ve been blessed in discovering the tips and tricks that keep me doing the work I love.
If you’re interested in finding remote team members or becoming one, hop on over to my contact page and let’s get chatting!