Who would’ve thought that we would eventually get to a point where remote workingis the norm? In fact, research showsthat 60% of the UK’s adult population worked from home during the Coronavirus lockdown. But before the pandemic hit, there are many people, like virtual personal assistants and freelancers, who were already working from home before the pandemic hit.
You get to cut out the daily traffic, and most importantly, not worry that your colleague is going to steal your favourite coffee mug during their coffee break. Thank you, technology!
While this is all great news, remote working is not always easy. It requires discipline, and motivation - especially while in the middle of a global pandemic. This is why we’ve compiled a list of must-haves for remote working success.
1. A clear routine
Productivity is key when working from home, which is why you need to make sure you create and maintain a routine. While you’re not necessary going to a traditional work space, your obligations remain the same. Set a consistent alarm, take a shower in the mornings, and change into your work outfit for the day (you can even put on your favourite lipstick or spray some perfume). Once you’ve determined your working hours, you’ll be whizzing through your to-do list in no time.
2. A to-do list
There can be a lot of distractions when working from home. It is very important to be accountable for your time. Write a list of all the tasks you need to complete for the day and tick them off your list as you go along. This will help ensure that you don’t forget to complete any tasks and it will help you pace yourself throughout the day. Completed a task ahead of time? Reward yourself!
3. A dedicated working space
A dedicated working space is very important. It can be very tempting to work from your bed, but that should not be an option. There needs to be a clear distinction between your work space and leisure space. This does not mean that your workspace needs to be boring – design a workspace for yourself that boosts productivity. You’ll be spending many hours behind your desk, so bring out your favourite plant and sticky notes! Make sure you’re working from a well-lit, comfortable space. And because the sun is a natural mood-booster, natural light is a big bonus.
If you previously worked from a traditional office, you might find yourself feeling a little lonely and isolated from your colleagues. Apart from needing a stable internet connection to send and receive work-related information, the internet plays a big role in insuring that we feel closer together, even when we are kilometres apart. Make sure your internet connection allows you to hop onto video calls and other networking platforms. Increasing your usage of collaboration applications can help make you feel a little less alone and disconnected from everyone.
5. Regular breaks
It is important to take regular breaks, away from your working space. Working from home does not mean that you need to eat your lunch at your desk. Take a break to stretch your legs, make yourself a cup of coffee or even try a change of scenery. Breaks increase productivity levels and help you remain balanced throughout your work day.
Create and maintain boundaries between work and personal life. Clearly communicate your working hours and stick to them. It is important that you do not use your personal time doing work, but it is also just as important that you don’t use your work hours for personal things. Using time-tracking apps can help with ensuring that you have dedicated the required hours to your work. It also helps to close all leisure apps, so that you don’t find yourself scrolling through social media in between tasks.
Signal off the end of your work day by planning a fun activity. Go for a jog, take your dog for a walk or catch an episode of your favourite show. This helps with productivity during the day, because you have something to look forward to when all of your hard work is complete. It is usually best to have this be an activity you can perform outside. Take a break from your environment once you have closed your laptop for the day.