Working from home is uncharted territory for many of us. This new opportunity presents many fun and challenging obstacles that we all have to tackle. Some have been working from home for many years already and know the ins and outs of what to do and what not to do. But for the rest of us we need to be prepared and adopt this new work style because it is unclear how long we will be in this position.
Here are the 10 best remote work tips to make working from home easier and less stressful. Special thanks to Manny Pantoja for the cover photo.
Best Remote Work Tips
Make a Schedule
Working from home can take a good amount of discipline to remain productive. If you are one that likes to get sidetracked while working and has not adjusted to the freedom of working from home, try to create a schedule. This schedule should include regular breaks to keep you from getting burned out and tired. The most important part of the schedule is that you need to stick to it to make it a habit. Here’s an article from the Washington Post on creating good habits.
Invest in Yourself
Computers, chairs, desks, and accessories are all essential when working from home. A fast and reliable computer can be a godsend when working from home. Think about how much more work you could get done if you were not sitting around waiting for a document to open. If you can consider upgrading to a newer computer.
A good office chair is something that not many people have or think they need, but when you think about how many hours you will spend in a chair it makes it worth it to invest in one. Herman Miller, is an amazing chair brand that will improve your posture and ensure that you will remain comfortable for hours on end. Invest in yourself and make sure you have the proper equipment to make working from home comfortable and reliable.
When working from home it is easy to get bogged down and feel isolated. To prevent this check in with fellow coworkers and friends. If you are in a line of work where collaboration is necessary and helpful for you then try to schedule Zoom meetings for some “face to face” conversations. If you don’t want to video chat you can try using a chat room such as Skype or Discord. These apps are great for meetings or just a quick chat to bounce ideas off of someone else.
Protect your Work Area
Protecting your work area means that you should have ground rules. This is helpful for those who live with roommates and family members. You should discuss with them the hours you will be working and that during these times you should not be interrupted.
Over the course of working these small interruptions can cause you to get sidetracked and lose valuable hours of working time. This can be challenging if you have children, but do your best to explain to them that you need this time to perform your job. Don’t have an important meeting interrupted by someone or something that could have been avoided.
Getting dressed to work from home may seem silly, but it is important to do. Most of us have a certain set of attire we wear to work and when we come home we switch to our “home” attire. This switch may appear as just a physical change, but it also triggers something psychologically in us.
According to this article from TheLadders.com “Working in your pajamas may seem like fun for a couple of days, but you’ll sound find any productivity wanes. Our bodies appreciate the comfiness of our bed wear, and consciously or unconsciously, our minds react to this comfortability by shutting down the practical parts of our brain.” To avoid this try to get dressed in something similar to what you would wear to work everyday. This small act can improve your entire day.
Listen to Music
Listening to music is great way to boost productivity. In a study done by Simone Ritter at Radboud University, and Sam Ferguson, at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, they found that listening to happy music enhanced creative thinking. If you get down in a rut and are having trouble coming up with ideas then try to throw on some music. Just don’t get carried away singing and dancing. Check out this Spotify playlist that is tailored for working from home.
Invest in your Internet
Working from home can be challenging if you do not have the proper equipment. Things such as internet router and modem both factor in to your productivity. Slow internet can certainly slow down your work routine if it keeps cutting in and out. Investing in a reliable router like this one can save you from the frustration of internet cutouts. Consider contacting your internet provider to upgrade your internet speeds to save even more time.
Get Away from your Computer
Taking frequent breaks by doing things such as taking a walk or stretching is a great way to boost productivity. According to a study done by the journal Cognition, taking short breaks can improve focus and happiness. Don’t use your breaks to check social media or watch TV. Try to go outside and get some fresh air. A quick walk outside is a sure way to enhance your mood and get some sun. Another great thing you can do is to do some exercises during your break. Check out these at home exercises you can do to stay in shape.
Organize your Work Area
Having a cluttered work space is annoying and will create bad energy. Organizing your work space will keep you on task and cut down on distractions. This will also help you be able to find the things you will need to access quickly while working. This also goes for your virtual work space.
Having a cluttered desktop will make it difficult to find files software you need to use everyday. Before each workday take some time to clean up your computer and work area.
One of the benefits of working from home is that we have access to a kitchen. This can also be downside depending on your level of self control. I will be the first to put my hand up and say that I have a problem with eating healthy when working from home. It is so easy to get into the habit of constantly snacking on junk food like cookies and chips. To avoid this try to cook more and buy healthy snacks. Studies have shown that eating healthy food such as fruits and vegetables have a positive benefit in boosting productivity.
Your top remote work tips!
Which is your favorite remote work tip? Do you have something that we missed out? Leave a comment below to share your advice with the community.