Remote work has become the new norm for people all over the United States and around the world. While there is a sense of comfort being at home, there are also numerous distractions that get in the way of productivity. With the sudden interruptions of many business operations, most workers did not get much training or tips on working remotely.
Successfully transitioning to remote work is tough. Physically sitting at your computer doesn’t mean you are mentally there. Fortunately, some experts have studied how to best work remotely, and they have tips to share.
1. Practice a start-of-work routine
Consider your normal morning routine. You might wake up at the same time, take a shower, do your hair, get dressed, drink your coffee, and head to work. Even though you aren’t physically heading to work, you can still have a routine that you will habitually follow every day.
If you have a partner or children at home, let them also know what your routine is, so they’re aware when it’s officially your work time. Your routine might be a bit different than when you were physically going to work, but you should still do what helps you become productive. So if you need your coffee for an extra energy boost, then dedicate time to drink your coffee. As long as you build a habit, your brain will begin to recognize the routine, and you’ll be closer to becoming more productive.
2. Set a daily plan
Your remote-work schedule might not be as busy as your in-office schedule, but you should have one nonetheless. Plan your day with time blocked off for meetings, projects, and email responses. You can also plan your evening, so you have time to relax and do something you enjoy. Your daily plan can also include breaks for exercising and eating. When you schedule your day and evening, you will not feel like all of your time at home is filled with work-related activities and vice versa.
The two best times to plan your day? One is at the end of your work-related day; the other is as you begin your workday. As you continue to work remotely, you will eventually discover which time best suits you.
3. Schedule communication time
When you work remotely, you can quickly fall into the trap of emailing and texting about work all day long. Hence, while you’re transitioning to a work-from-home setup, you must identify what to prioritize and limit your professional communications. Each day, include in your schedule when you will communicate about work. Then, after that time has passed, consider yourself done for the day.
The same goes for personal communication. When working from home, it’s easy to get caught up in the social-media trap. So, during your professional work time, you should limit personal communication. Your daily schedule can include some time for social media, but it should be after your professional workday has ended.
Scheduling your daily communication will help you stay focused during work time, and it’ll help you be at peace at the end of the day.
4. Bring closure to each day
Before you end your workday, create a routine that brings you to closure. It can be at least 30 minutes before you’re finished working. You might do one last email check or review your daily tasks to ensure that you have completed everything. When you create a closure, you’ll be more prepared to relax as your day ends. You won’t have to worry about an email you didn’t check or a task you didn’t complete. Being able to disconnect gives you better focus and boundaries between your personal and professional life when you need it.
We at Infinity Consulting Solutions have also had to adjust to living in this new world of working remotely. We understand the challenges of both employees and employers. Even if we aren’t officially in the office, we’re still here, remotely working to help employers and candidates find each other and thrive despite the tough times.