The latest Owl Labs study found that 16% of all companies worldwide are now completely remote, according to statistics on DropDesk. Remote working is the new norm, as more and more companies allow employees to work independently from their homes rather than in the office.
Remote work has many benefits for companies, such as reduced turnover rate and absenteeism, improved productivity, access to new talent, and operational cost reduction. For many employees, working remotely has opened a way to maintain a good work-life balance.
While transitioning to remote working is easy with the help of advanced technologies and the Internet, many businesses and employees are struggling to make the most of remote work. If you’re a manager or employee looking for ways to work remotely and stay well, below are some tips on how to adapt to remote working successfully.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
Sticking to a schedule is the first step to working remotely from home without facing many challenges. A schedule gives your day structure, so you can complete tasks within set deadlines while feeling sane. For example, let’s say you had a flexible work routine in the office.
Instead of changing your schedule, try to stick to the hours your team and clients expect of you. This means that if you used to start work in the office at 8:30 AM, make sure your work from home schedule allows you to start working at 8:30 AM.
Make sure you wake up at the same time every day and schedule for breaks as you would in an office setup. Also, make the most of your commute time working out or catching up with family. When you keep to your schedule, you eliminate distractions and feel more grounded in performing your daily duties.
Setup a Dedicated Workplace
A dedicated workspace helps you establish boundaries between personal life issues and work. As a result, you’ll experience little to zero distractions throughout the day. Typically, you’ll want to dedicate an entire room to be your office.
That way, you’ll avoid working from the kitchen table, couch, or bed and stay productive. But if that’s not possible, you can still create an ideal office in your small home. All you need to do is get creative and use the space available.
For example, you can transform your built-in closet into a comfortable, small office. You’ll only need to add a desk, chair, and shelves to make it practical.
Other design ideas for small offices include the under stairs office, bookshelf office, the loft bed workspace, and multipurpose office. All these design ideas allow you to turn underutilized spaces into comfortable and functional offices.
When creating a dedicated workplace at home, choose a location with plenty of natural light to improve your productivity levels. Incorporate details that make your workspace comfortable. For example, add plants, invest in an ergonomic desk and chair, install storage solutions, and use light colors like white shades to open up your working space.
Set Aside Time to Socialize
Working from home has benefits like flexibility and improved personal productivity and effectiveness. However, you may feel lonely because work from home environment doesn’t spark informal communication, like in an office setup. So, you must set aside a few minutes every day to stay connected with your team, family, and friends.
If you’re like many people, you’re probably thinking, how can you socialize while working remotely? First, you need to create regular coffee chats with your colleagues over video calls. Next, create space for an always-on video conferencing environment to ensure team members stay connected throughout the day.
Alternatively, use video and audio-based chat tools like Loom and Yac. When connecting with colleagues, make it a habit to discuss things like sports, hilarious stories about work from home experiences, and vacation plans. Also, make the most of your free time bonding with your family and community.
Don’t be Afraid to Try New Things
While maintaining routine is essential for improving productivity, try new things to find a suitable work structure. Ideally, remote work allows people to try unconventional work methodologies because the peak hours of focus and energy differ from one individual to another. For instance, you may notice your level of productivity is high at night or in the evening. All you need to do is inform your team that you’re experimenting with a nonlinear daily work schedule.
You can also enjoy the advantages of asynchronous work routines when working remotely by utilizing your previous commute hours. Since you don’t need to travel from home to the office and back, you can use this free time to engage in healthy activities. Consider bonding with family prepping meals and eating together, study, read, and exercise.
Maintaining your mental wellbeing while working remotely can be challenging. You must deal with many distractions like house chores, TV, and children who want to play and spend quality time with you because they think you’re on holiday.
To ensure you remain productive and stay sane working in the house, you need to discuss your needs with family members. Share with them your daily work schedule and remind them you need a quiet place to complete your tasks.
Likewise, establish boundaries with work to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Many remote workers stay logged onto work even after office hours. As a result, they experience burnout. To avoid work-related stress, try to sign out immediately when the workday is over and enjoy quality time with your loved ones.
Remote working has become increasingly popular over the last two years since the health crisis started. Many businesses allow their staff to work from home, as it boosts diversity, improves productivity, and lowers operational costs. For employees, working remotely creates opportunities to be productive, bond with family, and establish flexible work routines.
However, to enjoy these perks, remote workers need to set a schedule and stick to it, design functional and comfortable workspaces, establish boundaries, and create time for connecting with colleagues and family.