How To Stay Motivated While Working Remotely
8 minute read
Working remotely is awesome... right up until the baby throws up on your computer or the neighbours' dog starts barking uncontrollably. But while working from home office it's easy for you to become your own worst enemy. At the home office, no one's watching. You don't have to feel the peer pressure or the obligation to get stuff done.
But if you are serious about working remotely it is very important to prepare for it. Here are some of the remote work best practices and tricks collected from distributed teams across the world.
1. Set daily goals
Goals help you define what you need to get done in the day. Figuring out a plan of action to achieve these goals would make your life easier. As long as you have the goals and a plan on how to achieve them, it doesn’t matter if you are at home. The focus on goals would make sure that you are on track and that you get things done by the end of the day.
2. Set up a routine
A major drawback of working remotely is the loss of productivity and laziness. Setting up a start of work routine tells your body and mind “It’s time to start working and being productive”. It could be as simple as to shower and dress every day as if you were going to an actual office. Getting dressed would make the home office a real office and reminds you, that even though you may be sitting at home using your computer you are working. Similarly having an end of the work routine enables your mind to get out of the office mode and get to personal life.
3. Set up boundaries
It is extremely important to ensure that because you are sitting at home your family and friends do not assume that you are free all the time. They should not just walk in whenever they want. You can use lunchtime to meet with friends and family. You can inform people to call first to see if you are available in case they want to meet you. You can also hang a sign of sorts outside your office door to let your family know if it’s okay to come in or not. Remember boundaries are effective only if they are enforced.
4. Create a comfortable office
You are going to be spending at least 8-40 hours every week in your home office. Make sure that it’s a place to your liking. You should spend time and money to build the place to facilitate productivity and better working environment. It may sound trivial but it’s not, you’ll be more inclined to work and as a result, you’ll be more productive.
5. Have fixed working hours
Decide the timings during which you would be working and make sure to stick to them. Having this discipline is one of the most crucial things about working remotely. People tend to overwork themselves and then burnout. Let your colleagues, manager and business associates know the working hours and ask them to follow them.
6. Avoid disruptions to your schedule
It takes time to get used to a remote working lifestyle. To make sure that you stick to the schedule and don’t overwork or underwork, avoid distractions as much as you can. Make the dentist’s appointment outside your working hours. Walk your dog during your lunch hour. Sticking to the schedule will enable you to stay focused.
7. Over-communicate and leverage technology
When you work remotely you only have text, audio and video as the modes of communication. You cannot pick up from other’s body language. Make sure you communicate what you think and feel to your colleagues and boss. Today there are countless tools available for keeping in close communication. You can use Remo, Skype or any other of your choice for communication. Remember communication is oxygen in remote working.
8. Spend some time with other human beings
Loneliness is the biggest disadvantage of remote work. In a traditional office, it’s easy to just bump into someone and have a casual conversation. When working remotely we tend to have minimal human contact. To make sure that loneliness doesn’t set in you must spend time with your friends and family regularly. Go out for drinks once a week or have dinner with your parents. Or simply you can attend online events that enable you to interact with other human beings.
9. Utilize your flexibility
Think your focus is wavering? Take a break from work. Go for a bike ride or swim, or maybe quit for the day. Your work schedule is as flexible as you need it to be, so it’s important to walk away sometimes. You would be amazed by what a cool dip on a hot day can do to help boost creative juices.
10. Get up from the chair and stay out of the fridge
It feels so good to not travel for 2 hours every day just for work. It’s so comfortable just to walk 10 seconds and get into the home office. And then having access to your fridge that’s like the icing on the cake. You need to build a discipline not to sit in the chair the whole day. Just get up and stretch every few hours. And also making sure that these walks to stretch don’t end up in the fridge. Remote work is meant to make you productive not obese.
These 10 tips will enable you to increase your productivity and streamline your routine. You might be more productive from home than the time you spend in the office! But remember working remotely is always a fine line, you have to learn to negotiate with yourself so that your work doesn’t take over who you are.