Over the last decade, the number of employees working remotely has skyrocketed, and continues to increase year-over-year. Roughly 70% of the global workforce works remotely at least one day per week, and reports estimate that 50% of the U.S. workforce will be remote within the next ten years. Despite these numbers and the increased popularity of working from home, remote work is still relatively unchartered territory. There are still mixed opinions on teleworking, and many managers remain hesitant and unsure on how to manage remote teams. As a result, it is imperative for remote employees to work efficiently and professionally off-site. I’ve written some key productivity tips below to help remote employees keep on track and stay in their managers good books.
First things first, you need to look the part. A lot of people have this idea that working from home involves sweatpants and a t-shirt, or just throwing on something quick and comfy. Dressing too casually can make it feel like you’re just relaxing at home or hanging out, resulting in lower productivity. Dressing the part, and wearing what one normally would to work, will help you get into the right mindset and feel prepared for your workday.
Secondly, it’s extremely important to keep a proper schedule and work regular hours when working remotely. Some people get into the habit of starting later, and sleeping in, or working different hours when working from home. To be successful and establish a proper routine, it’s important to work the same hours and the same times each and every day.
Similarly, it’s important to remember to take breaks, just like you would at the office, when working from home. A lot of remote workers tend to stay in one place and try to get all of their work done as quickly as possible to have more free time. Instead of cramming, it’s best to take time out of your schedule to get up and get out of your workspace for a few quick breaks.
When working from home it’s also extremely important to pick the right workspace. Creating a dedicated workspace is essential to separating work from your home life and getting into the right mindset for your daily job. When selecting your workspace its important to choose a bright lit space in order to increase your energy, reduce eye strain and keep you focused.
Finally, working from home doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself or work in a completely isolated setting. It’s important to take the time to go outside, get some fresh air, and connect with others. Many remote workers complain of loneliness or of feeling disconnected from the rest of their team. It’s therefore important for remote workers to reach out and connect to their co-workers, friends and family to counteract this.
Remote working is no longer a fringe practice, it’s a legitimate option and could very well be the new norm in the near future. It is therefore important to prepare for remote opportunities and establish strong habits to succeed.
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