Do you open your email to find hundreds of articles of never-ending recommendations on how to work remotely?
It can be pretty overwhelming to decide which article to click on first, right? I know because it happened to me.
Don’t panic. I’ve got you covered. I took the task of collecting information from different sources, and broke it all down for you, all in one place.
So let’s get cracking! Here are 4 things you need to know about remote working and not die trying!
1. Prepare mentally.
Remember, it is your office, not your home. Get dressed, don’t stay in your pajamas! Enable a space that is suitable, without distractions such as noise, people, etc.
2. Set limits with your family and yourself:
- Separate domesticity from work. If you work for a company, you probably have set working hours, and it’s important to stick to them when you’re working from home.
- Do Not Disturb Mode. One of the problems that people who work remotely face on a daily basis is the lack of respect for their space by their relatives or housemates. Talk to your partner, parents, children, and friends to let them know that at certain times you cannot be interrupted.
- Download a blocker. If your distractors are already related to your self-control, there are online distraction blockers, designed to help you stay focused and maintain efficiency to the maximum. StayFocused and LeechBlock are some browser extensions that can help you. You can use services like Focus @ Will or Brain.fm to tune in to focus on sounds and music that are scientifically proven to help you be more productive.
3. Establish a routine and work schedule:
This is a MUST. You have to respect the established times of a normal day’s work in the office. Get up at the same time as when you go to the office and get ready. Set your meeting and work hours. Also include two 15-minute breaks, whether for breakfast, lunch, just going to the bathroom or stretching for a while.
- One way to structure your time is to use the Pomodoro Technique. The technique uses a timer to divide the work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes long, separated by short breaks. Using this technique structures time and gives you an opportunity to catch up on Instagram or, better yet, look out the window twice an hour. Which is appreciated many times.
You can also follow the 3-minute rule. Every hour, take 3 minutes to deal with what’s gnawing at you: Start doing laundry. See Twitter. Lie down on the floor with your dog. Whatever gives your brain a break.
Scientific studies found that short breaks during the day are more beneficial than less frequent but longer breaks.
4. Take care of your mental health.
- Don’t disconnect… When you’re at work, you’re more likely to interact with colleagues, but when you work from home, you can spend the whole day without talking to someone. Although you will not be in direct contact with your leader and the rest of your team like when you are in the office, try to communicate with them constantly throughout the day.
Inform your leader about your scheduled activities and the progress of your tasks, also report when starting work, at lunchtime and at the end of your workday.
Jack Evans is a psychologist at workplace wellness consultancy Robertson Cooper, who plans to have all of his staff work temporarily from home amid the coronavirus outbreak. Their plan is to talk to each other for 30 minutes every day via video conference.
“At approximately lunchtime, we will talk on video calls and about nothing in particular. It’s to make sure that people don’t lose their social connection.”
- Just pick up the phone. Take time to pick up the phone and have a real conversation, instead of doing everything with email and instant messaging. Having calls with your peers about informal conversations like you would in the office also helps you cope with isolation.
- Exercise, eat, and sleep well! Being physically well also helps your concentration and performance when doing home office. You can take advantage of your free time to do exercises at home. Not everything is snacks, eat healthy and try to eat 5 times a day. It’s also important that you rest, give your body 7 or 8 hours of sleep to have your energy at 100!