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Working remotely? Tips for success
Whether you are new to telecommuting or have been working remotely for years, here are 8 tips for success while working away from the office.
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Over the last few years, an unprecedented number of employees have transitioned to remote work-from-home positions. Whether this new work arrangement was intended to be temporary or permanent, the following tips will help your telecommuting employees remain engaged and stay on track with their work.
8 Tips to Make Working from Home Successful
1. Create a Designated Work Area
Though this may seem trivial, choosing a spot in your home that is designated for working from home is an important step you can take to set yourself up for success.
Consider using a spare bedroom that you’ve turned into a home office, a desk located in the corner of the living room, or space on the dining room table. Best practice is to stay away from working in your bed or on the couch, as these areas are associated with relaxation in your brain and could negatively impact your productivity.
Make sure your workspace functions efficiently for you and your work style. Treat your at-home work area as you would an office cubicle. Make your workspace a place where you can focus and do your best work.
2. Plan and Test Communications Before Working Remotely
Scheduling regular meetings and communications with coworkers, supervisors, and managers is key to staying in-the-loop and maintaining a connection with your team. However, you may want to test your choice method of communication with a peer or manager prior to conducting an important business meeting or sales call.
3. Secure and Protect Your Network
Telecommuting introduces another set of potential cyber security risks. Make sure you speak with your manager about cyber security and strategies you can use for mitigating the risk of a cyber-attack while working from your home.
4. Dress the Part
The way you dress has been proven to affect you psychologically. Although it may sound like a great idea to work from home in your pajamas, you may have a difficult time focusing.
While you do not need to dress in formal business attire, you should take the time to shower, brush your teeth, and get ready for the day. Choose clothes that you would be comfortable wearing if your boss were to include you in an unexpected video chat meeting.
5. Avoid Distractions to Stay on Task
One big challenge of telecommuting is accountability. Without co-workers or managers nearby, it is easy to become distracted and fall behind on work. Remember that working from home is a privilege, and that it will become apparent if you are not putting in the same effort into your work at home as you did in the office.
Stay focused on work throughout the day to maintain consistent productivity and avoid online distractions. Limit the time spent on email, social media and websites unrelated to work. If you need help moderating your break time, consider setting a timer on your phone.
6. Evaluate Yourself Periodically
To ensure that telecommuting is working for you, consider conducting a self-assessment with the following questions:
- Are the hours you are working reasonable and manageable?
- What are you accomplishing in the office versus out of the office?
- Are you meeting all of your deadlines?
- Are you feeling connected with your co-workers?
7. Remember to Take Breaks When Needed
Just like you are encouraged to take breaks when in the office, remember to allow yourself time throughout the day for quick breaks. If you need a short break to gather your thoughts, try walking around the house or down the street, stretching, or making a snack or meal.
If you need to take a longer break or socialize, plan time in your schedule for it. A major advantage of working from home is having flexibility. Before you take an hour or two out of your day, though, make sure to communicate and check with your manager so that you remain compliant with your company’s policies.
8. Be Honest with Yourself
Telecommuting is not a viable option for every employee. If you find that working from home is negatively impacting your productivity or making you feel disconnected from your team and your work, speak to your manager.
For help with setting up your company’s telecommuting policy or questions about remote work arrangements, please contact your certified HR expert. Not a current Stratus HR client? Book a free consultation and our team will contact you shortly.