7 Tips You Need To Be An Effective Remote Worker
Remote work has always been a dream of many office workers. Late shifts, overtime, the general need to get up early and suffer a ride to work in a crowded bus all make working from home an increasingly attractive option. Still, as 2020 has already demonstrated, being thrust into remote work with no preparation can be incredibly damaging to an employee’s productivity and even well-being.
Working from home requires significant adjustments to a person’s routine. These changes can be particularly harmful during the coronavirus lockdown, as people are unlikely to get personal support and communication to help them get through the adaptation period. Below are seven tips that remote workers can use to minimize the discomfort of remote work during coronavirus.
1. Separate Work Time From Leisure
One of the main pitfalls of remote work is its omnipresence. Normally, work begins when you leave your house and ends when you return to it. On the remote, however, this boundary is as blurry as it gets. It’s incredibly important to set the time for work and leisure at home because, otherwise, either of these activities can engulf the other one. Setting the time for work, lunch, and breaks can help minimize the damage to your productivity and reduce the likelihood of overworking.
2. Designate a Working Space
However comfortable, your bedroom is not the epitome of a perfect working environment. Find a room or a place in your apartment that will belong specifically to work. A room is ideal, but if you cannot spare one, even a separate desk can do the trick.
Also, if you live with other people, talk to them and establish when it’s okay to interact while you are at your makeshift office. It can help avoid distractions and enhance the feeling of the boundary between work and leisure.
3. Establish a Routine
Jumping straight into your first task for the day can be counterproductive. Instead, design a routine and follow it as best as you can. Go for a run or walk in the morning, eat breakfast, read or take a shower before even sitting down at the table. Work for a decided amount of time and shut the door on the unfinished projects when it’s up.
4. Change Your Clothes
Spending the whole weekend in your PJs is okay, but it will start dragging you into a depressed state after a few more days. Wear different clothes during the day when you work and rest. It doesn’t have to be full business attire, but simply wearing something that puts you into a creative and focused mood can boost your productivity. It also can increase the sense of relaxation and work-well-done when you change back.
5. Don’t Neglect to Communicate
Personal communication is paramount in any working space, even for the introverted personalities who don’t need much interaction to feel good. During the day, we speak to our coworkers on minor occasions numerous times without even noticing it. Remote work takes away the ability to communicate in person, but it also provides alternative channels that help keep in touch.
Also, don’t be afraid to convey your doubts and problems to managers and other employees. You will not come off as complaining, and the issue won’t get a chance to persist and worsen both your mood and productivity.
6. Use Technology
Staying in touch with other people and maintaining focus can be hard. Instead of brute-forcing every task as they come up or relying solely on text messages, use applications that can help you create a more comfortable environment. Apps like Slack, Mattermost, and Meeting Owl facilitate business communication. Todoist, Trello, and Jira are some of the applications that can help with project management and productivity.
7. Remember That It’s Temporary
Regardless of how hard it gets, the period of forced remote work will be over. It might happen within a few weeks or a few months, but the quarantine will end, and offices will open. Unless you are (or striving to be) a constantly remote worker, reminding yourself that the situation is temporary can help alleviate some of the distress.
Remote work is hugely unusual for the vast majority of office employees. Shifting from seeing your coworkers every day and having strictly separated work and living environments to staying and working at home is challenging. Although it’s hard to distinguish the primary issue in this generally unfavorable situation, people usually struggle the most with the lack of routine.
The first thing that can help stay effective and mentally healthy during the time of forced remote work is establishing a clear routine. Setting specific goals, designating a workspace, and turning your phone off during the lunch break and dinner can help maintain the crucial boundary between work and personal life. Also, it’s vital to stay connected with other employees and managers.
Remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic is hard, but it’s far from endless. If, at some point, it starts feeling insurmountable, remembering that it’s all temporary can also help regain the equilibrium.