Seven Tips To Help You Succeed In Working Remotely
Many workers love the flexibility and the feeling of increased productivity working from home. Others will admit that it is easy to become lonely and to work longer hours. Remote work is not for everyone and it comes with challenges. I’ve gained some insights over the past 20 years from my own remote work experience and managing remote consultants that I’d like to share.
- Create Your Space – you need to have a dedicated office space that is professional, inviting and functional. Invest in good lighting, desk, ergonomic chair and extended monitor. Use wall color and art to make the space personal and inspiring.
- Connectivity is Key – a reliable internet connection is essential to working remotely. Have a Plan B for times when you don’t have connectivity. Use a landline if your mobile voice quality is questionable.
- Protect Your Stuff – ensure that your work is always done on a secure internet connection. Keep your virus definitions and firewall security updated. Keep all software on your computer updated to reduce security vulnerabilities. Back-up your computer daily to an external hard drive or a cloud solution. Have a back-up computer you can use in the event your primary computer goes down.
- Schedule – work on a regular schedule as if you were going into the office. This will set the expectation with co-workers and clients on your availability and accountability. Schedule in breaks to go for a walk or just to step away from the office. I find that taking a walk helps to energize and reduce stress. Working from home does not mean you work all hours. Take charge of setting limits to work hours, checking emails and answering phone calls.
- Plan To Be Social – Schedule meetings with friends, co-workers and clients to get out of the house. If your situation allows, go to the office to keep connected to your co-workers and manager. Join a networking group.
- Organize It – Organization is critical when working remotely. Take the time each morning to plan and prioritize your work for the day. Organize your electronic and paper files so information is easy to find. Figure out a system that works best to manage your tasks and deadlines. It can be easy to get distracted by personal phone conversations, surfing the internet, family, social media, household chores or running errands. Set clear boundaries for yourself and others to manage distractions and work productively.
- Talk To Me – Put extra effort into communicating by picking-up the phone. Make connections with people at the office or client site who can get answers for you. Raise the “red flag” if you need help. Practice good conference call and video chat etiquette. Provide regular updates on your project tasks and deliverables. Answer email, IM, text and voicemail in a timely manner. Communicate times when you are not available.
By understanding the challenges of the remote work environment, you can utilize these tips to implement your own strategy.
By: Amy Noel, Business Development Executive at DCS