Working from home can be very appealing: your commute is literally a minute, you can work in your pyjamas, and you have more control over the type of environment you work in.
However, there’s always the danger of developing sloppy habits without the immediate supervision of your boss. Plus, there are still a lot of distractions at home that could take away from your work time. So how can you make this arrangement work in your favour? Here are some tips for becoming an excellent remote employee!
Keep a regular schedule
If you’re working at home, your schedule does not have to be a nine to five work day. If you are more productive in the morning, work in the morning. Whatever your working hours are, it should be consistent week after week.
Your boss and co-workers should be aware of your schedule. If it regularly changes, start your work week by emailing them your new schedule. It is a good idea to have your hours overlap with your other co-workers so that you can still collaborate with them in real time. If your work involves speaking to clients, this needs to be taken into consideration when planning your schedule.
Designate a “work only” space
This work-only area can be as big as a room or as small as a desk. This will be where you do work and where you store your work items. When you get into the habit of using this space, you will begin to associate the space with work and get into the proper mindset more quickly.
Your work-life balance is important. As a remote employee, this can be difficult to achieve because you’re living where you work. It can be tempting to work when you should be relaxing, but this can lead to stress, exhaustion, and poor productivity because you are not resting enough.
Change into work clothes
Resist the temptation of working in your pyjamas! While it may seem like a great perk, wearing proper clothing actually helps put you in a professional mindset. Plus, depending on your role, you may be expected to video chat with your colleagues and manager (not to mention clients) at any moment of your work day. It does not look good if you have to decline their call in order to change clothes. At the end of the day, change back into your home clothes, so that you switch back to the off-work mindset.
Get out of the house
Remote working does not mean you have to work from home. To prevent the onset of cabin fever, pick a day of the week to work in a coffee shop or library (or anywhere with internet access). This will give you a much-needed change of scenery and live interaction with people.
Working remotely is an extension of trust from your boss. He or she believes you are self-disciplined enough to work without immediate supervision. Treat working remotely as if you are in the office and your work will shine.
Working from home can improve your productivity—but only if you still treat it as work and still hold yourself accountable. The physical absence of a hovering boss is not an excuse to slack off. Follow these tips and you will give your office mates no reason to complain about your output!