Remote work is not merely a coping mechanism to the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak. A survey released in 2017 by the Freelancers Union and Upwork says that 50.9% of the U.S. population will be freelancers in the upcoming decade if the trend in freelancing remains upward. Remote work increases productivity significantly. Research shows that American Express telecommuters produced 43% more than their office workers.
Indeed there are many perks of working remotely from the comfort zone of a homely environment. It saves a considerable amount of time and fuel costs people spend in commuting. Right now, remote work is a widely-known concept around the globe, and it's time to get habituated with this new normal lifestyle. Here, we have gathered for you the top ten tips for working remotely.
If you are new in this situation and wondering how to work remotely, we have your back. Please go through our thoughtful suggestions to maintain a healthy work-life.
How to Work Remotely from a Home Office Setup
A proactive remote worker's top priority should be a dedicated office space devoid of any noise or interruption. You can rent a small space or design a room in your home ideally to create a motivating environment. An organized desk with everything you need to run work smoothly will bring you a great deal of sanity.
Working for long office hours sitting on an uncomfortable patio or dining chair may take a toll on your health, causing backache. A one-time investment in ergonomics is a more sustainable choice. Maintaining a work-family balance is also necessary. Set up some ground rules with your family and kids to ensure you enjoy the absolute calm when you are working. Needless to mention that a stable internet connection is an essential criterion for a home office.
Ways to Avoid Distraction
In a digital work atmosphere, people are prone to get easily distracted through countless apps and browsing options. The best way is to shun these temptations completely. Keep the browsing tabs to a minimum and close the ones that are not urgent.
Block the websites and social media platforms that consume your precious time. Turn on 'mute conversation' in messenger or other chatting apps or, best, keep your phone in silent or airplane mode. Apps like FocusMe, Self Control, Cold Turkey can help you stay focused and productive. You can hang a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on your office door as well.
Time to Take a Break
Working at a stretch for 8 hours per day is in no way a wise solution, not even humanly possible. Take a scheduled break every hour. Do some stretching or chair yoga; go for a short walk. It will unclog your mind, re-energize you and give you a refreshing boost to work attentively for the next couple of hours.
Deep breathing or meditation for 5-10 minutes is highly beneficial to deal with excessive work stress. American Optometric Association suggests following the 20-20-20 rule to avoid the risks of developing Computer Vision Syndrome. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to stare at something 20 feet away.
Make a Work Schedule
Setting up a fixed work pattern and schedule is vital to cut down procrastination. You can work in two 4 hours shifts at your preferable time or match your schedule with your colleagues' to be on the same page. Everyone works at their own pace; decide when you are more productive, in the morning or evening. A daily to-do-list will keep your thoughts uncluttered as you can review all the due work and information jotted down in front of you.
Communication is the key, be it remote or office work. Stay online during working hours. Also, a simple ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Be back in’ text is a great way to keep your coworkers in the loop so that they know when you are available at your desk.
You should set up precise timing and communication methods to reach you to avoid any misunderstanding with other team members, especially if you are in different time zones. Try to be very responsive to work calls and emails. Get on weekly 1:1 check-in meetings to discuss project updates and goals you have reached.
Tips and Tricks for a Video Meeting
Video conferences and zoom meetings are part and parcel of remote working. So how do you put together a professional ambiance to leave a remarkable impression? Firstly, focus on a sober background and ample lighting. Make sure to dress up suitably following appropriate office etiquette. We often tend to miss out on self-grooming, but very essential.
Use a decent pair of noise-canceling headphones. Try to make the most out of a single call. Value the time of your colleagues and your own. Prepare for a meeting in advance with all the queries you have and gather as much information as possible. Remote work can be pretty isolating at times. Don't be invisible during a meeting. Turn the video on and have actual human interaction for the sake of your mental health.
Use of Screen Recorder for Effective Communication
Sharing visuals with your team is an effective way of communication. Screen sharing can help solve technical issues, onboarding a fresher to the system, showing a tutorial and so on.
It is exactly where a screen recorder for Mac or Windows pays off. With Movavi Screen Recorder you can capture webinars, streaming videos, and online calls. Not just recording video instructions, it lets you add drawing to the tutorials to increase engagement. This app is excellent for creating screencasts, and it records internal sounds along with the system audio. Sharing, uploading and converting the videos in high quality is super easy and speedy with Movavi Screen Recorder.
Other Essential Tools for Work from Home
Getting your hands on the right tools and technology for the right purpose will make your workload a lot lighter.
- Color-coded calendar to track personal and professional agendas
- Time management - Timely, Toggl
- Task organizer - Paymo, Basecamp
Phishing attacks, data breaches are some serious threats. Remote workers should stick to certain precautionary measures to protect their organization's data from any cybercrime. For instance, try to avoid public WiFi. Apps like LastPass, 1Password will help you set up a strong password for your system.
Frequently change the passwords and use different ones for different accounts. Updated antivirus software and two-factor authentication are a must. To keep all the information encrypted and secure, access a corporate VPN service. If you are working in a public space, never leave your computer unattended and set up a screen lock for sure.
After all, be kind to yourself. We are all fighting a worldwide pandemic. All we can do is try to cope with the significant transitions that popped into our lives out of the blue. It's okay if every day doesn't go equally productive. On some days, you might feel anxious, lonely or a bit unmotivated. It's quite normal. Try to embrace the positive sides of these changes, and you will run in flying colors.