Remote jobs are becoming more and more common, that is, those that do not need an office to be able to develop and that allow a total worker mobility.
All the advantages that remote work offers are obvious; freedom of movement, flexible schedules, balance of work and personal life … but it also has some disadvantages such as isolation, lack of alignment with the team or a decrease in productivity.
Luckily, knowing these disadvantages we can work on them to cushion their impact and not hinder our work. In this article we share 5 tricks to work remotely in the most efficient way possible.
5 Tips for the remote worker
1. Plan your tasks and schedules
One of the advantages of working remotely and having the office at home is that we can work at the time we prefer of the day. But this flexible schedule can sometimes lead to disorderly work. That we go jumping between tasks and breaks and end up lengthening our workday more than we should.
Since working from home we are not going to have such an exhaustive control of time, we must plan our schedules to prevent what is described in the previous paragraph from becoming a reality.
You can start by marking your workday on a calendar: Do you prefer to work 8 hours straight in the morning? 4 hours in the morning and 4 in the afternoon? You decide, but leave it well specified in writing so that you feel the need to comply with it.
It is also important that each day you prepare a “to do list” for the next day. If you set goals or objectives for work to complete and manage to complete them ahead of time, you can shorten your workday. More productivity = Less work hours. Task checklists are a powerful productivity tool since they motivate us to cross out tasks and avoid having to wonder which one to do next.
2. Take care of your workspace
Another important factor that can increase or decrease our productivity is the workspace. Each person is different, but as a general rule, we all need an orderly, quiet and distraction-free workspace in order to stay productive.
If we work remotely and that is our case, we will need to find a space in our house or outside of it (library, cafeteria …) where we feel totally comfortable and are isolated from distractions.
For most people it is impossible to work while having a television plugged in in front of us or while children are playing around us. Our workspace must be our sanctuary, when we are in it we must avoid being disturbed or distracted by others.
3. Always have your files within reach
Working remotely gives you many opportunities for movement. One day you can be working from home and the next day from a hotel in another city.
Although you will normally carry your laptop with you, it is important that you keep a copy of everything in the cloud to make sure that you always have everything you need to work at your fingertips; even if you need to work from a computer that is not yours.
Today there are many storage and software alternatives in the cloud that facilitate this total arrangement of our work tools wherever we are. With Google Apps you can save your files in the cloud (Drive), work with documents (Docs), spreadsheets (Sheets) and even presentations (Slides). With Trello you will be able to organize your tasks and your calendar and with Pocket you will be able to save all those articles that you are interested in reading when you do not have an internet connection, for example during a flight.
4. Take advantage of networking opportunities
As we have said at the beginning, one of the main problems of the remote worker is isolation. If you do not have regular contact with your colleagues, it is likely that you can feel lonely, bored and end up demotivated.
It is therefore important to take advantage of all the networking opportunities that come our way. In them we will be able to meet other professionals in our sector, connect with a community and keep our knowledge updated.
You can set an annual agenda for the networking events you would like to attend. This way you will never have the excuse of “It’s too late to buy a ticket.”
5. Have a weekly email schedule
If you work with a team made up of other remote workers or even office workers, you should create a weekly or monthly email agenda with them. That is, an agenda in which you can establish a series of emails to send periodically that keep the team aligned and cohesive.
For example, Monday can be set as the day to send a status email in which it is specified how the project is going and the tasks that each one is going to carry out that week. On Wednesday you could send another email in which to let your colleagues know how work is going, if you need someone’s help and if you are close to meeting your weekly goals. You can also set one day a month to share the overall goals of the project and its status.
Do you work remotely? What techniques do you have to stay productive?