Remote work – how to stay effective? Check these 10 tips

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Remote work – how to stay effective? Check these 10 tips

Do you work remotely? Do you have difficulties adapting to this change? Check out these 10 tips to stay effective during remote work.

Have your company switched your means of work and placed your office at home? Or are you a student whose academic classes have been transferred to online platforms? Due to COVID-19 virus spread that has caused a pandemic, affecting close to 100 countries worldwide, more and more companies and institutions have asked their employees to stay at home and work there.

Those of you, who have never had the opportunity to work remotely, might have some difficulties in adjusting to this change. It requires a lot more self-discipline, focus, and ability to mentally separate yourself from a place that is associated with rest and free-time.

We would like to help you adjust to this big change. This tips should make your time working at home at least as effective as at your office.

1. Create a home office

If your living space allows it, arrange an office that you will use only in your work-time and where you will not be disturbed by your family or roommates.

Ideally, this room should be far from the hustle of other people, not only to keep the noise down and help you focus but also to create an additional mental barrier between your free time and work time.

2. Check the Wi-fi connection and the tools needed to work

If you are working on the computer make sure it has internet connection. Maybe you need an additional extension cord to connect the computer charger? Staying at home doesn't mean you will stop communicating with your team. Rather, you'll need more often to communicate with them – in the form of video conferences or voice calls.

If you don't want your team's cooperation to suffer, each of you should prepare the necessary tools. Things to consider are a working microphone and a good camera on your laptop or headphones. Together with fast Wi-fi they will be necessary for video conferences, which in this situation will be organised more often.

3. Use online communication platforms

Don’t allow this experience to limit contact with your colleagues. Team communication is essential when working remotely. After deciding on a platform that is adequate for your team, make sure to have a stable internet connection, and stay online.

The tools that worked well in our team of forty-something people were Discord for quick voice calls and Hangouts Meets for video conferences. In addition, traditionally (although maybe slightly more often), we use email messages and the Mattermost system for ongoing text communication.

4. Don’t sleep in

Working from home might seem like free time and encourage you to wake up later. Remote work already saves you some time, as you don’t have to travel to the office.

So, if you want to elongate your sleep time, add that travel time to your sleep, but try to stop there. Otherwise, your entire day will shift, and you might feel like you have worked more as you will finish much later than usual.

5. Change your pyjamas

Getting dressed for work might set you in a mood and diverge you from picking up different tasks. Of course, that’s not a suggestion to wear a suit, but you might trying a smart-casual outfit, or at least put on jeans and a T-shirt instead of knocking around all day in your sweats.

6. Have regular meals

Spending time at home, we have much easier access to the fridge and all snacks hidden in the kitchen. Especially when most of us did larger shopping to have supplies.

We may want to eat snacks between meals more often. In this situation, you should set a regular meal hours to maintain your usual work routine. It may be best if you eat at the same times and devote the same amount of time to meals as in the office.

7. Set clear home / work boundaries

The tips mentioned above will hopefully help you set those boundaries. However, it’s also important that people that you live with know that while you are at work, you really are AT WORK and shouldn’t be disturbed.

When somebody calls you for other than business reasons, tell them that you cannot talk and will call them back after working hours. In short, apply the same rules that you’ve had at the office while working at home.

8. Plan your day – use planning tools

If you feel like you lack planning skills and self-discipline, there are plenty of apps and programs that will help you stay on track and monitor your work. They have various features, everything from natural language processing, through integrating with your calendar, to allowing you to set ‘focus modes’.

Here are some top-notch, free planning and time-tracking softwares: Microsoft To-Do, Todoist, Google Tasks, Monday.com, Trello, Clockify or . You can also always turn to more traditional methods and use a notepad and a pen to create a daily schedule.

9. Set goals

Set daily work goals and stick to them. Again, if you feel like you might lack the self-discipline to complete the tasks you have set for yourself, write them on your task manager or tell somebody about them. If possible, decide on your daily tasks with your boss at the beginning of the day or week.

10. Add physical activity to your day

Physical activity is an excellent way to get a mental break from your work and put you in a better mood. Working at home means that you are stuck in the same surroundings for an entire day and have minimal mobility.

To avoid feeling down, incorporate regular exercise in your schedule. It will not only keep you in a better mood and physical shape but also will boost your creativity and raise your engagement in work.

To sum up

Adjusting to changes, like remote work, is always a challenge. However, sometimes, as in the current situation, we don't have much choice. So let's introduce a few changes that can significantly improve the quality of the remote work. The tips we've listed include changes that shouldn't take you much time.

Based on our own example, we can say that their introduction was quite easy, while helping to maintain the effectiveness and commitment of the entire WEBSENSA team. What's more, we notice the potential in this previously unplanned situation. "In the heat of battle" it helped us develop a remote work scheme that we can use in the future;)

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