Welcome to remote working.
Remote work will now become more common and acceptable especially in light of current global events. This style of working is new to many as most of us are used to working our normal 9 to 5 jobs. Getting used to this new work approach will require some adjustment and the adoption of new working techniques in order to continue providing the necessary support required by our various organizations.
So here are some quick tips on working remotely which may be of value to you as you transition to this sort of workspace right now:
- Keep to your normal routine. It’s important to start your day as you usually do. Wake up at your normal time, have your morning coffee, exercise, shower, eat breakfast, get the kids ready, get dressed. Whatever your daily routine may be, you’ll find this helps get you motivated to tackle your work faster, just like you would if you had plans to go into office.
- Schedule your day. Create a To Do List for the day and breakdown your tasks in short intervals. As you complete each task, check them off so you can track your progress throughout the day. Your schedule should also include time designated for calls and checking emails.
- Tackle the big tasks first. “Eat the Frog” first thing in the morning i.e. do your hardest and biggest tasks first thing in the morning when you’re more likely to be focused. So whether it’s completing that proposal, providing feedback to your boss on a difficult matter etc., get it out of the way because chances are you will end up procrastinating it the whole day if you don’t.
- Prepare your meals in advance. Cooking our own meals more frequently will have to now become the norm. Most of us are used to picking up lunch on the go. However, working remotely does not always provide that convenience. So it’s important to prepare your meals and snacks in advance so that’s it readily available when you need it.
- Take regular breaks. Make sure you schedule in time for breaks away from working just like you would in the office. Don’t miss out on your usual coffee/water breaks, lunch time outdoor walks, chat with a friend or afternoon snooze. Taking that needed break will give you that boost needed to continue to tackle your tasks especially in the late afternoon.
- Collaborate with team members via technology. There are various free tools available which can be used to collaborate with teams remotely. Popular ones include WhatsApp Conferencing, Zoom and Skype for hosting of video conference calls, Slack for sharing and updating team members on status of projects and tasks and Google Docs for creating various documents. Making use of the various apps effectively should assist with keeping your work up to date.
- Keep communication with your team open and constant. Provide regular updates often and in a timely manner to your Manager and team mates. Remember you’re no longer a few paces or office doors away so giving feedback promptly allows others to know what you’re working on and how this impacts their own tasks.
- Cut yourself some slack. You’re new to this and still getting the hang of working in this new work environment so it’s expected that you might not be as efficient as you are normally are. Take it one day at a time and see how best you can quickly acclimatize to working in a remote setting.
As you become more familiar with working remotely, you’ll more than likely develop a routine that works best for you. The tips above however if adopted should help to make your transition to working remotely a little less challenging and smoother.