It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to allow their workers to operate remotely. It’s generally cheaper for the company and most studies show that actually more work is completed. Possibly one of the best reason for remote workers is because the workers are happier working from a place they have chosen. And -- it’s all due to the level of technology the world has achieved. With video conferences, online chat rooms, social media, and email, it’s easy to stay in touch with your company, family, friends, and yes, even your bosses.
So, if you’re a remote worker how do you make the most of it?
1. Keep Work Life Balance
It’s easy to allow work to take over your life when you’re working from home. The best way to maintain that work-life balance is to dedicate a specific room to work. Try to avoid working in communal areas like the kitchen and the living room, however, if you have no choice other than to be in a crowed space, dedicate a place in that communal area and keep the headphones on that say, "no interruptions!"
Even if you’re working from home full-time you should endeavor to get out and about. For example, you could take a day off on Wednesday and go traveling. Working from the road is always an option. If you have a good job, it’s not unheard of to travel for long periods of time and work from coffee shops. Now-a-days you can even carry your own hotspot with you for work.
Decide what works best for you.
2. Communication is Key
The key ingredient in a successful remote working arrangement is communication. It’s easy to miss out on emails and phone calls. If you are not in touch with the day to day action at the office, or your boss can never find you -- especially in an emergency and this happens too often, that’s when your boss will start to rethink whether having you working remotely has been the best arrangement for the company.
Concentrate on communication through replying to messages promptly. At the same time, don’t allow yourself to get bogged down with replying to emails. Set aside specific time periods each day for when you’ll check emails and reply to messages.
3. Create the Perfect Workstation
As already mentioned, to maintain a proper work-life balance you need a dedicated workspace. But what makes up the perfect workspace?
Make it clear that this is your space, and also clear of clutter. Make it, and expect it to be your productive, and non-distracting area. A great recommendation is not to place your desk in front of a window with a view. You’ll only get distracted by the view. Try to choose a brightly-lit room to avoid making your surroundings seem, appear, and actually be -- oppressive.
Above all keep things organized. An organized workspace will stop you from having to sift through piles of papers each time you need something.
4. Initiate Self-Discipline
One of the benefits of remote working is you no longer have a boss breathing down your neck. The problems of remote working is that you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck. You get to be your own whip. You will be in charge to keep yourself in line. Those who are easily distracted aren’t good candidates for remote work for this reason. Also, if your family or friends can talk you into anything -- know yourself well enough not to fall into the trap of working from home, no matter how attractive this may seem.
Keep yourself disciplined by setting strict working periods and taking regular breaks to avoid burnout. Without colleagues around you, it’s quite possible that you’ll complete your work faster. But don’t get too comfortable with your work-at-home lifestyle.
Last Word – Making a Remote Working Arrangement Work for You
If possible, start out with your new lifestyle gradually. Request that your boss allows you to work from home a couple of days per week. Try out the system and gradually ramp up the amount of time you spend outside of the office. It will take a while to adjust, but when you do you’ll be glad you did it.