Working remotely can provide a number of benefits like increased flexibility of your schedule, more focused work hours, and the ability to travel, but it’s not always easy. Remote employees sometimes find it difficult to allocate their time or stay focused on projects. These tips for working remotely will help you not only maintain a healthy work-life balance, but also help you succeed just like you would if you were working in the office every day.
Focusing On Your Goals
When you start a new remote position, you should understand what your overall goals are within your team and the company as a whole. By understanding what you’re working towards, it’s easier to stay on track over the long term. Because remote employees have less face-to-face time with their supervisors, it’s important to have overarching goals so that even if an you’re unable to communicate with your direct report every day, you can always compare the work you’re doing to the overall company mission to make sure it’s a good use of your time.
Planning a Schedule
The freedom to work remotely comes with the freedom to set your own schedule. This freedom also takes discipline to remain effective. As you take on new remote roles, try to plan your day the same way you would in a normal role. Find times to eat lunch, exercise, run errands, and work on the projects that need to be finished. By having a consistent schedule, you’re less likely to get sidetracked.
Dedicated Work Space
Not only does a messy bedroom look bad on remote calls with your employer, it can also cause delays in completing your work. Try to have a dedicated space in your home where you can complete your work that’s separate from your living space. Having a desk or table for your work will let you feel like you’re still “going to work” every day and not just feel like work is an extension of your personal life. Dedicated work spaces are also easier to keep clean and free of distractions you may find in a home office where you also spend time working on your hobbies.
Plan Meetings Ahead of Time
Because remote employees set their own schedules, it’s important to schedule meetings in advance so that you aren’t constrained to the regular working hours of a business. Planning meetings in advance also gives a clear framework of expectations for your work day. Sporadic meetings may pop up while you’re at the grocery store and make you feel like your work-life balance isn’t as balanced as it seemed before you took on a remote position.
Just because you’re not in the office every day doesn’t mean you’re not affected by workplace decisions. If your supervisor or direct-report works at the main office, try to schedule quarterly or monthly check-in calls to let them know how things are going. As a remote employee, it’s easy to feel like you’re a secondary thought to the decisions made by the business. Voice your concerns in an executive assessment or check-in so that your voice is counted just as much as folks who commute to the office every day. These meetings should be in addition to ones related to the projects you’re working on.
Because remote work is still relatively new for some businesses, try to understand that your role and responsibilities will likely continue to evolve as your employer becomes used to not having you around every day. By learning together, you can create a healthy relationship that sets you up for success.
by: Mark Palmer