Working remotely can have its challenges – like staying connected, focused and motivated to get things done.
But with the right approach and adjustments, it can be a rewarding way to work.
Here are five key areas to focus on to make your work-from-home experience the best it can be.
- Be a self-starter. If you’re used to working in a team environment, you could find it a little harder to feel motivated as you adjust to working remotely. Checking in with yourself about why you do your job and what you get out of it could help you to feel a sense of motivation. It could be around certain tasks you enjoy doing, the feeling like you’re contributing to something or simply supporting yourself or your family.
Your surroundings and schedule can also play a part in helping you stay focused and driven. Set up a dedicated workspace if you can – whether it’s a home office or spot at the table – and try keeping to a consistent routine with set times for work and for breaks. Some people find it useful to stick to a morning routine similar to what they’d do if heading into an office. Keeping your diary or to-do list up to date with any deadlines, tasks and priorities is important, too.
Read more: How to structure your day when you work from home
- Have a critical eye. Without your boss, manager, colleagues or clients right next to you to check in with, you may need to find different methods for getting feedback on your work. It’s worth speaking with them about the best ways to do this.
Using your own critical eye to judge and assess your work also can be important. Take breaks from tasks when you can, then look over them with fresh eyes to review your work. Making sure you’ve got clear instructions and a plan for any projects from the get-go can also help you to execute them well.
- Get tech-savvy. Make the most of the technology that’s available if you’re working from home. There’s a huge range of tech tools out there for video calls, instant messaging and project management, so see what your workplace can offer or what you can access yourself.
You might find it’s not as fast or easy to access 1:1 tech support when working from home. It can be good to get really familiar with the technology and programs you need to use, and look to guides or fact sheets so you can troubleshoot issues if help isn’t readily at hand.
- Embrace organisation. Setting up your space, schedule and tasks in an organised way can really help you stay productive and motivated when working from home. There could be a greater need for you to manage your own priorities, so it’s a good idea to map out what these are, keep them visible, and check in regularly with colleagues or clients to make sure you’re focusing on what’s most important.
Making a to-do list of daily, weekly and monthly tasks can help you spend your time wisely. It’s also a good idea to have systems for your work or use a project tracker or calendar. Storing all your important documents (paper and digital) in an organised way will help you work faster, smarter and more effectively.
- Stay connected. Working from home can feel totally different to the team environment of a busy workplace where you can bounce ideas off colleagues, or even just chat. Of course, embracing your independence and ability to work on your own can be part of working well remotely.
But being based away from the traditional workplace doesn’t mean you should be disconnected. Keeping in touch with your colleagues, boss, clients or professional contacts can be so important to your work and wellbeing. It can help you combat boredom or loneliness, stay creative and collaborate. Set up regular phone calls or video meetings, form online chat groups or make use of any other virtual method that will help you stay connected – so you can share wins, address problems or enjoy the social side of work.
In the end, working from home can take a bit of adjusting compared to the traditional workplace. But by keeping these five tips in mind, you can make the most of the flexibility remote work offers and feel positive and productive in your role.
Read more: The top 3 advantages of working from home