Remote work has become more and more common in many industries over the last several years, and due to COVID-19, many are being required to do so. Working remotely has its advantages as well as unique challenges, especially during this unique time in history. Let’s discuss a few ways you can settle into working remotely.
Don’t get overly distracted with the news. When working remotely, it can be tempting to turn on the news or a TV program to keep up with what is going on, especially since in many places things are changing daily. However, watching the news nonstop can actually contribute to stress and anxiety. If nothing else, it will sidetrack you instead of boosting your productivity. If you want to keep up with the news, do this during your break or lunch time. You can set up your smartphone to receive notifications from your preferred newspaper to keep on top of changes in your local area. And of course, if there are special national or local announcements, make sure to take a break at that time to know how new safety measures may impact your work.
Use a desk. If you have a family, you may all be sharing common spaces during the day, which can make it hard to concentrate on your tasks. It may seem like a good idea to retreat to your bedroom and work from there. This may seem like a good solution, but this isn’t great for long-term working. Studies have shown that working from your bedroom can affect good sleep habits. It will also affect your posture, since you have to hunch over for long periods of time. We recommend using a table to work. This will help you feel more organized, contribute to productivity, and you will be more comfortable. Consider using a card table, a small standing desk, or even revamping your vanity if you don’t have a home office space or a lot of extra square footage in your home.
Set priorities. When working remotely, your schedule is probably less structured than it would be in an office setting. This can make it difficult to know what tasks you should accomplish first when you sit down to work on projects. Ask your boss to clearly outline deadlines and tasks with the highest priority if they don’t currently do so. Then, take 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each week to outline your tasks for the week and their priority level. Write them down, since this will help you stay focused on the items that are most important.
Take the initiative to communicate. You may feel isolated when working remotely, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Take the initiative to share helpful information and progress reports with your team via a group chat or team apps like Slack. If you are a manager, it is important to make sure that your employees still feel connected to you and the organization they work for. Schedule meetings with teams over the phone or on Zoom to check in, offer support, and address any concerns they may have.