Our team works in the office 3 days a week and from home 2 days a week. A lovely blend of both remote work and in the office. We find ways to be productive in both scenarios, but not without a little practice. Here are our top tips for working remotely without sacrificing productivity.
Most people work best when they know what to expect. The basics of my current morning routine consist of waking up early, hitting the gym, and then starting my workday. My routine doesn’t waver. By 7:30 I am checking my email and getting organized for the day. Working remotely gives you great flexibility for where you work, and potentially what hours you’re working, but the dedication to my routine is the backbone that sets me up to be successful.
Communicating effectively with your team can be a challenge when you’re all working remotely. What are they up to - are they busy today? Will all the details for this project make sense in this Slack message? Establishing some ground rules around this with your team is crucial. Daily standups help to keep everyone on the same page. Ask everyone to reach out to teammates with requests for projects, help, or tasks by a specified time. This keeps everyone communicating, on task, and on time.
Isolation can be an issue those who work remotely 24/7 can face. (Recovering 24/7 remote worker here myself) The best way to get out in front of this is to schedule some time with others when you are working remotely for an extended period of time. I have a few close friends who work from home. One Friday a month we work together from a coffee shop or someone’s house. We get some time for community, get out of our bubble, all while getting stuff done at the same time. You don’t even need to do that much - just schedule a lunch with a friend or hit the midday gym class you’ve been eyeing. All of these things will shake up the loneliness and get you some time around others to liven up your day.
Obviously you don’t actually commute on these remote days, so use that time the best you can! There’s no one telling you to get a jump on your emails with your coffee when you wake up, but the beauty of working remotely is that you can do that. Take that time you would spend on your commute and organize those emails and check off the small tasks. The average commute is about 25 minutes - which is about how long it takes to do a few menial tasks that could set up your day for success. Use that time to your advantage.
“With great power comes great responsibility” - Uncle Ben from Spiderman and also me. Working remotely definitely gives you a lot of responsibility to get it done on your own, but it also gives you a lot of freedom to get it done on your own terms. Want to go on the 4th-grade field trip with your daughter? Do it. Have errands to run? Run ‘em. Just make your schedule fit around them. The beautiful thing here is you can make work work for you - and this means that working remotely can add a little extra fun and flexibility into the everyday. You’re not location-locked and depending on your position, maybe not even locked into working specific hours. Sprinkle in some helpful and life-giving activities into your remote working times (that work for you & your team). It will fill up your tank to keep doing what you do.
The beauty of remote working is understanding the responsibility of what you have to do but also having the power to make it work for you. I hope these few tips help make your next days working remotely a little bit more productive and even a little more fun. Did I miss something? We’re always looking to be more productive. Let us know!