A global study by IWG revealed that 70 percent of professionals are working remotely at least one day a week, and more than half work remotely at least three days a week. Being able to work outside of the office might mean being able to buy that home among Calgary real estate that would have once be too far from the job to consider, as you’ll be able to work from anywhere that has an Internet connection. You’ll also be able to enjoy more flexible hours and even be on the job in your pajamas when you want to, but it doesn’t mean it comes without its struggles.
While working remotely can take some adjusting to, these tried and true tips can help you enjoy the benefits while avoiding as many bumps in the road as possible.
Create a Dedicated Workspace
It’s important to have a designated workspace so that you can keep your work and personal life separate. You need to be able to leave your work area at the end of the day, setting boundaries to prevent your work from becoming your life. If you’re strapped for space and don’t have a room to dedicate as an office, place a desk in the corner of a room and aim to only work there.
Stick with Set Work Hours
It’s important to give your day some structure and aim to work set hours to avoid working too much overtime. You’ll be more productive in the long run if you give yourself a chance to recharge and refresh. Schedule your days the evening before so that you’ll have an immediate go-to plan in the morning. Don’t forget to schedule in breaks. It may feel strange when you’re not at the office, but breaks are important no matter where you’re working to help manage energy levels. For example, after working for two hours, you may want to get outside and enjoy a 15-minute walk. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to go. Or, take a 5- to 10-minute break every hour, depending on what makes sense for your work flow.
One of the perks from working remotely is that you can escape office distractions like that co-worker who tends to have very loud conversations in the cubicle next to you. But you don’t want to replace that with home distractions like the television or the temptation to continuously see what’s happening on Facebook.
Make the Most Out of Your Peak Hours
As we’re all different, some of us work much better during the early morning hours, while others are night people. If your company provides flexible work hours, it’s important to determine when you do your very best work. Prioritize the most challenging tasks for the hours you’re at your best and save the easiest for the times you tend to hit your slump, feeling mentally fatigued. Understanding when you’re at your peak helps you to be the most productive you can every day.
When you’re at the office, out of habit you probably get up frequently to head to the water cooler, if only to prevent boredom by breaking up your routine. At home, it can be easy to forget to drink enough water but if you don’t, your focus will start to suffer, and you might even develop a headache. Aim to fill up a big glass of water, sipping it while you work and getting up to refill it as soon as it’s empty – you might be surprised how much difference it can make.