Working from home is definitely not a new thing. Although the adjustment to the changing global circumstances seemed like a daunting effort, thousands of remote teams are witnessing many benefits regarding their team performance, work-life balance, and overall business success and continuity.
As we mentioned in one of our articles, working from home is no longer a privilege. Working from home IS the thing now. However, going fully remote requires a more significant set of steps than just agreeing it's how you do business right now.
We want to help you by going into the best practices for working from home, so let's check out some of the best content regarding this topic we found digging through the web. We wanted to go beyond our own expertise to bring you the best content we've found that covers remote work. Enjoy!
Remote Work Guide
Build a Permanent Work Space
Working from your kitchen table might be a necessity at first. Still, the first thing you need is a designated area that will be used specifically for work. Empty or a spare bedroom, for example? If you're pressed for space, all you need to do is set up a designated desk for your computer, devices, and other supplies and gadgets. Regardless of where you decide to locate it, you need to establish an area of your home where you're doing the work. After that, all you need to do is commit to using your home office space every day.
SpareFoot blog outlines 6 simple steps that will hopefully help you achieve this.
Invest in Useful Technology
Setting up your home office or workspace will definitely require a bit of an investment. You may need to add one or more items to your home office inventory. That can be a new computer, laptop, tablet, or even video conferencing equipment that will help you do your job more efficiently.
Spicing up your internet performance with a better router will also help you immensely. This way, you're avoiding common network issues caused by outdated equipment.
Depending on your profession and the nature of your work, you may need to install additional software on your working computer. Our recommendation?
Have a look at this list brought to you by The Work at Home Woman.
Get Comfortable Office Furniture
A good, comfortable chair goes a long way. Investing in home office furniture such as a large desk and additional bookshelves is definitely the right approach. Depending on the amount of space you have at your disposal, of course.
And this doesn't mean you have to go overboard with expenditure. Find yourself an affordable desk that is simple to set up and combine it with a good monitor arm, so you maximize the available desk space.
The thing to have in mind is that you'll be working in this workspace every day. SkillCrush goes into more detail in their blog post and expands on what was already mentioned.
Set Real Work Hours
Now that the workspace is out of the way, it's time to focus on your Real Work. Depending on the agreement you have with your team and your supervisors, you can set the specific work hours to help you make working from home an everyday commitment.
The more flexibility you have, the better. If you're more productive during the morning or need to get your kids to school, set your work hours from 7 to 3. If you're a night owl, adjust.
It's very obvious that the recent global events have made us reconsider our pre-existing notions of remote work, but this rethinking was a long-time coming. Here's the Digital Knights article from two years ago that discussed how remote work is changing the game. They nailed it back then, right?
Avoid Work Creep At All Costs
It can't be stressed enough how important it is to make a barrier between your professional and personal life, especially when working from home. That's because you're always home and near your work, and the work has a tendency to creep into your home life. All you need to do is stop it.
This goes back to setting work hours. Setting specific work hours and sticking to them will increase the chances of developing a balanced work schedule.
Turn your computer off at the end of the day, set your collaboration app to "away," and shut your office door. Or take a look at this Owl Labs article.
Discover Your High Productivity Periods
As we already mentioned, each one of us has a different daily rhythm. Therefore, everyone is reaching their peak productivity at different times of the day. You might be a night owl without even knowing it. The others are early birds starting their day as early as the sun rises. Some are most productive in the quiet hours during the early evening. Find your sweet spot.
Discover your most productive time box and build your work schedule around your peak productivity periods. And be aware that more and more studies show that working from home is actually good for productivity. Here are some tips by Aircall that might help you become even more productive.
Don't Start Your Work Day in Your Pajamas
Wearing pajamas during business hours might seem like a good selling point of remote work for a large number of people. Whether it works or not mainly comes down to the individual, but dressing for work is an excellent way to jump into the work rhythm.
Beyond doing good by shifting you into your working mindset, dressing for work means you're prepared to handle any incoming video chat or check-in with your colleagues. Wearing clothes will prepare you both mentally and physically to get right in the thick of it.
However, if you're looking for more of a balanced approach to this question, Body and Soul talks about exactly how bad it is to work in your pajamas.
Set a Morning Routine
And stick to it. One of the most enjoyable perks of working from home is the absence of commuting to an office.
However, the fact that you're not exposed to the stress brought by rushing your morning rituals doesn't mean there should be no routine whatsoever. Have your coffee, have a stroll around the neighborhood, walk your dog, prepare a nice breakfast for your family, take a breath of fresh air.
Virtual Vocations have brought you these morning routine hacks that will help you kick-start your day, every day.
Exercise & Stretch Regularly
An exercise program works wonders for your endorphin levels, which boosts your happiness, interest levels, and overall enjoyment. And that's when productivity happens.
Regular stretching and exercises also help you maintain your posture. Avoid getting sore and do at least a bit of stretching every day, so you don't hinder your quality of life.
Or take a look at this article from Ladders that goes through detailed advice brought by fitness experts.
Create a Reward System
Some of us need more motivation than others. And a good reward for getting things done is sometimes all you need to succeed.
A reward system designed to keep things moving even when it's hard is a great way to avoid procrastination or going through the work you've been putting off indefinitely.
Although it seems like a basic tip, using a basic rewards system will not only help you get things done but also feel fulfilled. Furthermore, Red Bull has created a cool list of great remote working rewards for your lunch break. Maybe there's something that will nudge you in the right direction.
Listen to Music
Some of us enjoy the sound of silence. For others, a bit of background music might do wonders for their focus and productivity. Your favorite music platform lets you choose a tune or a playlist, depending on your mood and temper.
It goes without saying that you don't want your music to be too loud or distracting. You're still working from home, and loud music might prove to be more harmful than good, especially if it comes into the way of taking an important call.
Listening to music at a modes volume throughout the day is a great way to gain and maintain focus. You can either go through different "moods" prepared by Spotify or go through these work from home playlists brought to you by Refinery29.
Create a Vision Board
Working from home often tends to become stale, boring, and uninspiring. Especially if you're doing it for a longer period, you might begin to find it difficult to enjoy your work. That's where a vision board comes in handy.
What is a vision board? It's actually very simple: it's a board that you can use to write notes and post pictures of your goals, dreams, and aspirations. The visual aspect of a vision board is a powerful tool to exercise your mind and help you have a clearer picture of what you're trying to achieve in the long run. That kind of inspiration can help you feel the way you want when work feels more like a chore than anything else. It helps you get out of the slump while working from home, bringing you on a clear path to improved productivity and success.
Create a vision board with personal and professional goals and take a good look at it every single day. The Remote Yogi talks about how to make a vision board that works if you need some tips to get started.
Declare your WFH Availability
When you're working from home, you are always aware of your own availability. But it's up to you to make your colleagues aware of that as well. Because there are tons of tools available to collaborate remotely, this should not be a significant challenge.
However, it's up to you to communicate dates and hours (with time zones) for your work time, your daily capacity, and agree on how your colleagues can get in touch with you. By doing that, you'll make sure there are no assumptions about skipping your work or refusing to get in touch.
Chat Etiquette Cheat Sheet
If your team is using a business chat app like Slack, you can tweak it's notification features for declaring your availability. Keep your team informed about your work schedule, and check out this guide by TopTal that goes through creating the perfect remote work schedule.
Assume Positive Intent
If your remote team is relying strictly on chat messaging, that can potentially lead to situations where it's not easy to clearly express your ideas. A quick remark can be interpreted as rude, a long comment can be seen as an angry rant. It's often hard to go against your personal bias if you can't see the person you're talking to.
It's important not to take these text messages personally, or even worse, offensively. For some people, passing a quick comment is not a sign of rudeness, it's often more about time efficiency. For example, one quick fix would be to start using more emoji in your conversation to pronounce your intentions with your team. Who knows, maybe that's what you've been missing.
And if you're trying to run a successful remote team, this article by Smarp gives you a list of 20 tips on how to engage and connect with your remote employees.
We hope you've enjoyed this list, and we hope it'll bring you in touch with more pieces of content that will help you make the most out of your remote work experience.