Do you believe, deep down, that if you had a better working environment, you could accomplish virtually anything? Are you the type of person who loathes a morning commute or a useless meeting because you know that it wastes time that you’ll never get back? If so, then working remotely might be exactly what you need.
A recent article from HubSpot highlighted the fact that the HubSpot organization features over 200 remote employees. In fact, the second most searched word on the company’s career page is “remote.” With technology making it easier than ever before, working remotely has never been such a viable option.
According to a recent Forbes article, remote workers are happier, because they enjoy the freedom and flexibility that remote work provides. The article goes on to say that remote workers feel more valued and are “overwhelmingly” more productive. It stands to reason. Not everyone is cut out for cubicle life. Some people simply work better in an environment that provides comfort, a change of pace and an interruption-free zone.
At the end of the day, every worker is responsible for his or her own work. The work either gets done or it doesn’t, regardless if you’re working remotely or in an office. Knowing this, and seeing the huge opportunities that remote work presents, it’s no wonder that more and more companies are allowing their workers to work remotely. What company wouldn’t want a happier workforce that is more productive?
If you decide that remote work is for you, here are six tips to ensure that you not only survive, but you overwhelmingly succeed.
Prepare a Dedicated Workspace at Home
Having a dedicated workspace does not mean you are confined to that space; that’s definitely not the case. But it makes sense to have a prepared space that serves as a home base; a place where you can easily find the resources you need to do your day-to-day job. This place of comfort can serve as a starting point for your workday, before you move around to keep a fresh perspective. It can also serve as the place where you conduct online meetings and conversations in a semi-formal environment.
Change up Where You Actually Do the Work
While having a dedicated space helps ground you into some form of routine, working from different places in and out of the home provides new perspective and improved energy. You may start your day working at your dedicated space, then take your laptop outside as the temperature climbs. Midday, you may decide to head to the local coffee shop where the scent of a freshly brewed latte helps restimulate your creative juices. Even if you’re not necessarily communicating with those around you, it is nice to have some human interaction from time to time to break up the monotony. Coffee shops are perfect for that pseudo-interaction.
Schedule Your Meetings in Groups
Let’s face it. One of the main reasons people like to work remotely is to avoid the constant interruptions faced in a bustling office. That’s why it’s important to schedule your meetings in blocks because a meeting is an interruption. If you are going to break out of your creative streak, do it back-to-back so that when the meetings are over, you can go back to your flow and be super productive.
You want to establish a cadence so your coworkers understand when you are and are not available. An interruption online is not much different than an interruption in person. You want to have as much uninterrupted creative time as you can so you can do your best work.
Schedule - or at Least Take - Breaks
When we get into a flow, we can really become productive. That productivity energizes us, and we tend to keep going and going like the Energizer Bunny. From time to time, you need to get up, stretch, walk around and disconnect from the work setting. Just like your computer, your body needs a reboot from time to time in order to stay highly efficient. If you’ve just spent the last two hours straight writing something epic and meaningful, spend the next 15 minutes taking your dog for a walk. Your mind will appreciate the break, your stiff muscles and joints will too, and your dog will be forever grateful. At least until tomorrow.
Schedule Social Sessions with Coworkers
One of the biggest concerns with remote work is that the remote employee will become disconnected with his/her coworkers. It’s important to build time into the schedule to have conversations. Those can be held by phone, messenger or video chat, but it’s important to stay connected. This is especially true between worker and manager. Even if you’re working like crazy, if you don’t communicate well with your manager, he or she may wonder what you are doing. Over communicate by having regular conversations and staying in the loop.
Ride the Wave of Productivity
Productivity can be compared to waves in the ocean. If you catch the wave at just the right spot, it will carry you quickly and safely back to shore. It’s the same way with productivity. If you are on a roll and accomplishing great things - go with it! Get as much done as you can while you are feeling inspired. Creativity cannot be turned on with a switch and you’re not always your most creative during traditional work hours. When inspiration strikes - ride the wave. You’ll work faster, better and with a purpose, and the end result will reflect the inspired state you were in at the time.