Tips for Working Remote
Whether you love working remote or it produces anxiety it’s wise to find solutions that fit your work and communication style. The tips below will help prevent isolationism and build strategies to persist and persevere as a remote professional.
Give Your Work Meaning
Be sure your role aligns with your values. This means the work matters to you and makes a difference. Ask yourself how your work brings value to your customers, both internally and externally. Be sure you reflect upon this periodically to ensure you keep this connection. It will also help you speak up with your direct report or others who ask about your projects and priorities.
Manage Your Energy
Everyone has a time of the day when they are more productive. Identify what times of day you are most able to engage in specific activities. In other words, there may be times of the day when you are better at independent work, remaining present in meetings, or responding to emails. Work to match your energy rhythms with your work activities. Remember this may need to be adjusted based on seasons or workloads. Another facet of managing your energy is to make sure you take breaks for:
- Changing perspectives and re-directing your attention
- Physical shifts to stretch or move your body
- Opportunities to learn something new or think differently
- Having a meal or refreshment (that does not include work)
- Appreciating your progress
- Check-in or adjust your priorities
Speaking of priorities this leads to this next remote working tip:
Identify Your Top 3 Priorities
Begin and end your day by identifying your Top 3 Priorities for your work. This will help you experience a greater connection with your purpose, which leads to satisfaction and feelings of self-control. Apply this same strategy to your personal life, which will help you sustain healthy work/life boundaries. Track these daily on paper and over time you will find out just how true your Top 3 Priorities may be. It’s true there are times when the work we do, does not line up with our Top 3 Priorities. If this continuously happens, it may be time to adjust your priorities or talk with someone you really trust about what may be blocking you from acting with your priorities.
Reach Out & Stay Connected
Having colleagues or friends who work remotely can be a vital resource. It’s beneficial to have people to learn with and share resources. And it’s also imperative to make a point to reach out or schedule time each day to connect with someone by phone or via video conferencing. Make a point of identifying who you will stay connected with and you’re more likely to do this if you schedule it. Also, you may want to identify a “work friend” you connect with each day for a few minutes. Some people find this helps them when this is a regular time each day for 5-10 minutes.
Create Movement & Fun
Most professionals sit for long periods of time without moving. Make a point to get up and stretch or take a walk for 10-20 minutes. Neuroscience refers to “flow” as a state in which we are so engrossed in what we are doing, that we lose self-consciousness. Flow is equivalent to “being in the zone” or having fun. Identify the activities within your work that holds your interest. This is why we advocate for you to learn how to manage your energy rather than being primarily focused on managing your time.
Appreciate & Reward Progress
Being important and feeling successful is a natural human need. Cultivate a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction by acknowledging your efforts. This will help you manage your focus, keep a healthy pace, and sustain progress with your work. It is crucial to understand how impactful appreciation is — especially when you work alone. Set times each day and/or week to acknowledge yourself and others. Share this with those who make a difference. This will positively impact your performance and daily productivity. Identify ways you can and will reward progress. When you finish a big task, be sure to celebrate it. Invite others to do so with you, even if this means making time to connect.
Location. Location. Location.
There may be times when you need to create change and find a place to work outside your home. Research locations that work for your style. Look for private spaces inside libraries, coffee shops, outdoor havens, and co-working spots.