With the advent of the pandemic, working from home moved from a rising trend to a way of life.
However, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with the best remote working practices to enjoy a sustainably happy and productive experience.
It will also help you to overcome the challenges of starting a new job remotely.
If you find yourself struggling with a new job working from home, the following practices will help to stay on top of the game.
Best Remote Working Practices
1. Master time management
Time management is one of the predominant challenges of starting a new job remotely. When there’s no rush to commute, you may become lethargic, and suddenly, time is against you. It’s best to rule out activities that may seep into your productive hours.
You can also download free time tracking software to identify activities that are wasting your time.
Here are a few tips for managing your time better:
Create a routine
It’s easy to fall prey to your home’s comfort. However, developing a daily routine will help your body and mind to adjust to remote work. Getting dressed and reporting to your desk at the same time every morning prepares your mind to work.
Likewise, stepping out of work around the same time daily gives your body and mind the rest it needs. Once you set a schedule, ensure you stick to it.
Avoid social media distractions
Checking your phone for messages now and then will distract you and reduce your productive hours. Resist the urge to do so.
Instead, include social media breaks in your schedule and stick to them. It’ll help reduce your stress levels and keep you active and refreshed to return to work.
2. Set up a workspace
Dedicate a work zone
It’s easy to lose work-life balance while working remotely. However, creating a workspace helps train your mind to adjust to “work mode.” It also helps to avoid distractions from your friends and relatives.
So, find a corner and prop a work desk there. As much as possible, create an area that is isolated from whatever’s happening in your home.
Design your workspace
Setting up a remote workspace requires technology. You’ll need a dedicated stable and high-speed internet connection.
Having an ergonomic chair and an external monitor will also help reduce neck pain and backaches. You can lower body strains coming from slouching towards your laptop screen for long periods.
If you’re staying with someone, get noise-canceling headphones to avoid distractions. Get every other thing you need to focus on work, and you’re good to go.
3. Set work life and home life boundaries
If you often get disrupted by other people in your home, the following tips may help you get in sync:
Working from home with adults:
- Respect each other’s work styles and schedules: You can only be productive when working from home when you understand and respect each other’s work schedules. Discuss your schedule with your partner and mention what you can and cannot adjust. Set out time to share meals and take breaks together.
- Prioritize empathy: Individual work style and rhythm differ. Discuss your work style with your housemates and come to a consensus. Learn to observe and know when to encourage, support, or interrupt each other.
Working from home with kids:
- Make a weekly plan: Plan ahead of the week. Regardless of what people say, children work best with a routine. Discuss with your partner who will watch the kids at different times and set a routine based on your work schedule.
Also, talk about how you’ll handle breaks, meals, and check-ins during the day. Next, identify your children’s activities that will need your assistance. Of course, you have to add them to the schedule.
Lastly, post the schedule and inform your kids about it.
- Establish study and play zones: It’s essential to let your children know where they can and can’t play. Tell them that your work zone is a no-go area for them. Let them know that they cannot disturb you when you’re working.
- Utilize online tools: Kids tend to become rowdy when they are not busy. Keep them engaged with interactive online libraries and other educational activities. Boost your productivity
You can improve your productivity levels with the following tips:
4. Maximize and sustain focus
There are several temptations associated with working from home. For instance, you may want to turn on the TV, check your social media messages, or walk to the fridge instead of focusing on your work. That is why discipline is an essential value you can add to yourself as a remote employee.
Discipline entails sticking to productive habits and schedules. Here’s how you can keep your focus on the job:
- Perform self-audits: As you work from home, observe how you spend your time. Discover habits and circumstances that you get the best results. Observe when you’re at your peak and schedule breaks to times of the day when you’re less productive.
Doing that will help you discover when to get things done faster within a short period.
- Divide the day into chunks: Create work milestones, and set a time for them. That will help you concentrate on one thing at a time and be more productive than when you multitask.
Besides, you’ll feel good after completing a milestone, which is another productivity booster for other tasks.
- Take regular breaks: Include breaks in your schedule to protect your body. It’s best to take a 15-minute break in every 90 minutes. Get up and do some stretches, step outside for some fresh air, or take a quick walk around the house.
Usually, focusing on the computer screen for long can cause eye strain. The 20-20-20 rule is a great way to prevent that. Every 20 minutes, give your eyes a break from the computer screen and focus on anything that’s 20 feet away. Do this for 20 seconds. It’s easy to work for several hours without breaks when working remotely. However, taking regular breaks will prevent you from getting burned out mentally.
- Practice extra self-care: Take proper care of your body and mind. Eat well, take plenty of water, and get enough sleep and exercise. You can also rest your mind with good music, movie, or by reading books.
- Maximize technology: There are several apps and software available to simplify your work. With the right apps, you can enjoy video conferencing, real-time communication, and project management tools. They also serve as productivity trackers.
On a Final Note
If you’re just starting a remote job, the tips mentioned above will help you find your ground. Feel free to experiment with them and discover what works best for you. Come up with the strategy, setup, and workflows that suit you and adjust as you go.