If you work remotely regularly, what's helped you be the most productive and get work done from anywhere? Any tips to share for those who are new at remote work?
If you work from home, one of my biggest tips is having a dedicated space that is only used for work. Don’t go into that room or sit at that desk for any other reason. It helps you focus and get into your work mode when you need to. Another tip is keeping somewhat regular hours. Remote work let’s us have flexibility with our time but keeping a schedule helps not only you but also helps your team know when you’re working. This helps prevent interruptions during focus times and keeps you accountable.
I work full time from home. Some tips from me:
If something is bugging you, talk to a team member. Don't stew on it. The very act of talking out loud often solves the issue, and it's something missing when you work from home, particularly compared to open plan offices.
Spend at least one day per week not in your home office. Have a bunch of places on hand where you know you can get good wifi (and maybe coffee). Ideally, places you can walk or cycle to. Coffee shops, libraries, art galleries, even the Great Outdoors. I'm fortunate to have a National Park (UK version, not something as big as Yosemite!) on my doorstep that has decent 4G coverage. In summer I can cycle 20 minutes and sit under a tree with my laptop and work.
Have a soundtrack and a routine
Block out times in your schedule for personal time, otherwise you'll be tempted to have a meeting just because you can
If your partner/kids are at home, book time with them during the day. 10 minutes every couple of hours
Still have a lunch break. Dont' eat at your desk
Plan, plan, plan. If you hit a roadblock have something on the subs bench ready to pick up and go. Estimate your task times
Do that thing you've been putting off first thing in the morning
If you end up staring at the screen, feeling lethargic, and generally not engaged, don't force it. Just down tools - maybe even for the day.
The biggest problem I've seen on remote teams is a lack of trust.
If a manager or leader can't develop trust that remote teammates are actually working, then no amount of micromanaging or task reporting is going to fix it. So, work with people you trust, work to develop that trust, and start from a point of assuming good faith, not bad faith.
I'm not sure why some people have a tendency to distrust remote work, but when I've encountered them I try to remind them that a person who wants to slack off can easily do so in the office as well.
I tend to work remotely and here are some things I've picked up over time:
If you're a morning gym-goer, find a way to break that sweat in the AM. It will help maintain some level of a routine and the shower afterward will have you feeling fresh - even at home.
And even if you're not someone who works out in the morning, a shower before sitting down at your desk can really help you zone in. I even brush my hair as if I'm going to the office (even if I don't have any video calls) - so much of working from home is the mindset that you're in and this really helps to get into the right one.
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