Being a remote worker in 2019 can be an amazing experience. Professionally, this can be a milestone, and a dream for many, because you get to decide how and where to work. As long as you get the job done according to your deadlines, you might enjoy a lot more freedom, compared to a typical office worker.
“I sincerely believe that allowing your employees to work remotely and around their own schedules is empowering and sends a very clear message — we value you and your time, we trust you to get the work done and understand that you have your own life outside of our four walls.” – Alex Zaccaria, Co-Founder of Melbourne-based startup Linktree.
In other words, working on a remote basis is a really great way to gain control of your professional life, as well as working on your terms and building your own business. However, being a remote worker can be challenging at times.
It’s not always easy to manage so many aspects of a business, and many people are often overwhelmed by the amount of work. Keep reading to learn more about our eight best tips for remote workers, and how these simple pointers can assist you in the process of turning your workflow around!
Subscribe to Balance the Grind’s newsletter so you never miss one of our conversations about work, life & balance.
1) Manage your time and keep a schedule
One of the biggest challenges of being a remote worker is the fact that you don’t really have “traditional 9 to 5” work hours. This is definitely awesome. It’s liberating that you don’t have to be stuck in an office for 5 hours a day, and waste time on long commutes.
However, not knowing how to manage your time can be stressful and counterproductive. If you don’t keep a schedule or set up a tight work-life balance, you’re going to fall behind on your work. As a result, your productivity will decline, and you will just be facing loads of unnecessary stress.
“Flexible work life has allowed me to capitalise on my morning energy, I work solidly for 5 hours, with good intention and good hustle. In some corporate offices you are bound by 9-5:30 – but we are not ‘always on’ in those 8 hours. Getting all my work done in hours that work for me leaves room for reading, researching and planning in the afternoon.” – Sarah Fritz // Founder & CEO at Yes Queen
2) Avoid distractions
It’s easy to waste time if you do not have work hours restrictions or your boss peering over your shoulder. Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms are just a click away, not to mention all of the distractions you might experience from working in a comfortable environment such as your home!
You might not even realize it, but distractions, even the little ones, can suck so much of your time right out of your day, and as a result, you’ll struggle to keep up with your workflow. Be aware of your focus, and do not fall into the trap of easy distractions!
3) Take frequent breaks to enhance your concentration
It might sound like we are going against what we just said about distractions, but hear us out. Taking a break – or better yet, taking frequent breaks can be the best strategy to stay focused and energized throughout the day.
Nobody likes to stare at a screen and perform a task for many hours on end. It’s easy to wear out your concentration if you don’t take a moment to refresh yourself. Schedule some breaks every 3-4 hours of work, and stick to your regime!
This way, you’ll be able to maximize your productivity and lessen your stress level. As a bonus, go out, have a walk around the block, change up your environment a little to avoid cabin fever, which can be a thing for people who work and live in the same environment.
Many remote workers spend too much time at home, working on their computer, and most probably relaxing with a movie on the very same computer right after their work!
“I treasure autonomy, because I produce my best work this way, so having the space to work when and how I see fit is immensely beneficial for my overall well being. That being said, you do have to strike a balance between autonomy and isolation.” – Adam Griffin // Director of Enterprise Sales at Automattic
4) Be aware of your limits, and don’t overload your routine with excessive amounts of work
Being a remote worker often means that you can take on a huge number of projects, regardless of geographical limitations. However, you need to learn to say no! If you are too busy, or if there are projects that you just can’t take on, it’s essential for you to pass on something, so you can focus on your current workflow without going insane!
5) Invest in a good work station
A messy or unfriendly workspace can lower your morale, even if you might not realize it. Make sure you set up a nice corner for your work, so you can thrive in an amazing environment! If you prefer to look for an alternative environment instead, there are many options at your fingertips. Keep reading and visit point number 6 to learn more!
6) Work in coffee shops or co-working spaces
It’s very important for remote workers to feel connected with their colleagues, and be able to communicate with their managers. This is the best way for them to remain efficient and enhance their productivity, but it is not always easy when you work from home.
Sometimes, working from home can be mentally exhausting. It’s important to change your environment and make sure you separate your life from your work. When working from home, this could be difficult.
This is the reason why coffee shops or co-working spaces are amazing places where you can be productive and perform your remote work tasks. Some coffee shops (especially in major cities like London, New York, or Sydney) usually have a good environment that welcomes people to sit and work for a few hours. They even offer decent wi-fi that will suit most purpose!
In addition to that, co-working spaces are also another fantastic alternative. These environments feature all the amenities that you will need to get the job done, and you can even share them with like-minded individuals.
This is cheaper than renting an office space, as you can share the cost with other people using the same co-working space. In addition to that, you are also going to be able to potentially network with others in your co-working space, which can always be handy for a remote worker like you!
“When I’m in the thick of writing documentation, designing a solution, or deep in analysis of customer data, I really need a different physical space (at home where it’s quiet and at early mornings) than when I’m seeking feedback on my work and collaborating with teams (usually best face-to-face during business hours).” – Elizabeth Pek // Freelance Product & Experience Design Consultant
7) Use social media to broaden your reach and network with like-minded individuals
Social media can be a distraction, as we discussed earlier, but they can also be a fantastic tool. Use them wisely, to connect with your co-workers and customers, as well as exchange information and present yourself to the community.
8) Show a genuine interest in the projects you’re working on
It’s important to show that you care about what you are doing! Many remote workers seem a little apathetic when they perform a service, and even if they can get the job done, it might not seem like they’re invested into what they’re doing, thus turning some people off. If you show an interest, your customers will praise your enthusiasm.
There are many things you can do to improve your success and productivity as a remote worker. What are your strategies? Let us know what works best for you; we’re always looking to hear back from remote workers who have cracked the code!