The trend toward working from home is nothing new, as remote offices have seen a 159 percent growth over the last 12 years. While there are the added bonuses of comfort and convenience, working remotely still requires some adjustments. Here are some important steps to take to get the most out of your time working from home.
Maintain a Schedule
Just like you would on a normal office day, sticking to a daily schedule is key. You might not be getting ready to leave home for the day, but your mornings should still revolve around preparing yourself for work. The goal here is for your time at home to be as close as possible to your office routine. According to statistics published by Airtasker, the most effective ways for remote workers to stay productive are to take breaks, set working hours, and keep a to-do list.
Use Project Management Tools
When you’re doing everything on your own without support or company, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or disorganized. An excellent way to avoid these feelings is to utilize tools to track your progress. You can also document finished work, keep an eye on revisions or feedback, and highlight the projects that still need to be finished. You might consider discussing options with your team leaders, as there are software-based programs that can help, such as:
- When I Work
Tracking your work not only helps you stay on top of your to-do pile, but also communicates to fellow team members what projects are in progress or complete.
Stay in the Loop with Coworkers
For any company or employee looking to make the most of remote working, communication is key. The sense of isolation is real, so take time to have group discussions. If you’re trying to decrease the amount of emails, consider using Slack or other instant messaging options to chat. Make time to have a daily standup meeting, in which each team member identifies their workload, goals, and any obstacles or difficulties they’re facing. This infuses a true sense of connectivity and collaboration. It’s also a good way to blow off stress and enjoy each other’s company.
Make Time for Work and Yourself
When your home is your office, the transition from work to personal life can be unclear. Rather than working until 5 and walking out with other coworkers, the end of your day can easily become a moving target. However, just as you follow a routine for the morning, you owe it to yourself to close the work laptop around the same time each day. Try to avoid working into the night, or pushing to get further ahead. Work-life balance is much more your own design; take advantage of your time alone and know when to call it quits.
For those new to remote working, managing your time can suddenly seem a bit more complicated. However, with some simple steps to keep yourself on track, you can get more out of this newly found independence and free time. Remember to set schedules, lay out goals, track your work, and stay in touch with your fellow home office employees, and you’ll be on your way to a successful remote office.