Tips and Tricks for Working Remotely

by Jul 20, 2020Agency Life

Something that our team at DC Dev Shop has benefitted from lately are tips and tricks for working remotely. In a field filled with digital nomads and countless remote positions, we have found that working remotely doesn’t have to be unnerving. 

With many businesses and offices going fully remote recently, we have found that working remotely is a new experience for many people, if not most. Don’t fret if you’re included here, you’re not alone. There are many best practices available to help transition your work life into a remote experience.

Our team has created a list of ten of the most popular strategies around for this new norm. While these are all different methods for remaining productive while separated from your coworkers, it is important to remember that all remote workers are different.

If one trick doesn’t work, don’t get discouraged! Keep trying different options until one fits your flow.

Best Practices for Working Remotely

1. Have a Routine

Have a Routine

One of the most helpful things you can do when working remotely is keep a routine. 

This looks different for everyone and can be anything you do repeatedly. Maybe for you this means waking up and going to bed at a consistent time every day. Or, maybe having a routine means eating breakfast, lunch and dinner around the same times each day.

As far as work goes, it can be very useful to have a good routine for how you get your work done. At the beginning of each week, or even each day, creating a to-do list as part of that routine can be a great way to have all of your tasks laid out in front of you.

Once you have your list created, having a set way to decide how you will tackle your tasks can make the work feel less stressful. Additionally, it is a way to help avoid feeling overwhelmed while making sure you don’t miss any tasks.

Whether you work full time or part time, creating and maintaining a routine can be extremely beneficial. 

2. Don’t Work in Your Pajamas

Something that can become a part of your routine is getting dressed.

Those who work remotely often work from home or from another location where they can wear whatever they feel comfortable in. Therefore, working in your sweatpants or pajamas can be a very enticing option.

While comfortable clothes can be a very relaxing option, they might not be the most productive. What does that mean? Well, if you wear your pajamas to work chances are you will slack off on your set routines.

Maybe instead of waking up at 7am to shower, change and eat breakfast before work, you wake up at 8 and just start working. Or maybe because you are in comfortable clothes you work from the couch and find yourself not as productive while completing tasks.

Additionally, getting dressed can help with mental wellness. Your mental health is the most important aspect to working remotely, so you should do everything you can to make sure you are maintaining it.

3. Keep a Dedicated Workspace

Keep a Dedicated Workspace

Another great way to keep you focused while working remote, especially while working from home, is to keep a dedicated workspace.

Maybe you have a table somewhere in your house that isn’t normally used or a foldable table that you can set up somewhere. This is a great way to get creative, especially if you do not have a designated office or desk in your home.

Having a designated workspace allows you to be able to step away from your work for breaks or whenever the day is over. It will also allow you to not worry about losing anything related to work because you can keep it organized in one location, instead of having to move it around every day.

Finally, keeping a dedicated space can allow you to have a spot in your location that you know is meant for work and not hanging out. This means that when you are in this spot you understand that it is time to focus on your tasks at hand and get things done.

If there are multiple people working from one location, don’t be afraid to implement coworking spaces, but make sure to set boundaries.

4. Take Breaks

Taking breaks is a crucial part of working remotely. Don’t believe me? How often in the office do you work through the day without taking a single break? Whether this be going to the restroom or talking to a coworker, you are still taking a break from your tasks at hand. 

Allowing yourself to step away from your work and take a couple minutes to re-energize is great for both your mental health and productivity. The less breaks you take the more likely you are to lack motivation and become exhausted faster.

Your breaks are a great time to refresh and come back to your work with a new mindset, and they help break up your day.

5. Cut Yourself Some Slack!

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made while working remote is not cutting yourself some slack. As it is, you are stressed about getting work done so refusing to acknowledge that your productivity will be different working remotely is a huge mistake.

Recognizing that your routine, schedule and work habits will change is a major step in cutting yourself some slack. Accepting that you are now in a different work environment will make it easier to create new routines and maintain a positive mindset.

Recognizing that your routine, schedule and work habits will change is a major step in cutting yourself some slack. Click To Tweet

Additionally, it is important to remember that as long as you are maintaining your new routine and completing work on time you are still doing your job!

6. Show Up to Meetings

This may seem like a given, but you would be surprised about the number of people that will not go to video meetings while working remote.

Whether it be through a phone call or video conference, these are a great way to make sure you are interacting with your coworkers and checking in with supervisors. Not only are meetings a better way to share information than an email, but they create a means for prompt responses and solutions.

Many people have even introduced happy hour “meetings” towards the end of the week as a way for coworkers to talk about what’s going on in their personal lives outside of work. This is a great way to stay connected and continue many of the conversations that were happening in the “office” during breaks.

7. Engage in Regular Communication

Engage in Regular Communication

Similar to attending meetings, communicating with coworkers and supervisors is a great way to stay on track while working remote.

Whether this means being very detailed in emails or scheduling weekly calls to discuss assignments, positive and regular communication can take various forms. No matter how you do it, know that it shows your supervisors that you are staying on task.

Not only does communication help employees stay on task, but it helps supervisors manage their responsibilities and stay updated with what their employees are up to. When personnel or supervisors take the time to check in on coworkers, they make communication while working remotely that much easier.

Communication is also a crucial aspect of maintaining your mental health. Sharing any issues or concerns you may have can help relieve any stress or anxiety you have towards working remotely.

8. Be Positive

Working remotely can be draining and difficult, but it is important that you do what you can to avoid burning out. A great way to do this is to be positive or optimistic.

Especially now, things are very uncertain, so it is important to stay hopeful. This can be in your interactions with your coworkers, supervisors or people in the location you are working from. Having a positive attitude towards working remotely will keep work from becoming dreadful.

Looking for the positives in the situation can be great for your mental health. Additionally, sharing that positivity with others can help their mental health.

9. Set Boundaries

Having set boundaries is a crucial aspect of working remotely. These boundaries can be determined in different ways, so it is important that you define them.

Your set boundaries can relate to the location you are in. Maybe your family keeps entering your designated office space during work hours or after hours and move things around. Either way, have a conversation with them and explain the importance of creating boundaries for that workspace.

Your boundaries can also have something to do with the hours you work. If you work a 9-5 during the week it is perfectly reasonable for a coworker or supervisor to reach out and ask for some kind of response or acknowledgement during those hours within a couple days. However, if they are reaching out late at night or on the weekends and expect you to be working or responding you may need to have a conversation to ensure your mutual understanding and agreement.

Working from home can make emails or phone calls more accessible at times, however you shouldn’t be expected to be on call 24/7. Setting boundaries for how and when to be reached while working remotely is very important.

In cases when you are on call around the clock, ensure your routines and communication reflect this expectation.

10. Make Time for Physical Activity

Make Time for Physical Activity

Something that is already great for you is physical activity. Staying active plays an important role in staying healthy, so you shouldn’t let that stop while working remotely.

Physical activity can take many forms. If you are not someone that necessarily likes to work out every day, consider walking during your breaks. This can be as simple as walking around your house for five to ten minutes or around your complex or neighborhood after lunch.

If you are someone that enjoys exercise, consider including a workout in your daily routine. Whether this means waking up and working out before work or at the end of your day, physical activity is always a great idea.

Not only can exercising help you stay physically healthy, but it can help with your mental health, like many of the other items listed here! The endorphins released during physical activity mirror the effects of morphine and trigger a positive feeling in your body. Therefore, if you found staying positive while working remote difficult, consider introducing physical activity to help!

Enjoy Working Remotely

Working remotely shouldn’t be a scary or intimidating task. In fact, there are many advantages that come out of working in a new location.

Quality Time

For one, working from your own home allows you to spend more time with family. Whether that involves talking to them during breaks or being home during hours that you normally wouldn’t, you are able to spend more time together.

Experiencing your home during the hours you normally would be in the office is a huge benefit of remote work on this front.

Learn to Focus

Working remotely can also help with training yourself to stay focused on your tasks at hand. It is definitely easy to get distracted, (especially when you know there is comfort food and Netflix right down the hall) so being able to work remotely and complete all of your tasks is a great accomplishment.

Create and Maintain Healthy Habits

Whether this be the exercise you incorporate into your routine or setting boundaries, working remotely allows you to create and maintain these healthy habits.

Additionally, working from home allows you to make healthier choices when it comes to food. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stop snacking! But maybe while working from home you can snack on carrots or apples instead of the potato chips in your office’s vending machine and make your own lunch instead of ordering in.

Save Money

One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is the ability to save money.

Not having to commute will put money back in your pocket, as well as keep your stress levels down. Additionally, making your own food as opposed to buying lunch every day is the healthier and more economically conscious option.

Finding Normalcy in a New Norm

Working remotely can seem like an impossible task. However, implementing a few simple tips and tricks can make a huge difference. 

With the world facing COVID-19 currently, people haven’t been able to be in a physical office and remote work has become company culture for so many of us. Further, many businesses are considering becoming mostly remote, or distributed, companies after the pandemic ends.

That being said, don’t let any concerns you have about working remotely negatively impact your ability to get your job done!

Find any of these tips useful or want to add to the list? Let us know! Feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @dcdevshop. As a company that thrives as a distributed team, we love sharing our experiences with others! Be sure to follow us for content and offering updates!

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