Best Practices for Working Remotely
Benefits of a Traditional Workplace
Workplaces can be stressful, but they offer something that is hard to come by when working from home; community. A workplace community provides team members structure which assists in productivity, especially when they get stuck or need support. Colleagues in attendance, as well as the requirement of “showing up” directly affects performance and, also, aids in lifestyle and workplace structure. Most likely there is a supervisor overseeing employee work, keeping staff accountable, and ensuring work is being done at a good pace.
Moving into the Home Setting means suddenly applying Self-Regulation in ways you’ve never had to do before. Talk about challenging!
Replicate Your Work Environment
What did you need at work to be productive and functional?
How can you provide yourself these needs at home? Get Creative!
Avoid working in overly relaxing and/or distracting locations
Your brain associates your bedroom with sleep which means that the simple act of getting into bed helps to cue your body that it’s time to wind down. This mental link will hamper your productivity as you will feel overly relaxed. Working in a distracting location, like in front of the television, can also hamper productivity. Try to find a balanced location, not too relaxing and not too distracting, to set up your at–home office.
Talk to your family about dividing housework
Housework can often pull your attention away from the work items you need to focus on. And if you spend your time cleaning up, your energy level will be down when it comes time to do your actual work. Dividing housework among your household members will keep the home clean and in a productive condition.
Plan Your Day The Evening Before
What are your top few priorities for the day?
What do you need to focus on and when? How do those priorities map out the flow of your day?
Schedule your day
Dopamine declines from the morning to evening. Your day should be split up to focus on the undesirable, complex tasks earlier in the day and the easy, fun assignments toward the end of the day.
Keep your typical work routine at home
Just as you would have been in your chair and prepared to work by 9AM in the office, plan to be ready to work at that same time at home.
Don’t just wing it
Wake up at the same time you normally would and get dressed before logging on for the day. Step into the persona of a successful worker.
Work Alongside a Co-Worker
Ask a colleague you’re close with to virtually work alongside you to help with accountability and focus. This will help you to stay on task and complete assignments in a timely manner.
Have an ongoing video feed or arrange morning huddles to discuss the day’s workload, then check in intermittently to relay how it’s going.
Additional tips for staying on task include:
- Ask your manager for guidance on prioritizing.
- Ask to schedule a check-in at the beginning of the week. This will help you to plan for what is most important to accomplish over the next several days.
- Tell your supervisor your deadline to reinforce your accountability. Communicating a deadline will put a sense of urgency on delivering assignments.
- Use your people-pleasing nature for motivation; to get engaged, do the work, and keep from disappointing team members.
- Love the challenge. Get excited, get hyper-focused, and get in the zone to do the work.
Try to Find a Balanced Location. Not too Relaxing and not too Distracting
Set Aside Time for Unplanned Distractions
Plan for distractions Plan an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon to appropriately deal with pop-up distractions. Utilizing only these appointed times for distractions will help you to avoid getting derailed.
Make a list as distractions pop-up. This includes unplanned, unanticipated, and nonurgent notifications, requests from others, and your own curious thoughts. Put them on a list as they arise and save them for later.
Other pointers for managing distractions include:
- Turn off unnecessary notifications on your phone and computer. Every time something “dings” it takes your mind off the task at hand. Don’t even provide yourself the opportunity to be distracted with these unnecessary notifications.
- Block email notifications for 25-minute periods, then check your inbox for five minutes. This system is known as the Pomodoro method.
- Turn your phone screen side down, on airplane mode, and/or notification sounds off.
- Make social media harder to access so that you are not tempted to check it. Logging out or removing the application from your device until the end of the day are good methods.
- Use sticky notes stating your assignment at hand. Stick one at a time to your computer screen so that you see it while you are working. It will help to redirect your attention to what you’re supposed to be working on.
- Talk with your kids about good conversation times. You can limit interruptions and distractions to certain time windows by scheduling one-on-one time with your children and aligning your lunch hour with theirs.
Take time for self-care
Set aside time for physical activity. Not only is it good for your body, but it can reset your mind.
Self-Assess. Acknowledge what you’re doing right and what improvements need to be made. Be compassionate and understanding of yourself.
Remember you are not alone. Many people around the country have been forced to switch to at-home working We are all in this adjustment period together. Stay in touch with your work community and support each other to stay on task and be productive in the work at hand.
Remember You Are Not Alone! Stay in touch with your Work Community for Support