Many people have been working online due to the pandemic, bringing the practice closer to those who originally never would have thought of changing their work routine. For some, remote work has brought more freedom and a new insight into different ways of doing things, while for others, the practice can be a bit challenging.
What will come next is difficult to predict. What we already know is that many employees, but also employers, have begun to realize that remote work saves loads of money, in terms of paying for office space, primarily.
However, remote work is yet to reach its heights, and it is only to be expected that innovations of all kinds will be steadily coming.
1. Effective Communication
When it comes to managing projects remotely, the trick is in effective communication. With so many apps and online tools developed to this end, pretty much everyone can find a suitable match.
However, for people unaccustomed to attending online gatherings, it takes some time to get accustomed to the practice.
What is certainly a good idea is to keep an eye on the developments, as the most popular apps today may be replaced tomorrow.
This is what remote workers and freelancers know all too well — being tech-savvy is the key to remaining competitive in the long run. Whether you plan to remain a remote worker after the pandemic or not, knowing the ropes of online communication will certainly benefit you in multiple ways. This can especially be imperative to freelancers, digital nomads and those working abroad.
People new to remote work may have challenges in the beginning. We could say that office work is kind of a ritual, beginning once you open your eyes and ending after the working hours.
For people retaining their working hours, it can be difficult to cope with the sudden change, especially when whole families are staying at home. Concentration, for one thing, can prove to be challenging. The next culprit is procrastination.
The first thing every remote worker should do is choose a dedicated “office space” that is off-limits to family members and that will be used only for work and only during the working hours. This will help you get in the mood for work, as it doesn’t take much to get used to the new routine once it has been established.
Secondly, be disciplined. The easiest way to perform your daily tasks properly is by keeping to the daily schedule.
3. Draft Daily Schedules
Remote work is just like office work in terms of daily tasks. Unless you’re a freelancer undertaking only project work, you’ll need to keep an eye on your daily goals.
Actually, it is highly recommended to draft daily schedules that include all activities, breaks included. As always, tasks should be sorted by priority, but remember to allocate sufficient time to each, as to be able to finish them all and also track your progress and productivity.
What is extremely important is that you allocate regular breaks and not skip on them. Even if you’ll be at home, you still need to unwind in between tasks. The best option is to stick to what works best for you, as opposed to some generalized routine. For example, some people like working out in the morning and since remote work offers the benefit of the AM hours, you can shift your schedule to accommodate the routine.
4. Engagement and Productivity
Being engaged when working online doesn’t really differ from being engaged when working at the office. Even if your colleagues won’t be around, you’ll still keep in touch with them regularly online.
Once you realize you have more time at your disposal, it will become increasingly easy to slack off. In the end, you’ll be dealing with accumulated tasks and lots of stress. No good.
It’s important to make a schedule that boosts your productivity and engagement and allows for sufficient time to unwind. Experiment a bit if you’re not sure which strategy would benefit you best.
5. Learn to Prioritize
Prioritization is equally important in all aspects of life. Freelancers could tell you a thing or two about amassed projects.
However, prioritization doesn’t always necessarily stipulate a fixed schedule. The key thing here is to learn to adapt and adjust your schedule on the go. Admittedly, it takes some practice, but once you’ve succeeded a couple of times, you’ll discover that remote work is much more flexible than office work.
But remember, a schedule is still a schedule. If you need to make adjustments, be sure to stick to them.
6. Beat Procrastination
The biggest issue with remote work is procrastination. People not used to having more spare time at their disposal usually make the mistake of stipulating that they have endless time to waste. The usual activities contributing to procrastination include obsessive checking of incoming emails and hanging out on social media.
Remember that even if there won’t be anyone controlling you, stopping the task in the middle only to check your newsfeed will break your concentration and waste you loads on a needless interruption.
7. Use Templates Where Applicable
There’s a great way to deal with the obsessive checking of emails, at least. If you normally get lots of messages and need to deal with them as part of your job, grouping similar batches and using templates is a great way to optimize your time.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, really. Templates, including email, can be used in so many ways, and be applied to so many routine tasks that it’s almost impossible to list all of their benefits. Give the practice a go, at any rate. Even if creating templates takes some time in the beginning, in the long run, it will save you loads of time.
Remote work is great once you learn the ropes of it. Arguably, its greatest benefit is that it’s highly customizable, leaving you with the freedom to plan your time just as you’ve always wanted.
Try different approaches until you’ve come up with the best formula. After all, why not enjoy all the spare time you can get and still remain highly engaged and productive at work? It’s a win-win, no matter how you look at it.