In 2021, chances are you’ve heard the words pivot, working remotely, and new normal far more times than you would have ever thought possible.
The pandemic has seemingly provided a glimpse into a future world, one in which ‘digital’ has become the core of most, if not all, interactions. An era where working remotely has quickly become the new norm, a norm that won’t dissipate quickly, rather it will become a highly favoured option across all industries.
For most employees, work is no longer regarded as a place you go, rather as a thing you do. Work success isn’t measured by input, instead, it’s about the outcome. And flexibility isn’t a perk, it’s simply a necessity.
Digital transformation is well and truly here to stay. So, let’s get comfortable with talking about how you can thrive when, not if, your time comes to work remotely.
While every remote worker will face unique challenges, from unavoidable distractions to finding the right balance between work and life, the benefits of working from home make it all worth it.
Here are five tips to set yourself up for WFH (work from home) success:
- Structure and plan your day ahead
It really is as simple as creating to-do lists, setting achievable goals and coming up with a daily (or weekly) schedule complete with break times, meetings and work block outs. Having structure will ensure you’re making the most out of your day so you’re not left scrambling to meet deadlines despite having more time on your hands to begin with. Work smarter, not harder.
- Learn to over communicate
If you haven’t already, digitise your to-do list and schedule so your team can see what your day looks like. Get comfortable with sharing what you’re working on, what’s going on in your life and when you need no interruptions. While there are many perks to working remotely, your colleagues can’t see that you’re busy or in a meeting unless you tell them. Don’t be afraid to list your work hours on your email signature, share your calendar with your colleagues, tell your team that you’re under the pump in a weekly video catch up or message the group when you’re jumping offline for lunch or a walk. Collaborating effectively means having to over-communicate at times. If you haven’t already, invest in communication platforms like Slack, Zoom, Monday.com, Trello or Asana.
- Set up your office space
Eliminating every single distraction while working remotely is simply not achievable. Chances are you share a house with family or roommates and you’re going to get interrupted. The good news? Most people have had to adapt to working at home and empathy is here to stay. What you can do to help keep you focused, productive and dealing with minimal interruptions is set up a space in your home that is solely for work. Find a room or spot in your house that you can claim as your no distraction, work and meeting zone. Working in the same space will help you with routine and establishing work-life balance.
- Set boundaries
Set firm work and life boundaries with your colleagues, friends, family and even yourself. Working remotely comes with many perks like flexibility and just because you’re cutting out a morning and evening commute, it doesn’t mean you should be working throughout that time. Decide what your regular work hours will be and share those times with your colleagues and housemates so they know when they should and shouldn’t interrupt you. Remember, just because you’re at home more often than not (COVID-19 restrictions) and have the opportunity to pick up your laptop and work whenever you like, it doesn’t mean you should.
- Don’t neglect your health
Listen to both your mind and body. Self-care is a key component to succeeding as a remote worker. It can come in many forms, like indulging in a treat, going for a walk or run, practicing mindfulness with yoga or meditation or having a digital detox on weekends. If you find yourself snacking constantly or eating foods that don’t nourish you, perhaps meal prep the night before and plan out your snacks. Are you lacking motivation or do you find yourself getting distracted? That might mean that it’s time to take a break, stretch your legs and boost your endorphins. If your health is thriving, your motivation and productivity will too.
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