5 Crushing Tips for Working Remotely
Research estimates that upwards of 58% of the U.S workforce will be freelancing and working remotely by 2028. That's a staggering number, and it's one that both employers and employees need to adequately prepare for. While working remotely has its obvious perks, it comes with numerous challenges as well. Let's get into what you need to know to succeed and rise above the competition.
Adapt a Productive Schedule
Undoubtedly, there are plenty of benefits to the 9-5 lifestyle, and the structure provided within your schedule is certainly one of them. When you work remotely, it's not uncommon to juggle multiple tasks, work under several deadlines, and even contract with several different employers.
Even though you aren't punching a time clock, you need an accountability system that will keep you focused and on track. When I work remotely for my freelancing writing, I tend to be at my sharpest in the very early morning. That means rising up at 6:00 am and aiming to punch out a solid hour to hour and a half to complete my work.
That's before getting ready and prepared for my full-time gig! I'll top off any leftover writing in the evenings after dinner- but I'll give myself a hard deadline to stop working a few hours before bed to unwind. I know that I'm simply not productive pulling overnighters- but some people are! You need to find what works best for you.
Self-care is important. Learn how to carve in regular breaks throughout your day to recharge your emotional batteries (it's actually good for your work ethic as well).
Prepare For Work
You need some kind of designated workspace (and your bed or cluttered kitchen table does not count). I have a designated desk, bookshelf, computer, and printer. When I need to do my work, I make sure to move to the actual desk to do it.
While you're at it, make sure that your workspace looks and feels aesthetically pleasing. You want your area to inspire and motivate- not remind you of all the clutter you need to clean.
Finally, bust out of the pajamas routine. You don't have to bust into a formal business suit, but there's something psychological to be said about physically "dressing" and getting ready in the morning.
Connect With Your Team & Employers
Loneliness is a real threat to working remotely. You don't have the benefits of the office gossip, lunchtime giggles, or procrastinating your work by prank-calling your coworkers. With that said, technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected.
Chances are, you'll be expected to do some kind of conference calls or video chats with your team. Embrace them! Make sure that you invest in a comfortable pair of headphones and use the time to make sure that you're asking questions and engaging in relevant dialogue as well.
The more your employer gets to know you on a personal and human level, the more productive you'll likely feel in your work- and the more connected you'll feel to the company you are providing services for- talk about a win-win!
Plan Outside Social Interaction
Yes, it's important to engage with your remote colleagues and employers, but it's vital that you have face-to-face interaction. It doesn't need to be major, either. It can be as simple as a standing yoga class with a friend or coffee date with a family member.
Make sure that you are regularly carving out time to be out in the world in social settings- both with peers and with complete strangers. You don't want to fall into the dangerous habit of becoming an isolated hermit and working all day. Not only will you stumble in your social skills (huge career mistake), but you'll also be on a quicker path towards mental burnout.
Prioritize & Organize
You may have the (good) problem of having too many items on your working to-do list. When this happens, it's easy to feel overwhelmed or lose sight of your tasks.
Stay on track by investing your money and time into finding an organization system that works for you. I know that I work well with an old-fashioned paper planner. As much as I adore technology, I've tried (and failed) at using various apps and online calendars. They just don't work for me- and they don't provide the same satisfaction as physically crossing off my to-do items as I complete them.
You need to find what works for you, and you'll need to practice acceptance because you definitely won't get everything done in one day! That's called breing a human, and that's okay!
Nicole is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and professional freelance writer. She is passionate about helping people uncover and unleash their authentic selves (both in her therapy and written work). Nicole enjoys blogging about mental health, addiction, and self-esteem. Check her out on...