Hands up if you work in the same office as your boss? No? Me neither. In fact, in the seven years we’ve worked together, we’ve never shared a working space.
As long I have a laptop, phone, Wi-Fi and bulletproof coffee, I can essentially work from anywhere. And I have – from the cramped front seat of a car, balancing a laptop on my knees… to a field, with the mute button my phone so my conference call buddies couldn’t hear the passing traffic.
Long gone are the days of the secretary’s desk outside the boss’s office like Miss Moneypenny. The assistant’s role has evolved, with so many of us working virtually now. A whopping 70% of people around the world now work remotely at least once a week, according to a 2018 study by Switzerland based office provide IWG.
I am exceptionally grateful for the flexibility afforded to me by my employers. Less commuting, less rushing around and a more ‘relaxed’ work attire = less stress for me.
If you’re working remotely, here are a few top tips to get you started.
Create a dedicated workspace
Whether you work from your table, or you have your own office space, whatever – you need to have a workspace to call your own. Somewhere that’s separate from the rest of your home life. Where you can get in ‘business mode’ when you’re working and equally step away from it when you’re not.
I have a little box room I call my office and I try to make it a tranquil space where I enjoy spending time. The kids will occasionally sneak in to pinch some post-it notes and pens, but other than that they are banned from entering!
Have a schedule
It’s easy to let work creep into your evenings and weekends. The fact that you are at home does not mean you are available 100% of the time. Yes, some flexibility is required, but try to stick to a regular schedule that works for you and your boss/client.
Set yourself up to succeed
Do you have a comfortable desk area? Printing facilities? All the essentials – paper, envelopes, notepads, etc.
You will also need to have the right software in place to be able to work remotely. For conference calls, download Skype or Zoom. For project management, I use Microsoft Teams and Asana. Also check out Trello.
Where are you logging your to-do lists – a physical or virtual notepad?
Take the time to find out how your clients like to work and which products they are comfortable using.
Remove distractions whilst you’re working
Where’s your phone right now? I bet it’s not far away huh? Unless you urgently need it for contacting clients, put it out of arms reach to resist the temptation to scroll through the latest Insta stories or reply to WhatsApp messages.
Change up your work environment
Okay, so the whole point of working remotely is that you can work from anywhere right? So change it up a little. This week I went to work from a hotel, drank coffee, smashed through my to-do list and just felt a whole lot better for getting out of the house. Pop along to your nearest coffee shop for the morning. A fresh environment might be just what you need to kickstart your motivation for a new project.
Take regular breaks
It may sound obvious, but you MUST take breaks throughout the day. If you were in an office you might take 5 to chat with a colleague, or head out for lunch, or wander through to someone’s office to ask a question. If you’re at home, it’s really easy to sit there with your laptop all day and not move once you’re in the zone. Get up, run an errand, go for a short walk for some fresh air – anything to just get a little break from the screen.
What are your top tips for working remotely? I would love to hear from you!