Working remotely is quickly becoming the standard versus a luxury. In 2016, a Gallup survey found that American remote workers rose to 43% from 2012’s 39%. Remote jobs are in demand, and while we at AVRA cherish working from anywhere, we know it’s not always about working from trendy coffee shops, traveling year-round, or attending a meeting in sweatpants. Remote work comes with its own set of challenges from burnout to communication pitfalls. So whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or making the 9-5 switch, here’s our team’s top tips for making remote work feel as glamorous as it sounds.
1. Protect Your Personal Time
Working from home is an opportunity to work comfortably, but as the line between work life and home life gets blurry, it becomes harder to say no. Establish when your workday begins and ends, and stick to it the best you can. Turn off all work notifications, turn on do not disturb, and hold yourself to it. Protecting your personal time can help guard you against burnout if you know that your work day will eventually end. It will only make your work-from-home life a more rewarding one.
2. “Work From Home” Doesn’t Mean Being Stuck at Home
There’s a whole world out there, and working remotely gives you the freedom to choose where to work. It’s okay to change up your surroundings; it will probably be for the better. Pick a day once a week and take your work to your favorite coffee shop, or the library. Variety is the spice of life, and with a job that can keep you in the same space in which you live, it helps to get out of the house. It can help with protecting your personal time and making a clear delineation. A major asset of remote work is that your work won’t tie you down to a specific place, so get out there and live a little 🙂
3. Schedule it, Schedule it, Schedule it
When working remotely our team suggests filling your calendar with reminders. Meetings, lunch, appointments, personal matters, if it is something that needs to happen during your day, write it down. It’s easy to forget timelines when you’re working solo, sometimes we even forget to eat! So to have a calendar to hold you accountable is essential to your workday. Make To-Do Lists, tape a hardcopy where you will always have it with you, write it down in your phone, or make it on Google Keep. Scheduling and To-Do lists keep you organized. They break down your day into bite-sized pieces so it’s easier to process and help you prioritize work so you can easily beat those deadlines.
4. Communication is Key
Communicate, then over communicate. It’s better to be annoying then to have things slip through the cracks. Let coworkers and clients know about potential time differences, status updates, and operate with an “Inbox Zero” policy. Set a time block in your day to go through your email inbox and respond as they come in. Being upfront and responsive builds trust between clients and coworkers. No one is psychic, and no one should be questioning whether something is going to get done. Since with remote work, your coworkers can’t simply pop in to ask a question, it’s better to over-explain than to be vague. When all moving parts are communicating clearly, work moves smoothly.
5. Remote Worker, Know Thyself
At the end of the day, none of these tips will help if you don’t know how you work best. Everyone has different motivations, environments, and bodies. Understand what you need and plan accordingly. Find a system that’s best for you. If hard copies help you remember, write everything down. If you need multiple reminders, set reminders 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 10 minutes before a meeting. If you work best in sweatpants, wear sweatpants. If you work best from cute cafes while rocking noise-cancelling headphones (like our CEO does), then do you!
Working from home gives you the opportunity to tailor your work day to best fit your needs. It can be a rewarding way to work if you utilize your personal rules to overcome the challenges. Protect your personal life, stay organized, communicate clearly, and don’t forget to change things up if they start to get stale. Just like any job, it’s hard work, but take time for yourself and enjoy it.
And, if you’re looking for remote worker opportunities check out AVRA’s open roles here—we’re always hiring!
With special contribution from: Michelle Mazick