For an employee, working remotely should ideally help improve work-life balance, diminish stress levels, and increase job satisfaction. For the company, the benefits that come from more productive employees are abundant, as we’ve previously made the case for here.
We know that although a remote work culture is beneficial and is probably the best model for a startup trying to keep costs to a minimum, distractions and burnout can ensue if some best practices are not followed -- especially on days worked from home.
Bad habits can catch up after time spent working remotely and this shouldn’t be the case. The following are a handful of best practices we’ve compiled to keep you productive and happy.
Commit to a Schedule
Although working around the clock at random hours may sometimes best work for you, you must remember that the businesses and clients you interact with may only be available during business hours. Solution? You must be available to communicate during business hours.
This may mean adjusting your work schedule to that of others, or working nine to five. Being available is key to being a reliable team-member and discovering opportunities, so don’t deny yourself of this and work with the system.
If you don’t set daily goals you will never feel entitled to stop working. Remember that good work is reflected in meaningful tasks accomplished, not in long hours spent, so juggle out your priorities and set a realistic plan to finish them.
Create a Workplace
Our surroundings influence our mood and productivity. When you get to work from home, you must set boundaries between your newly-dedicated workspace and a place that you’ve taught yourself to wind down in.
Turn on Work-Mode
Make sure you prepare yourself for work, much like you would prepare if you were to step into an office. This may mean changing into real clothes, drinking some coffee, shaving, etc. Basically, anything that you feel would establish a rhythm to your work day.
Just don’t work in pajamas. When you look like you put effort into your dress and are put together you will feel prepared and ease into work-mode faster. Imagine how unprofessional you will feel trying to close a deal as you sit barefoot in your living room?
Small talk creates connections and help people at work bond. Even simple chat can inform you of the on-goings of the company and give you feedback. While working remotely, don’t only message others about work if your company works with an internal messaging system. Join random chats from time to time, if working with great people, it will pay off next time you see them.
Assume Positive Intent
Especially over messengers, interactions can seem cold because there is no body language to interpret. Also, jokes and sarcasm don’t translate well across text so use them sparingly. So don’t assume that the last message sent to you by Bob was severe and intended with malice. Bob simply wants to meet his goals with you.
Schedule Breaks & Meals
Working from home does not mean that you’re slacking or doing less than those in an office. Remember to get up and walk around as you would on location. Taking time off for a proper snack or lunch times is also important and an easy thing to overlook when first working from home. This will prevent future restlessness and unnecessary trips to the kitchen.
Okay, maybe this topic should have been at the top of the list. Please remember to stretch, stand up and walk around when working from home. The following should not need much explanation: Don’t sit all day, your neck and back will be thankful for it.
Report, Report, Report!
While nobody would forget to report on their projects, there are many who forget to update those outside of their department of happenings. Here at Lolay, we find that we work best when everyone knows a little of how we are doing and we also rely heavily on tools like Slack to do so. Even here at an application development company, little updates help make employees feel like a team and improve morale.
Although it is very rewarding to set your own schedule and pace, this takes discipline. Hopefully you find the above useful and apply it to your work life every time you get to work remotely.
What are some other best practices that we did not mention here? Comment below. Also, sign up here to receive our best roundup of advice and the latest tech news once a month. Call at (888) 806-6033 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments. We care!