Working remotely can be challenging for some people. Not necessarily due to the technical elements, but because of the lack of face-to-face interaction with co-workers, and the distractions at home that make it hard to focus.
Given the present working landscape of COVID-19, I thought it would be beneficial to publish some tips for successful remote working and learning.
In my mind, this is the most important element of effective remote work. The goal is to maintain as much “normalcy” as possible, by sticking to the same habits you had before going remote. For example, keep normal sleep & wake times, try to adhere to standard school & office hours and keep a normal dietary schedule.
Keeping a normal workout (or starting one) is not only beneficial to your health, but it gives you those additional endorphins that may drop a bit due to the lack of interpersonal communication or social contact. This can also help you keep your routine on track if you work out at the same time every day.
Particularly important given the global pandemic, but it can also help with increased focus. It’s very easy to roll out of bed and start your work/school schedule. Over time you’ll find that this begins to blend together home life and work life, and you will end up feeling like you’re doing a poor job on both. Keeping up with regular hygienic routines can help you adhere more to your daily schedule, help delineate work hours from home hours, and give you that additional confidence boost and self-motivation you need.
Even in school or at the office, breaks are important and help overall productivity. Don’t forget this at home. Stand up and stretch regularly, grab a snack, or take a quick walk. This little measure of “self-care” will return dividends and keep you focused.
Dedicate an area for your office. After your morning routine, “go to work” in this space and ensure proper boundaries are in place for when you are “in the office” to keep you focused. This will also help separate work time from home time, so that you can be effective with both.
In any social environment, non-verbal communication is a large portion of the overall process. When working remotely that capability can be diminished; you need to take steps to compensate. Some effective methods include video chat, following up written with verbal communications (or vice versa), and in some cases over-communication to ensure the message is received.
With these tips in hand, hopefully you will notice little or no difference in your productivity regardless of where you sit.