Remote Work 101: Essential Tips for Working From Home
Considering all the benefits of working from home, it’s no surprise many believe telecommuting is the future of employment. And we don’t need to look into our crystal ball to see that prediction becoming a reality 🔮
A survey by Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics found that 51% of on-site U.S. workers would like to work remotely in the future. Another 30% would consider it as an option (2019).
Not bad, huh?
The same report shows that employees turn to telecommuting for a number of good reasons. Increased job satisfaction, reduced stress and fewer workplace conflicts seem like a good start. When we add perks like no daily commute, flexible work schedule and — wait for it — reduced carbon emissions, working from home becomes pretty compelling.
But while the benefits of telecommuting are easy to understand, managing a remote work lifestyle…not so much. 🤷🏻♂️ Working from home requires careful planning and the kind discipline that rarely comes naturally.
Luckily, we have a handful of tips that’ll help you find and cultivate a healthy work-life balance.
Start Your Day With a Healthy Routine 🏋🏽♀️
A healthy work-life balance starts with a consistent morning routine. One that gets you charged and ready for the day.
First, decide when you want to wake up and go to bed on regular workdays. Yes, we know that you came here looking for *flexibility*. But even the most basic schedule will help you stay on track and actually get work done. ⏰
You don’t have to hang on to your routine as if your life depended on it (although it does, kind of). If you’ve never worked from home, it’ll take some trial and error before you can figure out a schedule that’ll fit your preference.
And now for the fun part.
Get Out of Your PJ’s and Out the Door! 🏃🏻♂️
First, get up and get dressed. Be as presentable as you normally would be for a regular in-office workday. Although it may not seem like much, creating your very own dress code helps set a working mindset right from the start.
Now, get out of the house and pace yourself. Grab some coffee or walk around the block. Try to simulate as much of that good, old-fashioned AM rush as possible. ☕️
Take Some Time to Breathe 🧠
Once that’s out of the way, take a moment to stretch. Give that downward-facing dog position a shot or meditate for a spell. 🧘🏻♂️
Always have a glass of water to keep you hydrated throughout the day. And don’t forget to eat because, as the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
You can use the following Taskade template to plan your workday:
Set Boundaries for Communication 🚨
When you work remotely, most communication is asynchronous. It means your remote coworkers can pester you with emails (and expect a *quick* reply) when you least expect it. Even during lunchtime.
It gets even more complicated when you rely on chat and video meetups. If your team is distributed and works across time zones, expect emergency calls in the middle of the night.
Working from home can sometimes feel like a 24/7 hotline, with you as its only operator. ☎️
To really enjoy the confines of your home office, you need to set clear boundaries for communication. Create a schedule that works best for you and let your team know when they can reach you and when you go under the radar.
Make Working from Home Work for You! 🛠
Now that your schedule has a start and end, it’s important that you know how to prioritize work and to pace yourself throughout the day. Following your morning routine, take a few minutes to look over your list of tasks and carve up a workload for the day.
According to writer and productivity consultant Chris Bailey, the best way to set your daily commitments is to stick to the Rule of 3. Bailey claims that “having just three items to focus on throughout the day and week will help you stay centered and accomplish more, even on days when everything hits the fan.”
This seems like a sound approach, especially if you constantly feel overwhelmed and could use a “slow food” approach to work for a spell. 💆♂️
Check-In With Yourself 🩺
As your day is going by, it’s a good time to check in with yourself and be mindful of your activities besides work. Ask yourself how you’re feeling and if there’s anything you can do to feel…better.
This may seem obvious at first, but we often go on autopilot. When you work from home, there’s no clock-out time or colleagues plucking you out for lunch. When you suddenly realize you haven’t been outside or caught up with friends for a couple of days, it’s time to hit the reset button. 🤯
It’s typically recommended to have a glass of water and get up to walk around every 30–45 minutes. This helps clear your mind, reduce strain on your body and improve overall performance for the rest of the day.
To help you get started, we’ve created a wellbeing checklist that encourages a habitual healthy dialogue with yourself. We recommend reviewing it every couple of hours or whenever you feel you’re chasing your own tail.
Measure Progress, See What Works and Improve What Doesn’t 📈
It takes time to create a perfect work-from-home environment. Keep track of what works for you, experiment and adjust accordingly. And remember, the results are not always going to be instant. It may take 1–2 weeks to see changes (or longer if you’re not consistent). ⏳
Think of your workflow as a product. Figure out how you can improve it and make your work serve you. The opposite never seems to pan out. 🐑