Whether you have always worked remotely or you are just now joining the WFH club, the biggest challenge in making sure you’re completing your weekly assignments really comes down to time management. With the current state of the world, we are now more than ever discovering that mastering the WFH lifestyle is essential. Something we are also discovering is that there is a natural structure that comes with working in an office that we don’t get when working from home. Here are some tips on how to create that structure.
Start with a plan
The hardest part about the freedom that comes with working remote is exactly that, the freedom. Freedom can be wonderful. It can also be equally overwhelming. While the work itself is usually outlined, the way you go about completing that work is not. With no one watching what you do from over your shoulder, it’s up to you to ignore your dishes, laundry, dog, kids, etc and get to work. This is where your plan comes in. Every one of your plans will be slightly different but the general theme is that there is a plan. With a plan in place you are able to navigate through your day smoothly and productively. Whether you’re dedicating certain projects to certain times of your day, working based off of priority or completing tasks based off of how long they will take you, there is no wrong answer. Create a plan and get to work, the rest will fall into place.
Find your rhythm
Finding your rhythm means finding what works and doesn’t work for YOU. The greatest benefit to all that freedom you gain from remote work is that you can plan your day around your natural work flow. Are you someone that perks up as soon as their eyes open? Maybe you’re someone who needs to go for a run before they start their day? Or maybe you’re a night owl? The CEO of our company finds that she is most productive later in the evening. Personally, I am more of a mid-morning person and work best between 9am to around 2pm. Monitor your work habits throughout the day and take note of when you feel your best and when you feel you might be losing steam. Once you find your rhythm your productivity will shine.
Take a breather
Just because you work from home does not mean you should sit at your desk while you eat lunch or skip your breaks all together. It is so important for both your physical and mental health that you step away from your computer at least 3 times per day. Go outside, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy a wholesome and delicious meal. Rejuvenate. You deserve it. Your brain deserves it. Your employer will thank you later when you are excelling in your position.
*Keep in mind that your break is well…a break. Don’t let the freedom takeover by allowing your break to turn into one you never come back from.
Every business has a different way they like to touch base but there should be some sort of connection between you and your team at least twice per week. At ILS we conduct virtual meetings through Zoom. There is a team meeting every Monday to start the week as well as 1:1 meetings between departments to discuss more specific matters. I highly recommend a platform like Zoom. Not only can you conduct virtual meetings but you can speak face to face through video chat as well as share your screen for team input. Communicating via email is great but holding virtual meetings tends to speed up project timelines as well as fill in any holes. We also use Asana which allows us to plan, schedule, assign and complete tasks in one place. This is another way we stay connected and it helps us immensely in insuring we are completing assignments in a timely manner.
There is no one-size-fits-all workflow for remote work. Whether you’re working from home once a week, temporarily, or thinking of joining the remote work world, I hope this article gives you and your team some ideas on how to get started and stay connected.
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