Tips for Working Remotely
New to working remotely? Here are some helpful tips from some seasoned “remote” veterans to help make your teleworking experience more effective and enjoyable.
Communication is Key
- Skype, Slack, Google Hangout or email. The more you can communicate your status on projects, the better.
- Consider scheduling weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with folks that you regularly collaborate with, but perhaps you don’t have standing meetings scheduled. Knowing you have that time reserved can be a gamechanger.
- Keep your deadlines on any deliverables up-to-date and show a bit of flexibility.
Routine, Organization and Environment Matter
- Keep your morning routine. Get up, shower, do whatever you would normally do to get ready for your day and use your old commuting time to organize yourself and set your schedule.
- Use noise-canceling headphones.
- Get up, go for a short walk, and talk to someone. You don’t sit for eight hours a day in the office in silence. Find an office buddy and check in with them periodically.
- When possible, take an actual lunch break, away from your computer.
- Resist the urge to tackle household chores. Or, if you need to finish up a load of laundry, etc., do it on your ‘lunch break.’
- Set work hours and, if possible, a separate physical workspace away from your family room/ kitchen/ main living area. Burn-out is real. It’s hard to turn-off when your computer and office are sitting in sight at all times. If you don’t have a separate office, pack up your computer when the day is done.
Don’t Forget Meeting Etiquette
- Participating in meetings remotely is more difficult than one would think. Be sure to mute your phone when you aren’t addressing the group, shuffling papers by phone speakers, side conversations and colleagues talking on top of each other create a lot of noise and distraction.
- Meeting organizers, please remember the agenda. Organizing participation is essential to a productive meeting, even a loose agenda is better than nothing (or the dreaded round-robin!).