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Good Habits For Remote Working

As the majority of companies are sending employees home to work remotely as a response to COVID-19, we all have a part to play in being flexible and adjusting to alternate set ups, ensuring that we all stay connected while we go virtual, and that business continues as usual as much as possible.

Remote working is common place in many major industries including pharmaceuticals, technology, I.T., and B2C support services. It’s also common place across the education system, globally, and has been for years where online learning is delivered to children from elementary school all the way up through university. There are countless studies which have published research to support that working from home is not an impediment to business continuity, and in fact, it can actually be a much better use of employee’s time and is even preferred by the majority of people who do work remotely.

Getting rid of your morning commute to the office means you can start your day earlier and use your time more efficiently. The flexibility of working from home is one of the most valued elements of this style of work by remote based employees and is one of the best engagement tools a company can have to attract and retain top talent. Being able to take breaks for things like exercise or a quick trip to the shop supports a good work-life balance, and being able to set your schedule to accommodate your clients and stakeholders is a win-win.

I’ve worked from home for years in both full time remote based roles, and 2-3 times per week home based scenarios in different industries. Here are some of the good habits I’ve picked up as well as some tips and tricks to making working outside a conventional office a success.

  1. Get up and start your day. Go through your normal morning routine before you log on, as if you would if you were going into an office. This will get you into the right head space to ‘show up’ for work.
  2. Have a designated work station. Working from the couch or in bed is too relaxing for you to really ‘get in the zone’. You still need to feel like you’re going to work, even though you’re at home.
  3. Take breaks. Get up and stretch your legs for a few minutes a couple of times throughout the day—you should do this in the office too! Taking small breaks helps you to refocus when you get back to work.
  4. Stick to a schedule. Plan out your day by filling your calendar with ‘to do’ tasks and meetings so that you know where to put your focus throughout the day. This will help prevent from getting distracted.
  5. KPI’s. Set yourself some targets so you can ensure that you stay on track and prioritize your work accordingly.
  6. Stay connected. Working remotely can feel lonely if you’re not speaking with people regularly. Pick up the phone or set up a virtual call rather than send an email where it makes sense and make sure to keep colleagues and managers in the loop with what you’re doing.
  7. Get outside. Make sure to get out for fresh air at least once a day.
  8. Hours of Business. Make sure friends and family know you’re still working even though you’re home by sticking to normal working hours. Make sure you take your lunch break!
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