Guest Blog written by Zoe Elba
Remote working may seem enticing at first. Howbeit, it usually does not take long for all of the drawbacks to catch up. Unless you are a highly efficient person with rigorous discipline instilled in your daily habits, you will find yourself struggling with organizing your remote work schedule. Still, there are ways you can make the most out of the situation you are in. And, this article will go into detail about all of them.
While working remotely means being away from your office and coworkers, it does not imply that you ought to stop having meetings or regular contact on a daily basis. With programs like Zoom, Slack, Google Hangouts, and even Skype, there is really no reason for your team not to stay in touch. My advice is that you establish your means of communication before you need to use it, and make sure you test it out to know all the ins and outs.
Handling the transition correctly
This is certainly not a decision your company or you will make on a whim. That said, you will certainly have some time to prepare. Use this time to go through your current office and finally declutter your work station. Productivity will be your biggest challenge when working remotely. So, you want to ensure you are surrounded only by things you actually need. You will probably be surprised at how few belongings you need in order to get the job done. Once singled out, you will be able to transport items from the office to your home in just one box.
Defining your priorities
One of the best things about working in an office is the psychological aspect of it. You may not know it but associating that space with the work you need to do does wonders for your productivity. If you plan on working from home, you will probably find yourself lacking that feel that your office gave you. For this reason, it would be wise to try and realize what it is that gets you in that ‘work mode’. Whether it is listening to certain music, getting yourself dressed up for work, or just having coffee without breakfast, make sure that you keep on doing it. It may sound silly at first. However, the power of habit is great, and you should use it to your advantage.
Assembling your office
Depending on your job, you may just need a laptop, or a few more items to help you do your work. The fewer items you have, the easier it will be to assemble your office, or transport it should the need arise. In ideal cases, you want to see that your home office is not a space you share with your kids. Work requires concentration, and you will need as little disturbances as possible. Your work station should contain only the items you brought from your office and nothing else that may distract you.
You may find out that working from home is an option you cannot sustain. If this is the case, I recommend that you try a local cafe that is seldom crowded and has comfortable chairs with high tables. It can turn out to be a great office for the time being.
Organizing your remote work schedule properly
With all the previous things covered, you will now be able to address the process of organizing your remote work schedule properly. If your job already comes with a schedule, you have half the work already done for you. Say that you are working from 9 am to 5 pm. Yours will be to organize your time around it so that you are able to cover all the other chores. Of course, you have been doing this until now with even less time. However, now that you are at your place, you will fall under the risk of being inclined to do other things unrelated to work. (Like that pile of laundry that needs to get washed). As a result, your work may suffer. It is with this in mind that I say you need to focus only on the job. Leave the chores, learning courses, and all your hobbies for time off work.
Not having a fixed work schedule
This is a greater challenge and will require a few more tricks. If you do not have a fixed working schedule, you will have to set one yourself. You have to stick to it, regardless of outside temptations. It seems simple enough in theory, but practice will prove to be a true test to your flexibility. The good thing is that you can organize it so that few of your personal matters have to suffer. Still, make sure that your job gets just as enough attention.
If you find yourself struggling and slacking off with work, I have a great tip that helps me even today. Set a timer for yourself to 50 minutes. This will be the time where you work without paying attention to any sort of distraction, be it your phone, the Internet (unless your work revolves around Social Media), or that laundry staring at you. Anything that is not work-related will have to wait. Then, you will have a 10-minute break where you think of anything but your work. After that, it’s 50 minutes of work again, and a 10-minute break. This will do wonders for your productivity.
What it comes down to
When organizing your remote work schedule, it is paramount that you carefully assess the factors required to get the job done. Once you do so, you have to see to it that you fulfill them on a daily basis. Although you are not in your office, you have to create an environment that will resemble it. Only by doing so will you be able to provide the same output and prevent your job from suffering. It might take you a week or two to get used to it. Still, do not lose hope, and have trust in your discipline. You will get there, I am certain.
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Zoe Elba is a freelance writer and a book illustrator who has been working from home ever since she started college 8 years ago. She now works on her doctoral degree and enjoys the little free time she has by running and walking her dogs.