I’m working remotely for about five years and I’ve got some tips that I hope can be useful if you are planning to start working from home. There are some not so obvious benefits and some hidden disadvantages in this process, especially if you don’t have any previous experience. So, let’s start with some positive aspects of the remote work and find out what I discovered during the last 5 years:
- The main benefit is that from now on you don’t need to spend the large amount of your daytime going/riding/driving to your work and then getting back home. And believe me – just this one advantage is pretty awesome by itself because you can spend this time to learn new things, play with your kids, make some homework or whatever you want;
- You can create the most efficient and convenient working space right there, in your own apartment. It easily can be quite a place where you play music loudly or stay as quiet as you’d like. One may create ergonomic work place or work by laying on a couch (which I strongly recommend you not to do anyway). From now on everything is in your own hands and you’ll thank yourself in the future if you spend some time to organise your place in a good manner;
- If it is hard for you to work in a loud environments (something like “open spaces”), then work from home is a perfect solution! No more office distractions, because most of your communications with your coworkers will be transferred to text messages.
Of course there are some negative impacts of the remote working. The main one is a lack of in-person communications, especially is you are working from home and not from some type of coworking space. All team members should put some effort to maintain sustainable communication process in the most convenient way for all people in the team. Daily meetings are the most convenient technique to feel the pulse of your teammates and to be well informed about what’s going on. Remember that deficiency of in-person communication can lead to bad mood or even depression. So, remember to get outside and talk to the real people from time to time 😉. Another trap you can fall into is a productivity loss. Sometimes it can be really hard to start the actual work, because there are so many distractions around you. I described the way you can fight these distractions in one of my articles, so feel free to read it if you are interested.
Finally I want to share some tips and tricks that I’m finding helpful for myself to keep up the good work while working remotely:
- Be consistent with your place for a work. Do not use the couch or your dining table as a working place. If it is possible in your situation – organise your working place in a separate room;
- Keep your working place clean and organised;
- Ask your roommates or family members to not distract you while you are working;
- Try to not get distracted by anything unimportant for your work;
- Keep your working schedule steady. Do not work after your working hours are over (if there is no need to, of course);
- Invest in some decent hardware and ergonomics if you are planning to work remotely for a long term;
- Do not forget to spend some time on self-care and physical activities. Take short breaks while working. Warning-up and stretching can be very refreshing also.