Are you the kind of employee who values the structure and discipline an office job guarantees? Then a remote work environment may not be for you.
Working remotely is certainly not for everyone. When circumstances like the pandemic forced a large portion of the workforce to work from home, it created a very difficult environment for so many people. Stress, anxiety and loneliness have been pervasive during these times.
Whether or not you intend to continue working remotely post-pandemic, learning the top skills and techniques to create a stress-free remote work environment can only help to fill in any holes there may be in your professional skillset.
Well balanced and productive remote workers have great self-discipline. Remote workers do not have a manager looking over their shoulders or monitoring their progress throughout a project. Therefore, they have to act as their own supervision and motivation to complete tasks and projects.
Self-discipline means that these employees can manage their time adequately and avoid distractions that are ever-so-close when working from home. Creating a disciplined schedule also helps you stay focused throughout the day instead of worrying about what’s going on outside.
Since most remote workers have a flexible schedule, the most productive workers have to discipline themselves to set regular work hours and stick to them even when they want to give in to their favorite show.
Fortunately, even the most spontaneous worker can take small steps to become more disciplined when working from home. Some of the top tips that could help include:
You can use apps like Todoist or Evernote to create your daily routine before you go to bed the night before. This ensures you know exactly what the next day has in store and a schedule for when everything needs to get done.
Remote work requires a lot of communication to facilitate collaboration and teamwork with other members of an organization. Therefore, highly productive remote workers must possess strong written and verbal communication skills.
If you lack the best communication skills and still want to work remotely, you can take several steps to improve them:
Organizations need to leverage communication and collaboration tools to aid in interactions between remote workers, in-house teams and management. This means remote workers need to be competent in these types of tools as well. Here are a few of the tools that remote workers should be familiar with:
Communication also helps to break up the isolation feeling when working from home. have regular after-hours happy hour meetups on Zoom. These can help to create some fun and a sense of normalcy during difficult times.
Highly productive remote workers are tech-savvy. They understand how to use different hardware and software that relate to their tasks. They are also adaptable and ready to learn and interact with new technology to help them improve their work.
Apart from understanding and being adaptable to new technologies, they are aware of the potential risks that come with using many different online tool sets like the ones discussed above. Tech-savvy remote workers understand the importance of protecting their devices, data, and connections from malicious actors through tools such as a VPN, antivirus software, and firewalls.
Tech-savvy workers are also capable of troubleshooting any tech issues they encounter without an overreliance on the IT department. With that said, IT support is critical for the success and security of remote teams.
Working remotely is close to owning your business; you have to push yourself to do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it.
The most productive remote workers understand the importance of being self-driven and motivated and take seriously the responsibility that comes with their freedom to work from anywhere.
If you struggle with motivating yourself to complete your tasks, try setting a routine similar to the one you follow at the office. Set a separate work area, and use productivity software for planning, time, and task management.
With this drive comes the potential for overworking.
Working from home exposes you to countless distractions that could result in no work done at the end of the day. On the other end of the spectrum, your personal and professional life have no clearly defined boundaries, and without some discipline and firm boundaries, a remote worker could easily overwork and burn out.
Highly productive remote workers set clear boundaries between their work and personal lives and enforce these boundaries.
Being a remote worker comes with its benefits, including the flexibility to work from any location as long as you have the right tools and an internet connection. However, it requires certain skills and techniques to ensure you remain a productive and valuable part of your organization while also creating a well-balanced lifestyle.