One of the best parts about working in the modern era is being able to work remotely for many positions. With remote work, it doesn’t matter where in the world you are, you can still stay connected with your coworkers. While there are plenty of great benefits with remote work, it also presents its own set of challenges. Being prepared for differences in working at an office and working remotely can help you succeed as a remote worker.
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Communication Is Key
Completing projects always requires effective communication, both with any team members you have on the project and the project supervisor. When you’re working remotely, it’s crucial that you’re able to communicate well, particularly over emails and instant messages. Often, this means you need to be blunt to avoid any miscommunication.
You’re probably going to need to know how to use a variety of different platforms and apps to collaborate with others on projects. Since you’re not in the office, you can’t just go talk to people whenever, which makes it even more important that you understand the project management tools that your company uses. You’ll also need to make sure that you respond to any messages you receive within 24 hours to avoid holding up projects while others wait on your response.
All That Matters Is Your Productivity
When you work remotely, the only way that your supervisors can evaluate you is by your productivity. They don’t know if you’re working late like they would if you were at the office, so you can’t expect any recognition for how much time you’re putting in. They’re going to look at what you’re getting done.
It can be difficult to stay focused when you work remotely, because you don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder. You need to be able to motivate yourself to get the work done, and you need problem-solving skills to handle any issues that occur. While your coworkers can help you out, the fact that you’re not in the office with them means that you’re going to need to deal with more issues on your own.
There Are Different Distractions
On the one hand, working remotely cuts out one of the most significant workplace distractions – coworkers. While it can be nice to work with other people, they can also create plenty of distractions, and research shows that even minor distractions can result in productivity issues for the next 25 minutes.
Of course, anyone who has worked remotely knows that it’s far from being distraction-free. You could be in the middle of a task when you hear a knock on the door, or when your cat comes and sits on your lap, or any of the many other distractions that can crop up. A major factor in your success as a remote worker will be creating a working space that minimizes distractions.
Dealing with Loneliness
One of the biggest adjustments with working remotely is going from the office environment, where you see people every day, to spending the entire day by yourself. Some enjoy this, while others find that they get lonely without the company of other people.
There are several ways that you can manage loneliness as a remote worker. You can try working in a different environment. Co-working spaces are becoming more and more popular, but you could also go with a café or a library. Another option is just scheduling the occasional visit with your coworkers, either at or outside of work.
Maintaining the Balance Between Work and Life
When you aren’t going to the office to work, your work life and personal life can quickly blend into each other. To avoid this, schedule when you’re going to work every day. You can still have a flexible schedule, but scheduling your working hours in advance ensures that you don’t overwork or constantly work odd hours that impact your social life.
Remember that it’s not about how long you work, it’s about what you get done. As long as you’re able to complete your tasks, there’s no reason that you should work longer hours than normal. If you’re having trouble completing your tasks without working longer than normal, then it’s likely an issue with your workload, which you should bring up to your supervisor.
It’s easy to fall into unhealthy habits when you work on your own schedule, such as skipping meal breaks and sitting at your desk the whole day. Always set a schedule before your work day and include short breaks every hour or two, along with a longer lunch break. Use your breaks to grab a bite to eat and get some physical activity, even if that’s just a quick set of pushups.
Take advantage of working remotely so you can be at your best. When you have your kitchen right next to your workspace, it’s easier to make healthy meals. By taking breaks when you’re feeling burnt out, you can avoid productivity issues from losing focus.Working at an office and working remotely are like night and day. When you work remotely, you’re away from the rest of the team and you have full control over how you spend your day. By preparing for the remote work experience, you can have more success and reap its many benefits.