Remote work has become more common over the last couple of years, but the reality of our current climate has forced the vast majority of the workforce to figure out how to be productive on the fly. Here are some tips that we have learned over the years that will help you maintain your normal productivity and allow you to build boundaries for yourself that keep work and home separate in your mind.
Make working from home “feel” normal:
- Have a quiet and comfortable area set up for you to work in, if possible; preferably not your bedroom or living area so you can separate the two.
- Start your day as you normally would going into the office. Get up. Take a shower. Get dressed. Have your coffee. Wear shoes. It might sound funny, but it matters.
- Plan ahead and schedule your day so you aren’t wondering what to do next.
- Never leave a task for the next day if it can be completed today.
- Make sure you step away for a proper lunch break. It’s important to structure a set break so you get some relief, and it will help stay on track with your plan for the day.
- Keep a radio on low or use a white noise app on your phone. Sometimes the silence of working at home can sap you of your motivation.
- If you have kids at home, set boundaries but make some time for them. Step away from your desk. Have a snack with them or play a quick game. It will ease their anxiety as well as yours. A little bit of proactive attention goes a long way for kids and can help you be more productive when you’re focused on work.
Tips for making your relationship with your manager work remotely:
- Over-communicate with your manager(s). For many contractors, this is the first opportunity for you and your manager to work together from a distance. Establishing an open line of communication is imperative. You want them to know you’re working and where you’re focused.
- Check in the morning/end of the day with your manager. Find out how they want you to track hours. This will help establish trust with your manager. Most of their anxiety will be about maximizing productivity and who is doing what at any given time. Initiating this conversation shows them you are looking to do the “right thing” for the company and builds trust. Creating a trusting relationship with your manager means a more comfortable day-to-day experience.
- Discuss the best way to communicate with your manager. Is it through instant messages, email, or phone calls? Ask what they prefer and express what works best for you as well.
- Acknowledge receipt and respond – when you get an email, don’t just do the task. Tell the sender that you’ve received their communication and explain what you will be doing as a result.
- Make sure there are agreed-upon deadlines for activities and check in on that. Ask them what they want you to do first and when they want you to complete it. Communicate your progress.
We’re here to help! If we can answer questions or help brainstorm ways to succeed from home, please don’t hesitate to reach out!
Photo credit: bongkarn thanyakij from PexelsCareer advice | Contracting | Working remotely