Remote work has an appeal that’s both enticing and intimidating to professionals. Some think that remote work will give them the freedom to do everything they want on their own time. Others believe that they need a more structured workday and it’s not going to work for them.
99% of professionals currently working remotely want to continue to do it, be it full-time or just some of the time for the rest of their careers. 95% of them also recommend it to others. Having a flexible schedule and being able to work anywhere are two of the top benefits they get from working remotely.
Employers also note its benefits for businesses. It can increase productivity by up to 53%, and also spells savings per employee for the company. Since remote work, even a few times a week is favorable to employees, it also improves a company’s reputation. 95% of employers say that it has improved their retention rates.
Working remotely has also allowed professionals to create better work-life balance. But it doesn’t always guarantee success. Transitioning from being a full-time office worker to a flexible worker takes some effort. Working remotely requires strategies and a lot of focus, and you need to keep up as quickly as possible.
If you plan on being a remote worker anytime soon, you have to ensure that you stay efficient and dependable as if you were still working in an office. How can you become a productive and responsible remote worker? There are a few habits you can foster.
Remote work won’t be possible if you don’t have the tools of your trade at your disposal. If you want to be able to work outside the normal office environment, you should have your own computer or laptop, stable internet connection, access to your company’s work emails or remote access to your internal network if possible, and a work phone if necessary.
It’s also important to designate your own space for work. Working from your bed is not feasible if you want to do remote work for a long time. Ideally, you should have your own home office. It doesn’t have to be an entire room – create an area that is dedicated to working and nothing else. Make it comfortable and free from distractions to help you focus and put your head down to work.
You might think that just because your schedule is flexible, you can work sporadically throughout the day. That’s not exactly the best approach. You might end up feeling like other remote workers who think they are always on call. Having some structure in place will help you perform better. Time management is key if you want to be an efficient remote worker.
Set your own working hours and make sure you concentrate on your tasks when you sit down to work. Choose the hours of the day during which you’re most productive, which doesn’t necessarily have to be rigid business hours. Determine which of your responsibilities need to be attended to and plan out how much time you’re going to spend working on each task. Don’t forget to schedule breaks as well so that you stay productive and focused.
It’s very important for a remote worker to foster smart working habits. You need to get a good grasp of the importance of each task and how long you are going to work on them. This is especially important if you are handling different projects all at once, some with tighter timelines than others.
Learn how to focus on the right tasks and deliver urgent jobs as soon as possible. Multitasking is not always the way to go, and you end up being less productive when you juggle everything at the same time. Manage your time well in such a way that you can deliver your most important responsibilities and still have time to work on other tasks after.
Since you won’t be able to speak with your colleagues face to face, it’s important for you to strengthen your written communication skills. You need to express yourself articulately via email or chat messages. You also have to have tools that will allow you to align with your teammates in real time.
Always stay responsive and make an effort to communicate with your colleagues. Craft concise messages and ask clarification for things you don’t understand clearly. It’s important that you and your teammates remain on the same page. The only way to achieve it when you’re not speaking face to face is by writing fluidly. Also learn how to engage with your teammates without getting too distracted, so that you can collaborate better when projects require you to.
It can be hard for employers to determine whether a remote worker can be trusted to perform well outside of the office. Trust is what holds your professional relationship together. Use this opportunity to establish yourself as a dependable independent worker who can always deliver high quality output.
Working remotely requires a lot of troubleshooting. Be disciplined and prioritize your job during the workweek. Always have the initiative to solve problems you might encounter. Learn how to take accountability for your actions. Communicate any issues you might have with your manager. Ask for any additional resources or help when you need it.
It’s always satisfying to see how much you accomplish. Use it to remain motivated and to keep the momentum going as a remote worker. Always begin to take on tasks with a goal in mind, while also staying on top of your deadlines.
Execute your tasks in a systemic way by planning ahead. This way, you will always deliver quality work. Make working remotely work for you by sparing time to look at the details of each task and planning your schedule in such a way that you hand in your work on time. You will have better control over your time and remain efficient this way.
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