Working remotely can be a serious adjustment if you’re used to office life.
The Coronavirus has forced millions of workers across the globe to set up shop at home so they can continue working without having to worry about catching this deadly illness. For many, it will be the first time they’ve had an opportunity to experience remote work. While it may seem like an exciting new change at first, many people struggle with how to operate outside of an office setting.
Forma is dedicated to the continual education about the world of life science marketing, and that includes massive shifts in how people do their jobs. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips for how to effectively work remotely. Whether you’ve got an immaculate home-office or are trying to get comfortable at your kitchen table, these tips will help you impress your boss from any distance.
Choose a good spot (or spots!)
Location, location, location! When setting up to work from home, it’s important to choose a spot in your home that is conducive to productive work. Get a comfy chair, spread out, and make sure you’ve got plenty of natural light. One of the benefits about working remotely is that you’re able to change your surroundings whenever you want to. You shouldn’t be stuck in the same position for 8+ hours a day, so try experimenting with working at different tables, or even standing at your kitchen counter.
Never stop communicating!
In an office, it’s almost always easier to simply turn around and ask someone a question face-to-face. But when your coworkers are miles away and everyone is working in their own little bubbles, it can be more difficult to convey information. This is why it’s important to have an established process for communicating. What tools are you using? Are you able to see everyone’s availability on a shared calendar? Should you schedule an extra meeting for roundtable discussions? These answers to these questions will determine how effectively your remote strategy is.
It’s also important to take time just to chat. Nobody can talk about work for 8 hours a day, so consider scheduling weekly hangouts to catch up and talk with the people you work with. Feelings of isolation and loneliness are a huge hurdle that many remote workers have to overcome, and the best way to stay energized is to have regular interactions with your coworkers.
Don’t overdo it!
When you begin working remotely, the line between “work life” and “home life” can begin to blur. Now that you don’t have a commute to worry about, it can be difficult to stop working when you’d otherwise be done for the day. Be cognizant of your own mental health and take regular breaks to do something else. As easy as it is to burn yourself out in an office, it can be just as easy to burn yourself out at home.
The most important thing to remember while working remotely is that while your surroundings may have changed, your actual job is likely the same. Your team is still depending on you to work with them, and even if your boss is across town, they’re still expecting you to do great things. Nobody’s sure when our collective work lives will return to normal, but until then, here’s to being an effective remote worker!