So you're working remotely for the time being - now what? How can you stay productive, creative and inspired?
We have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves for making remote work as smooth as possible.
1. Establish a routine
Creating a clear rhythm helps a great deal. Rhythm your day as you would physically go to the workplace. Wake up early, do all your morning routines, and eat breakfast before you start your workday. Schedule breaks around the same time if possible and don't eat your lunch while sitting at your computer.
2. Set your daily goals
Start your day by setting goals for yourself for the day ahead. You can go through the goals you have in your head or write them down as a list. The good part of the list is that you can physically cross over tasks that you have already done and your goals will be concretized.
3. Keep your work environment tidy
It is much harder to focus if you see a dirty kitchen or a pile of laundry all the time. So clear yourself the cleanest possible place to work. The easiest way to do this is to go to another space and close the door. Out of sight out of mind.
4. Breath in fresh air
Long time indoors can make you stir crazy. Ideally, you shpuld try to get some outdoor time once a day, to get coffee or walk the dog. Otherwise, you may feel restless, tired, irritable and concentration becomes difficult. Maybe you could have a phone call with your colleague while taking a little walk.
5. Interact with your co-workers
Working remotely can feel isolating at times, so as part of your routine, try to interact with your co-workers regularly. Chatting over messaging apps like Slack or Whatsapp (even just saying "Hello!" when you sign on in the morning) and holding meetings over Zoom or another video app are two quick and easy ways to stay in the loop. However you connect, don't let email be the only way you interact with colleagues. Turn on your video connection for at least 5 minutes in the morning (this will also force you to put on your clothes and brush your hair).
6. Try to survive when working while kids are at home
It is not easy to focus on work while children are demanding attention so it's a perfect time to dig out any crafting supplies you might have. There is also a wide variety of free printable templates available online for children of different ages.
If you are having a big remote meeting mute your microphone whenever you are not talking. The small noises repeat a lot and the line gets a lot of extra noise. Do tasks that require silence or reflection during the children's naps, after an outdoor activity (if you can go out), or after the kids go to bed. If there are more adults in the family doing remote work, they may vary every couple of hours with one who is a "go-to" parent who is responsible for the children.
7. Put on your pants
Put on your pants. For real. A collar shirt and pyjamas are good for video conferencing but hardly make you feel productive. And you don't want to be the guy who forgets during Skype that they haven't put those pants on and has to stand up at the table. Trust me, I know.