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Remote Work Tips for Beginners

28 January 2023

Remote working has been a thing for quite a few years now. However, the onset of the pandemic made it not just a more concrete reality, but perhaps the primary mode of working for employees and organizations of the future.

Whether you have started working from home due to COVID-19 or simply because you found your first remote-based job, working remotely will require you to change, modify, and establish a number of practices and habits. For instance, you will need to figure out when and where to work, how to minimize distractions, and how to develop a healthy work-life balance.

If you are new to remote working, the tips and suggestions in this blog might help you make a smoother transition.

Remote Work Tips for Beginners:



Communicate:

Communication is essential for professional success, but it becomes all the more crucial once you start working from home. Since you cannot just walk up to your colleagues or managers, you must make sure to schedule regular one-to-one meetings where you discuss your weekly tasks, current progress, and future targets.

In order to make the most of these interactions, you must be well informed about the projects you have worked on or led, the targets you have met or surpassed, and the progress you have made. Remote working arrangements might make it hard for your manager to keep a close eye on your performance, which is why you should not shy away from bringing up any milestones and achievements on your own.



Create a Dedicated Office Space:

Ideally, remote employees should have a dedicated office along with two computers (one for work and the other for personal use).

However, dedicating a separate room and computer for work is not realistic for everyone. This is why, at the very least, you should have a table or desk, along with some other peripherals that will be used solely for work.

Try investing in smart, ergonomic office furniture, such as the F1 Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair. Not only does this chair use a height-adjustable seat and supportive mesh cushion to provide a premium sedentary experience, but it also offers cycling setup so that you can integrate more physical activity into your workday. You can adjust the cardio levels according to your needs, and also keep an eye on the amount of calories you burn.



Invest in Tech:

You probably know how important a reliable internet connection is for any remote worker, but that is not the only thing you will require. For instance, depending on the level of noise and distraction in your home, you might also need to buy a pair of noise-cancellation headphones. Besides, these headphones will also allow you to work in public spaces like cafes or parks.

Some people also purchase wireless mouse and keyboards to add more flexibility to their work.



Step Out of the House:

Remote working does not mean that you cannot –or should – never leave your house at all. Going for a short walk will not only get the blood flowing, but the time spent in nature will also improve your mood and energy levels. Ideally, you should be stepping out of the house for brief periods before, during, and after your workday.

Also, like we mentioned, you could also consider working in cafes, libraries, parks, or other public spaces, in order to add a bit of variety. Do whatever suits you best – the key is just to leave the house, get the body moving, and soak in some air and sunlight.



Download Work Apps on the Phone:

This is a tricky one. While having work-related applications on your phone allows you to stay connected in case you have to leave your desk during the workday, it also means that you will be notified about every after-hours work-related message that you receive.

Use your best judgment; in general, having at least the essential work-related applications like Google Docs, Hangouts, Slack, and Zoom on your phone does more good than harm. If you want to disconnect yourself once the workday is over, you can simply mute the app notifications until the next morning.



Establish Ground Rules with People who Share Your Space:

It is important to set ground rules and healthy boundaries with other people in your space.

For instance, if you are sharing space with other adults, you will need to agree upon things like meeting times, quiet times, and the use of any shared equipment like computers or chairs. With children who might be studying from home or returning from school before your workday is over, you will need to set strict and clear rules about what they are and are not allowed to do.

Also, just because you are working from home does not mean that you will always be able to overlook your domestic service staff or take care of the pets. Dividing domestic labor is fine; however, it is not right to let people assume that you are supposed to take on all the responsibility just because you are at home. Remind people that, during working hours, your work is your topmost priority.



Know When to 'Sign Out':

The number one concern for managers overseeing remote workers is that the employees spend their days doing laundry and binging Netflix and try to squeeze work in between these tasks. However, more often than not, it is the opposite that is true: remote employees tend to work harder because it is much more difficult for them to simply 'leave' work. Hence, when you find your personal life dissolving into your professional one, you must take steps to make time for yourself. The best way to do this is by establishing regular and consistent working hours. If you do find yourself extending your workday, make sure to compensate for it –either by wrapping things up earlier or waking up later the next morning.



Dress Up:

Wearing the right attire plays a key role in getting you in the right frame of mind regarding work, and increasing your productivity.

Hence, as tempting as it might be, try not to log in to work or join a conference call in your pajamas or nightdress.



Stop Beating Yourself (And Other People) Up:

Working full-time from unconventional spaces requires serious focus, which is why successful remote workers are often some of the most disciplined and professional people you will come across.

However, this does not mean that they are immune to lapses in attention. So, if you find crunching numbers on MS Excel one minute, and looking up ticket prices on Skyscanner the next, do not judge yourself too harshly. Remember that the occasional mind-wandering episode is normal, whether you are working remotely or from the office. Hence, stop killing yourself for thinking about something other than work, and get back to your job.

At the same time, we must also extend this kind and forgiving attitude to our bosses, co-workers, and clients. Keep in mind that we never know what a person might be dealing with in their professional or personal life, which is why it is best to cut people slack wherever possible.



USE VPNs:

VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) create an encrypted and secure connection between the internet and your computer. Hence, a VPN should be used whenever you are using an internet connection that you cannot fully trust or control (such as WIFI connections in public spaces).

Some companies have their own VPNs that employees are required to use when accessing certain websites or servers that might contain sensitive data. If you work for such an organization, you might be required to use VPN even while working at home.



Take Breaks:

It is important that you step away from the computer screen every once in a while, and give your eyes and brain a well-deserved break. In addition, as discussed above, moving around encourages blood flow. Hence, you should give yourself a break at least once every hour or so.

You could even use time-management techniques like the Pomodoro technique where you take a five-minute break after every twenty-five minutes of working.

Also, make sure to not cut your breaks short: if your plan was to take a 45-minute break and you find yourself returning to your desk after just 30, turn right around and come back after another 15 minutes.

Final Word:

At the end of the day, it is important to do what feels best for you. Some things you might figure out yourself, while, for others, you might need to seek inspiration and guidance from other work-from-home employees.

Remember to create healthy boundaries between your work and professional life, come up with ways to add variety and change to your routine, and make sure that you have a community that you can fall back on when things start to feel overwhelming.