As a country, we seem to be able to disagree about just about everything. But there is one thing where there seems to be consensus. We are living in a strange and stressful time! Thousands of workers are suddenly being asked to work from home. (We posted this blog with free tools to help here) And while, for many of us, this is a cool perk, we are not used to working remote every day. On the other hand, some workers have been doing this very thing for years. So we decided to get tips for working remote (from remote workers).
At Hasseman Marketing, we have several team members that work remote nearly every day. So we went straight to the source to get tips on what to do…and what not to do.
Seven years ago I learned that going from working in an office to working from home was a big change. My biggest tip, give yourself grace in changing your work space. You need to figure out your own schedule and what works best. For me, I learned I could put a load of laundry in washer, work, use then break of the washing machine to switch clothes to the dryer, go back to work, and then use the ding of the dryer to signify another work break for me.
It sounds simple, but in the beginning, I felt bad for taking those breaks. Now, I am comfortable with it and I am able to get work and home life done.
1.) GRACE – Pray your work team and clients give you grace when your little one screams for the third time on the conference call “Mom I have to go potty!”
2.) TECHNOLOGY – important to know what you need to be successful: phone, computer, good internet connection, etc. Flexibility to be mobile like a laptop is good too to change up the work space or visit customers if needed.
3.) STRUCTURE and routine. Kirby always preaches track your activity which brings on more productivity – It also helps with follow ups and keeping all projects on track.
4.) SNACKS – hide them. Out of sight out of mind.
5.) BREAKS – take healthy breaks – 15 minute walk, send a thank you, check in with a family member or friend, let your mind air out for a minute
6.) EXPENSES – if you are allowed expenses, track them weekly/monthly. Tax time is the worst when you don’t keep up all year.
7.) OFFICE – dedicated work space away from screaming toddlers and snacks. Your dog is allowed in.
Establish and keep a routine that includes things like; eating and showering.
Bonus tip: establish and keep a “workspace” that you only use for work.
Get up at the same time every morning and start work at the same time every day. (as if you are punching a time clock).
Oh…and couples: Try to work in different rooms LOL
(There’s going to be distractions!) …so, “Plan the work, Work the plan”
I have a daily updated (to do) list that I keep on my phone, (so it’s always available at my finger tips). I add activities, projects, dates, or just ideas that I want to develop. It helps keep me focused and/or can help me prioritize what is most important when my schedule gets interrupted. I check it every AM, add to it throughout the day, and delete completed task at the end of every day – which is a great reward and gives you a chance to review and plan for the next day.
It’s simple, but it’s what works best for me.
Also, for couples suddenly working from home together: get yourselves an imaginary coworker to blame things on. Trust me!
I think there is a ton of great information here for working remote…whether it’s your first time or even if you are a veteran. If you want more content like this, check out our blog page here. Oh, and one of the great books about working remote is by Jason Fried and you can find it here.