As the world has changed, many have come to discover the perks of working from a remote location.
For some, not being forced to work in the office has provided extra quiet space to think, concentrate, and focus. Others have found they've become more creative and overall less stressed. It's nice to no longer have to wear certain prescribed clothing when before it may have been required.
Many have found financial savings with a little-to-no commute. Others find their interpersonal relationships with co-workers may have improved. Meetings take on new meaning as it allows balanced interactions.
To be fair, though, not everyone thoroughly enjoys working from a remote location. It's a high probability that just being able to tweak the work from home routine will increase job satisfaction. Try implementing one or more of these six keys to increase overall success and happiness with working from a remote location.
1. Protect the dedicated workspace
Having a dedicated workspace in your home, hotel, or on wheels (if you’ve taken to the road) sets the tone for remote work bliss. For some, this means having:
a dedicated room,
a designated table in a room,
a favorite recliner, or a
No matter where your dedicated workspace is, the secret is to pretend you are at the office while occupying this space. That means that this area you’ve carved out during your shift is now your office. It’s your new cubicle.
This capable attitude carries over into the rest of your workflow processes.
If you travel a lot, consider your workspace mentality to be “in effect” when you sit down and open your laptop. If your computer is open, you’re at the office.
The key is to remember that the spot you choose for your workspace is the office -- almost like you've teleported into another environment -- except without the commute.
2. Get a docking station
Seeing more information at once saves time that's wasted from constantly switching between tabs or apps. Don’t resist the urge to purchase one of these for yourself. If you had one at the office, you’re going to benefit from having one in your new work area.
Some traveling nomads even keep small docking stations in their bags if they find themselves working in a co-op work environment where they share office space and other costs.
If you're an employee, talk to your employer about covering the cost of this. If you're an employer, strongly consider purchasing one of these for the employee. If this isn't an option, consider paying for one out of pocket. Another computer monitor can be purchased at a second-hand store to save money.
This one key, alone, can increase your work productivity, which may assuage the nerves of a worried manager.
3. Become a mute button ninja
If you’re working from home and other people or pets are near or in your new dedicated workspace, it’s only natural for there to be background noise and activity.
You can’t always stop this from happening, but you can become a mute button ninja:
Practice finding the mute button controls on your conference call software.
Click the button every time you finish speaking.
Keep your finger over it whenever you anticipate you need to talk and again just before you know you’ll end.
Use the same method with your video camera. Practice turning it on and off. Your coworkers will appreciate a smooth transition and won’t be distracted by anything going on in the background you don’t have complete control over.
Remember to not rely on the mute buttons found on your headset, microphones, or earbuds. This prevents potentially embarrassing moments.
4. Simplify your professional dressing
Always show up to a video conference call dressed professionally. Some have found that instead of wearing suits regularly, that wearing a solid, neutral color business shirt to be just as effective. A quick check on hair and teeth removes further potentially embarrassing moments.
The best thing to add to your wardrobe is a smile! They're free, make you feel great, and are contagious.
The key here is to be presentable without putting too much pressure on yourself.
5. Stay on task with a few tweaks
The longer you can stay on task, the higher chance you can get more done in less time. This frees up more time for family, fun, friends, or whatever else awaits you in your remote work location. Here are some things that others have found beneficial with being able to stay focused:
Living by the calendar. This works great for noting deadlines and blocking off concentrated work time.
The key here is to guard your time during your shift.
6. Closing time still exists
Everyone needs balance in their lives. Keeping regular hours while working remotely keeps structure and flow in place. When working at the office, eventually, you would go home. When you're working from a remote location, and your shift ends, your shift still ends. This is the biggest key to a blissful remote working experience.
Being able to shut the laptop's lid at the end of the day is immensely satisfying, and because there's no commute, you're able to enjoy the other aspects of your environment even faster.