Remote work is not for everyone – typically you work alone, far away from colleagues and interaction with your peers. Although there are ways to get around this lonely setting, there is a higher level of responsibility which comes with the freedom of choosing your own work location. You also need to consider how to separate work and leisure time if you work from home, and create a working system where you can show remote co-workers and managers the work you have performed without having to waste your energy on unnecessary administration or having to work extra time. Some tips for working from home are:
- Balance; Find the right balance between work and leisure time, and don’t let one interrupt the other. Set a schedule for what is work time and what is play time, and be strict about it, both to get things done while working and to get the rest you deserve while at your own time.
- Create realistic Goals and Targets; Understand your limitations, and even though working to improve the limitations, don’t drive up expectations too much before improving to the point where you can handle more tasks. Knowing your limits is a great way to lower stress.
- Minimize extra time; Give yourself time for relaxation, personal growth, planning and fun. Don’t overplan and don’t stay after hours – going hand in hand with a daily work/life balance.
- Sort, prioritze and delegate; Look at what is more or less important, delegate to others if this makes the handling of a task more efficient and don’t mess with tasks where you wouldn’t make a difference – instead concentrate on your own tasks and expertize.
- Don’t waste energy; Becoming upset by petty things is one of the greatest energy wasters out there – don’t expect disaster to happen. Find a way around a small problem usually gives you energy and motivation, instead of wasting it, which is often the case when you get upset over nothing.
- Reflect and evaluate; Find out which situations are a cause of stress for you, and how you react. Consider how available you need to be at different times (can you for example turn off the phone or ignore mail for a few hours per day?). Look at what you can do to change the attitude of yourself and others around you, to create the balance and work environment you need.
- Optimize the work environment; Don’t work by the kitchen table, but instead create a special office space only used for work. Remember to have good light, a comfortable enough chair and a good enough computer work space. Having this in your home is a great way to get started, but you might also benefit from occassional work from the local coffee shop to meet other people.
- Go to meetings; Since you won’t have much social interaction with colleagues when working from home, take the chances you get to interact with them. This will also increase the times you are noticed by the employer, and get your work seen in another light.
Did you try working remote? Have you considered working from home without taking the step, and in that case what stopped you?
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