Forty-three percent of Americans worked partially or fully remote in 2016 and that percentage is projected to rise as a flexible work style has become the most desired extra benefit employees seek.
There are a ton of advantages to working remote: increased productivity and efficiency, lowered stress levels, zero commute time, greater flexibility, and increasingly, more employees are catching on and helping make remote work the “work style of the future."
If you have taken the plunge to work remote, you know there are challenges that come alongside the many benefits of virtual work. To overcome a lack of motivation, not being able to hear during meetings, or feeling disconnected, it’s important to find the unique work style that fits you.
There are no right or wrong ways to work remote, and each person will find their own remote sweet spot, however, you can follow the guidelines below to help you find your perfect work style and do your best work no matter where your desk is.
Balance work and life. This can be a tricky one with remote work, when your work is literally planted smack dab in your home, invading your personal space. Maybe the lines are a little blurred, but there is still plenty of room for separation, both physically and mentally, between work and play. Find the balance, schedule, and parameters that fit your life.
Stay connected. Despite your locational differences with your colleagues, don’t become an island. Cultivate positive working relationships with your coworkers, and make an effort to get to know the people you work with. If you live near the office or near other remote employees, stay connected in person when possible. Most importantly, ask questions, and ask for help when you need it. Just because you are the only person in your office, doesn’t mean you’re alone.
Take a break. There are plenty of breaks throughout the day when working in the office: coffee in the morning, chatting in the break room, maybe an afternoon ping pong tournament. Working remote can make us forget that we too deserve breaks. No need to work during every meal, or skip out on a few minutes to yourself simply because you work remote. A quick moment of relaxation or a mid-day yoga class can greatly increase mood and productivity for the rest of your work day.
Create the perfect work environment. Make sure you have all the equipment and tools you need to be successful- fast internet, desired amount of displays, printer, etc., but also make sure you pay attention to the more subtle elements to improve your focus, creativity, and state of mind while working. Try to position your workspace in a bright area with natural light, and have a nice smelling candle, a plant, or a picture you enjoy looking at on your desk. These small touches can help create a place where you do your best work.
Make a schedule. Designate your working hours so both you and your coworkers know when you’ll be working. A schedule allows for clear-cut expectations from both sides and an understanding of when you will be available for calls, meetings, and last minute bookings. Find a quiet coffee shop, library, or café that allows for focused work and schedule in some hours here as well during your work day. This fresh environment will allow for new perspectives and increased motivation.
Each employee has their own perfectly unique work style, so go out there and find the one that works for you!