Remote Working has become a common phrase over the past several months. Many companies are having to adapt to accommodate their employees working from home, including us! However, did you know that remote working has been steadily on the rise for years? According to data taken from the Annual Population Survey, over 1.7 million people were working remotely within the UK before the events of 2020.
We’ve been collecting all the tips and tricks we’ve learnt over this year and have decided to share our top tips with you now in preparation for the winter months:
Create a separate workspace in your home
For those of you with a study or spare room in your house this one seems obvious. However, many of us have had to adapt to working in smaller spaces. Try to find somewhere in your home that you can separate from your relaxation activities. Set up a desk in the corner of your bedroom or use the dining table during the day. The most important thing is that you don’t end up working from your bed or the couch. This will blur the lines between work and free time, and you may start to resent the area. Having a set place to work from each day will add structure to your day. This in turn will make you more productive when you are in that spot. It will also allow you to keep other areas free as a place to escape to after the workday is done.
Create a daily routine
When you are working from the comfort of your own home, the temptation to be a little lazier is hard to resist. Of course, you want to be comfortable at work too, but creating a structured workday will help keep you motivated. Don’t roll out of bed and straight onto the computer. Take the time to fully wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, and prepare yourself for the day ahead before you even open your laptop.
Write a daily to-do list
Spend 10 minutes either at the end of the day before or the morning of, to write up the tasks you want to achieve throughout your day. Break your day up into realistic and achievable goals or tasks. Ticking off your tasks keeps you motivated as the day goes on. Furthermore, writing a to-do list for the next day when you finish work can help you switch off. You’ll feel more organised and prepared for the next day so you can enjoy your time off with less worrying.
Take small breaks throughout the day
No one expects you to sit in the same spot for hours on end. Think about how you usually went about your day in the office. If you finish a task, get up and stretch your legs for five minutes. If you get stuck on a difficult job, go make yourself a cup of tea to get some time away from your screen to mull it over. Consider implementing the Pomodoro Technique to increase your productivity.
Use video and messaging apps to stay in contact with your team
If you’re used to a social office atmosphere it can be disconcerting to find yourself remote working on your own all day. Suggest to your team that they use a business-friendly instant messaging app, such as Slack, to keep connected throughout the workday. This will allow you to all be available to each other for questions, assistance and feedback when needed. If you want to arrange a face to face meeting with someone else in your team, there are many video conferencing apps to choose from. At Dijify, we have a short video call each morning to say hello and let each other know what’s on the agenda for that day.
When working remotely, it can be difficult to stop your home life blurring with your work. It is important to set boundaries with the rest of your household so that you can get on with your work as best you can under the circumstances. Have a signal prepared for your family/flatmates to let them know when you are on a call and shouldn’t be disturbed.
Find time for creativity or exercise
Having to spend the entirety of your day in one location can be draining. To re-energise yourself, set aside some time in the day to work out or indulge in your favourite hobby. Your lunch break is a great excuse to get out of the house for half an hour and go for a walk. Fresh air can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. If the weather isn’t good, use that time to work on a craft project or hobby. Doing so allows your brain to switch off from work and you will come back with more motivation.
Remember that you are not alone
For many of us, remote working was not a choice but rather a necessity. Being thrust into this new way of working may be difficult to adjust to at first. Make sure to give yourself allowances and don’t stress about whether you are doing it ‘right’. Many other people are in the same situation as you and they will all deal with it in their own way. Find what works best for you and stick to it. Try to embrace the benefits of working from home. No commute means you have extra time to do something you are passionate about… or sleep in!