Remote working

— 3 minute read

For the past couple of years I've been working in a mostly remote position. There are a lot of positives, but it's important to know that it's not for everyone and it does come with it's own challenges that you'll need to think about.

Here's a few things that I've noticed can help. Your experiences may/will be different.

Tips on remote working permalink

Keep in regular contact with your fellow workers. Provide updates to the team about your progress. Discuss using online tools for greater visibility of decisions made. It helps provide context and allows for further input as necessary. This works both ways.

Use face to face meetings via video. If there are multiple people joining at the other end, use a proper meeting room with good a/v equipment. Holding a laptop with others joining is not a positive experience and leaves people feeling less involved. Not everything needs a call. Embrace async communication.

You will at times feel isolated and need human interaction. Go to places that encourage this and create a different environment. This can be a shared office, coworking space or local coffee shop. When you know you need to focus, you'll welcome the solitude.

Try and work to your own schedule. Take a longer lunch if it helps you be more effective at what you do. If you need to go and do something, then do it and work around it. Define check in times and availability to your coworkers. This is not about being unavailable, it's about managing your time better.

Replace your commute with something for yourself. Go for a walk with the dog, cycle round the block, or grab a coffee from your local. It will help kickstart the day and allow your mind to seperate home from work. Likewise, wearing your pjs all day whilst comfortable is an easy way to laze about.

Invest in your space. Ideally you'll have somewhere that is a place for you, with a decent set of equipment and lighting. Working in a common room within your house/flat will likely make it harder to concentrate and may lead to distractions.

If your company has to emphasize the fact you need to work whilst you are at home, then they probably don't trust you to do any work or are at least unfamiliar with the concept. Don't overcompensate by doing more work, just alleviate concern with what you are doing.

If you want to do more work because you're in the zone or whatever, by all means do so, just remember to take some time out and recharge.

Take notes and provide a plan of what you'll be working on. This can be as simple as you like. Working to a few bullet points and targets will add extra focus and satisfaction when complete.

Spend time with your family, friends and significant others. It can be really easy to slip into constantly thinking about work and failing to relax with the people around you. Enjoy life outside of work.

Hopefully these tips will put you on the right path to remote working bliss.