Working remotely definitely has its advantages. You can choose to work from anywhere with spending less time on communicating along with the ability to set up your own working hours, it surely is rewarding. However, not everyone can manage their remote working schedule effectively and it can be troublesome for them to stay productive without being effective.
Here are 5 tips on how to stay effective while working remotely.
1. Set Up Your Workspace
You first need a dedicated space to do all your work. If you have a spare room in your house, turn it into your office room, invest in a table or desk specifically for your work. Having a dedicated workspace means you will have room to spread out all your working materials like files, papers, pens, etc and can leave them out for an entire day.
Another reason for having a dedicated workspace is it boosts your motivation to stay productive and eliminates inconsistent working patterns. When you enter in your dedicated workspace, you know it is time for work and nothing else.
A coworking office is a great choice too. Instead of being isolated at home, you will be meeting interesting people whose experience and connections can help you to develop your digital skills and acquire new clients. This is especially valid if you work remotely as a freelancer and securing a constant workflow and cash flow are of utmost importance. Some coworking space providers like WeWork offer special services and discounts for freelancers. There are also cards for digital nomads that allow remote workers who work and travel to use any coworking office of WeWork around the world. The moment you land in a new country, there will be an office full of interesting people waiting for you.
There are co-living spaces too. On top of an office, you also have a choice of rooms and apartments when you work and travel. It is not only convenient, but it is also lots of fun too. The co-living space providers like Roam organize events and parties to help digital nomads and remote workers network, build new friendships with people coming from the other side of the world, boost their businesses with new clients and ideas and stay in touch even when they hit the road again.
Another amazing example is HiveArena in Seoul, Korea. Combining co-living space with their excellent network and connections with almost all startup accelerators, programs for entrepreneurs and local VC funds, HiveArena is a great choice if you are traveling to Asia or planning to do business in Korea and Japan. Remote working is still a new concept in most Asian countries, but the startup ecosystem is already getting up to speed. Most startups are sensitive to runway time and willing to hire remote workers to optimize the cost and tap into a completely different talent pool.
2. Find Your Perfect Remote Job
Now that you set up your workspace, it is time to decide what kind of job you want to do remotely. It can be related to your education level or something you are comfortable doing without issues. Be specific, narrow down the industry you are interested in based on skill and education level.
In such cases, remote job boards like Work From Home Jobs can help you out picking the right job based on your experience. They offer various type of remote jobs for every skill level in all possible fields like engineering, marketing, customer support, etc.
It is also important to constantly upgrade your digital skills to make your profile appealing to the recruiters. As there are still far less remote jobs than remote workers or people eager to switch to the digital nomad lifestyle, the remote jobs market is extremely competitive. Transformify, an HR recruitment platform used by recruiters from 150+ countries, reports that each remote job listing receives 200+ candidates, especially if the job is not limited to the residents of the US and EU and available to applicants worldwide. At the same time, in-office job listings requiring a similar skill set receive 70-100 candidates on average. To help remote workers increase their chances of getting their dream remote job that offers a fair pay rate, Transformify regularly publishes information about the skills that are highly demanded by the businesses open to hiring remote workers as well as information about relevant online courses and degrees that can help digital nomads to upskill.
3. Create Your Own Schedule
After selecting the right job, it is time to create your own working schedule for the day ahead. Try to start and end your workday as much on your own schedule as possible. Also add necessary breaks in office hours like lunchtimes, toilet breaks, etc and incorporate them in your schedule.
Breaks play an important part in managing your energy for the entire day. Taking a small break and leaving your workspace to have a couple of minutes’ walk is an ideal way to recharge your energy levels for the remainder of the day.
Sometimes, you will have to work during the business hours of the head office of the company. It may happen that a remote worker based in Asia needs to service clients in the US or Europe. Be prepared to be flexible as there will be team calls and video conferences that need to be attended by all team members regardless of their location. Most remote companies do their best to schedule team calls in a time slot acceptable for the majority of the team. However, you may happen to be the only team member based in a particular part of the world, and due to this reason, the time of the team calls may be early in the morning or late in the evening.
In addition, process flow requirements are also to be met. If you are late to deliver the tasks assigned to you, this is likely to be a bottleneck for the rest of the team who can't start working on the tasks assigned to them. Needless to say, if this happens often, you are likely to be replaced. As already mentioned, there are more remote workers than remote jobs available.
So, how to avoid such a situation?
Discuss priorities and dependencies during the team calls and timely notify the manager if you feel that you will be late with a task that has dependencies to other tasks. Ask for help, sometimes another team member may have the experience or expertise that will save you lots of time and effort and help you to deliver your tasks on time.
4. Make Your Peak Hours Productive
If your remote job offers flexible working hours, then it is crucial to determine your peak hours and how to make them productive. Do you work best in the morning? Or do you feel most productive in the afternoon?
The answers to these questions can help you decide what your peak working hours are. Save your crucial and important works for that period. It is important to make your peak hours productive to have a successful and satisfactory working day.
5. Communicate with Fellow Remote Workers
Remote workers do not have the option to brainstorm and communicate with fellow remote workers the same way they would do if they were
in an actual office. To stay effective, you need to prioritize communicating with your colleagues, since it is an important but often neglected part of
It is always a good idea to communicate with fellow workers when you are uncertain about something. Communication not only offers clarity but
also empowers you to take initiative.
Most remote companies have a team chat channel that helps everyone to communicate seamlessly with the rest of the team. Slack offers integrations with project management tools like Jira Atlassian and Asana which allows seeing every new task that has been logged, who has been assigned to it, who has already started work on a particular task and much more. In all cases, speak up if you feel that communication in your team needs to be improved and come up with possible solutions. Do you need a new chat channel or more calls? Or maybe you need clarity on the prioritization of the tasks and when the tasks that have dependencies to the tasks assigned to you will be completed? All these needs can be addressed by the management provided that your manager knows about them.