5 Tips for Preparing to Work Remotely
These are some best practices for working remotely. You may also want to watch the short video, Excel at Work from Home. Keep in mind that not all of these tips will work for you and that’s okay, try them out and stick with the ones that help you reach your best productivity and wellbeing.
- Establish a Routine - In a remote working environment, there is often flexibility for when and where you complete your work. While your work time may occur asynchronously from your supervisor or colleagues, it is still important to create structure and allocate consistent blocks of time for your work. Create and propose work times that meet the needs of your employer as well as fit your schedule. Then, share these with your supervisor. This schedule will help you meet expectations and create clarity and transparency for your supervisor about when you’re putting in your hours and when it’s appropriate to connect with you regarding work topics.
- Designate a Work Space - Having a dedicated workspace somewhere in your home — even if it’s a small folding desk in a corner — establishes work/life separation, helps you stay organized and facilitates mental focus. Gather all the supplies and technology you need and add some decor or quotes so it feels like a place where you are going to work— and a place you can leave once you’re done. Also try to reduce visual and auditory distractions, as much as possible, and set boundaries with housemates, so you are able to maintain focus.
- Maintain Clear & Consistent Communication - Clear and consistent communication, along with establishing how you will communicate with your supervisor and colleagues is essential in remote work. Make sure you have a weekly, synchronous opportunity scheduled to connect with your supervisor, but also clarify the best way to ask quick questions or seek feedback. Gain familiarity with tools your organization may use to communicate and track projects, such as Trello or Slack, or suggest using them.
- Track and Share Progress with your Supervisor - Keep a log of your daily goals or bullet points of the progress you are making toward work project completion and make that log visible to your supervisor. This practice can help you narrow your focus and creates transparency for your supervisor about how you are using your time.
- Prioritize Self-Care - Staying indoors for long periods of time can lead to feelings of isolation and burnout. Therefore, it is important to attend to your personal wellbeing. Self-care looks different for everyone, but staying active, eating healthy meals, connecting with loved ones, and stepping away from your computer screen every once in a while, will help you feel more balanced and productive during your working hours. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
Additionally, check out these webinars from the University Alumni Association, related to working remotely:
- Webinar: Working Remotely...Now What?
- Twitter Chat: Working Remotely...Now What?
- Webinar: Remotely Engaged: Managing during Social Distancing