50 tips for improving your work remote life
Remote work in the U.S. increased by 159% from 2005 to 2017, according to data from FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 4.7 million people—about 3.4% of the population—worked from home. In light of social-distancing and shelter-in-place orders, that number has jumped exponentially in the last month and is expected to continue climbing throughout 2020.
New rules that have forced otherwise on-site jobs to establish remote-work policies have shed light on how feasible it is for most workers to do their jobs from the comfort of their home offices (or kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms). But working from home, while convenient, presents its own set of challenges. Establishing boundaries with roommates and spouses, ensuring you have the right gear, perfecting your lighting for video conferences, and hammering out a daily routine you can stick to—all while finding time to exercise, virtually socialize with loved ones, and figuring out a reasonable work-life balance—isn’t inherently easy to pull off.
To help, the staff at Stacker—a 100% remote company—has curated a gallery of 50 ways to improve your work-from-home life. From managing too many open tabs on your browser to writing off work-related expenses, we’ve taken our own experience, and that of millions of professionals with experience working from home, to give you a bunch of insights meant to optimize your productivity and preserve your personal life.
Keep reading to find out how to have a happy home-work life.
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Set a schedule with tasks for each day
It can be difficult to establish structure when you are home. Whether you keep a list by hand or update a Google Calendar, time management and prioritization goes a long way in your remote workday.
Designate a workspace
Establishing physical structure is just as important as a schedule—that is, creating a somewhat formal workspace environment that feels similar to reaching your desk or office. You should be comfortable, but take it seriously enough to ensure proper lighting, organization, and privacy if you are easily distracted by roommates.
This may seem obvious, but trading your sleepwear or pajamas—at least part of them—for an outfit helps to make you feel like you’re showing up even if you just move from your bed to your workspace.
...but stay comfy
Gym sweats and leggings are great options for both bed and remote work. Remember, your coworkers won’t see you from the waist down.
Set limits for social media use
Twitter is a great resource to digest the day’s headlines, but spending too much time on Facebook and Instagram is going to bring your productivity down. Check in on your friends and favorite celebrities while you eat lunch.
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Make an agenda
Similar to the scheduling tip, think of this as clarifying your work-life balance. Mark reminders and set aside time to eat, walk your dog, catch up on conversations with friends and family, and other to-do items that you can cross off your list between work tasks.
Communicate frequently with coworkers
Just because you might be working from home by yourself doesn’t mean you should be isolated. Communicate with coworkers throughout the day using instant messengers, email, or Slack. Schedule face time with coworkers (virtual lunches over video, meetings, coffee chats).
Build personal relationships with team
Build personal rapport with coworkers and invest in personal relationships. This will improve not only your business operation and team efficiency, but will make you feel much less alone—even from thousands of miles away.
Make it clear when you’re offline
One of the benefits of working from home is schedule flexibility, but it’s only accomplished when you are easily reachable. Make sure your coworkers know when you’re unavailable or done for the day by sending a message, marking your calendar, or setting a Slack status.
Invest in headphones
If you work better with music or white noise (or live in a noisy area), you’ll want to invest in a good pair of headphones. This tip should be graspable for anyone who typically commutes to and from work without ever removing their noise-canceling headphones.
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