Building good remote work habits can make you feel less stressed, more productive and more engaged. Try these ten effective habits for remote work to become a more successful employee.
Summary of 10 Habits:
- Maintain professionalism
- Emphasize communication
- Create a schedule
- Stay in a routine
- Dress the part
- Set goals and focus on outcomes
- Take advantage of tools at your disposal
- Optimize your workspace
- Remove unnecessary distractions
- Leverage technology to make life easier
1. Act professionally, even when no one is looking
Professionalism isn’t just about how you dress and speak; it also includes your sense of responsibility, work ethic, competence, quality of work and the respect you give yourself and others. But when you’re in a remote work setting, it’s easy to let these elements slip.
However, professionalism remains just as important at home as it does in the office. Presenting yourself in a consistent manner helps you feel the part. It allows you to create boundaries between your work and home lives, serving as a subtle reminder that you’re representing the company you work for.
Professionalism should become a habit of effective remote working. That way, when you do have to interface with a client, manager or coworker, you’re already in “work mode,” ensuring you don’t get lazy or complacent just because no one is watching. This makes it easy to transition into a quick video conference or team collaboration you hadn’t planned for.
2. Communicate effectively
Communication is a big part of boosting productivity, especially in a remote work environment. Making good communication a habit can take some practice. At first, you might not be used to keeping coworkers informed of your progress or blocking out productive time on your calendar. But when you don’t have the benefit of in-person interactions, good communication becomes even more vital. Communicating early and often helps you make the most of your time, improve team relations and maintain professionalism.
3. Create a schedule
Planning your schedule in advance lets you prioritize tasks and make your work more effective. Without a plan, you could end up wasting precious time or missing critical deadlines.
One way to make scheduling a habit is to take a few minutes each day or week and make a plan for the next day or week. Write down all the tasks you know you need to accomplish and any planned meetings or deadlines. From there, you can work backward to figure out what to do first, next and so on.
4. Get into a routine
Working from home can give you more freedom and flexibility in terms of when you work, but sticking to a routine has its benefits. Routines not only help you better manage your time, but they also set expectations for your teammates. They need to know when you’re available for meetings, questions or conversations.
Having a routine gives you a clear start and end to your work day. If you’re not married to a certain set of working hours, it can be hard to know when to turn your internal work mode on and off.
5. Dress the part
While many people who work from home prefer to stay in their yoga pants and T-shirts, dressing like a professional has its benefits, too.
For starters, getting dressed up helps you get into a more professional mindset. It can be hard to focus on work when you’re too comfortable.
Plus, getting dressed up can make you feel more confident and productive. When you look good, you feel good—and that can lead to better results at work.
If you’re video conferencing on a Neat device with a coworker, client or manager, your professional appearance will shine through. How you appear on video calls can go a long way in building trust and showing how you treat your work when left on your own.
6. Set goals and focus on results
Goal-setting is a great habit for everyone. But it’s especially helpful for remote workers because it forces you to be self-motivated.
Goals give you something to aim for. But more importantly, they allow you to focus on the results you achieve, not just the tasks you do. Productive doesn’t always equal effective. When you set goals, you can see how your actions are making a real difference and not just keeping you busy.
7. Use the tools at your disposal
For successful remote work, tools include email, messaging apps, project management software, cloud-based resources and your computer.
They can also include purpose-built devices like Neat that improve video conferencing. Neat’s crystal-clear audio and video create better video conferencing experiences by mimicking the same quality of in-person interactions.
Neat Symmetry enables natural, free-flowing conversation by capturing facial expressions and keeping you neatly within the camera’s frame at all times. Even when two people are speaking at once, there’s no loss in dialogue or audio quality, ensuring participants can be easily and equally heard.
8. Optimize your workspace for effective remote working
Back pain, neck pain, wrist pain—location is irrelevant when you’re hurting. And if the pain becomes too intense, it’s all you can think about.
Creating an ergonomic workspace can help you stay focused by making it more comfortable to work. An adjustable height desk can get you off your butt and on your feet when your back starts feeling stiff. An adjustable height monitor prevents neck pain by placing your screen right where your eyes need it. Ergonomic chairs offer great back and neck support, too, allowing you to feel comfy for the entire work day.
Neat Frame supports an ergonomic workspace with its Neat Boundary and Neat Symmetry technologies. Boundary blocks out distractions in the background while keeping you front and center in the camera. You can sit or stand where you want without fear that people, pets or clutter behind you will distract participants. Plus, Neat Symmetry will keep you in the camera’s view whether you’re standing, sitting or walking about the room. You can take stretch breaks or change positions without having to readjust your camera.
In addition to good ergonomics, you should also organize your workspace. Make it a habit to do a desk cleanup each day or week. This helps you get rid of excess clutter, plus it’s easier to find the documents or tools you need and avoid wasting time searching for them.
9. Remove unnecessary technology distractions
You may intend to take a two-minute break to scroll Facebook, but then an article catches your eye, along with ads for a new gadget, a holiday recipe and a big sale at your favorite retailer. Before you know it, you’ve wasted 30 minutes and are struggling to get your mind back on track.
One of the best remote work habits is to get rid of unnecessary technology while you’re working. Blocking access to social media (unless it’s part of your job), turning off your phone and silencing notifications gives you fewer potential interruptions to your day.
And if you do need to check email, texts or social media, schedule time for it in your day. This way, you’re not wasting time on these things that you intended to use on other things.
10. Leverage technology that makes work and life easier
Remote work thrives on the right technology. Make sure you’re using tools, apps and devices that enable you to work better rather than those with steep learning curves, clunky interfaces or complex workflows.
For example, Neat devices can launch your video meetings with just one touch. They also help eliminate some distractions during meetings. If a person enters the room during a video conference, Neat helps block them out so they don’t distract from the conversation. Users can set a virtual width and depth to define the meeting space and avoid detecting people that aren’t part of the meeting.
This is a great way to enhance collaboration and keep conversations on topic. Everyone can make the best use of their time during the meeting, which, in turn, can foster trust, teamwork and feelings of accomplishment.
Practice These Remote Work Habits Daily
Turning actions into habits means practicing them consistently. Eventually, these actions will feel natural and effortless, allowing you to feel like a remote work pro.
Neat can help you cultivate these WFH habits with intentionally created technology that helps you eliminate distractions, improve communication and showcase your professionalism. Explore Neat devices and experiences today.
Working From Home 101: How To Work Remote Successfully. Brian Tracy International.