5 Hacks to Take Your Remote Working to the Next Level
After the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the benefits that the world was able to take away from such a terrible experience was the possibility of a new reality: remote working. Now that the majority of the world has returned to the pre-pandemic normal, companies, workers, and society as a whole have had a taste of remote working. Some prefer this work model since it gives them more freedom.
Remote working has many benefits like waking up later, avoiding traffic jams and public transportation, and staying comfortable in your pajamas, but how can you take it to the next level? Let’s take a look at five hacks that can help you go from remote zero to hero.
A Dedicated Work Space
The great thing about remote working is that you get to be comfortable at home, but is there such a thing as too comfortable? Well, yes, there is. It may be tempting to spend the day working under your favorite blanket on the couch, but your productivity may be affected.
Spaces have energy; your body and mind make mental and emotional associations to whatever you do, wherever you do it. Let’s take the example of your bed. For most, that’s where you laze about, relax, maybe watch TV for a bit, and eventually fall asleep. Do those activities sound energetic, dynamic, or productive? Not really.
When it’s time to work, you need energy, sharpness, and efficiency to complete your daily tasks. Dedicating a sacred space to finish your work instead of procrastinating is essential to remote working. This space can be in a home office or at a desk in the living room, but try to avoid working in spaces where you relax.
As remote working can be done anywhere, other options would be to bring your laptop to a café or a nearby coworking space.
Double the Screen, Double the Productivity
A simple yet effective hack for making your remote work experience easier and more effective and productive is to use two monitors, allowing you to multitask and work faster with more available screen space.
Additionally, it can be a great tool for improving your time management by having your to-do list, time goals, and schedule clearly written and visible before you on the other monitor. When you have a lot to do, a visual reminder throughout the day can be quite beneficial.
Setting up a second monitor is easy if you have an extra television in storage or you work near a television. The only extra gadget you need to buy to connect your laptop to a television is an HDMI cord, and depending on your computer’s model, you may need to buy an adapter. And if you have a tablet at home, that could also serve as a second screen.
Always Dress for Success
Everyone loves to stay comfy in their pajamas all day on the weekends and it can be very tempting to wear sweats when working from home; some would even consider it to be one of remote work’s largest benefits. However, doing so can negatively affect your productivity.
To avoid falling into the trap of too much comfort and staying within the mindset of it’s time to work, you can wear your typical work outfits. Business casual looks fit the bill, but if you’re feeling really disconnected from the office, putting on a button down shirt, a blazer, or a dress would certainly help.
Similarly to the idea of the association of finding a separate work space, the goal behind donning those work clothes is to make you feel as if you are in the office. It’s another way to focus your mind on productivity and efficiency while also preventing those stylish work clothes from collecting dust in your closet.
Buzz buzz. You pick up your phone and see another hilarious meme from your best friend on your screen. Technology can be quite the distraction, especially when you work primarily on your phone or computer. Have you heard of the notification blocker called focus mode?
This tool allows you to completely turn off any notifications that reach your phone and laptop, which means that your devices won’t vibrate, ring, light up, or push messages when it receives the notification. Worried about missing something crucial? Don’t be; you have the freedom to configure it so that specific people can reach you and that certain applications like Slack or Teams will pop up with their notifications.
Having the ability to pick and choose which notifications will go off is extremely important for staying in touch throughout the day with your colleagues and boss. Nevertheless, you have to be smart and honest with yourself about which app notifications need to be turned off and hold yourself accountable.
Breaks with Coworkers
Another hard lesson that society learned after the COVID-19 pandemic was that socializing is essential to life. Although remote working can be carried out at home or in other spaces, coworkers and team members can be extremely helpful in a variety of ways such as staying on task, providing support, or taking a break and decompressing.
So when and how can you meet up with them if you’re remote working? There’s lots of ways:
Try a video call on whatever program you prefer. Google Meet, Skype, or Zoom are great free options that cater to multiple people on a shared video call.
You can also set up a lunch break with co-workers to ask questions about work or just chat, disconnecting entirely.
If you have the opportunity to move away from your work space, calling a friend, going for a walk, and breathing in some fresh air is another great way to enjoy social contact while racking up those steps.
Having scheduled breaks with social time allows you to feel like you are still experiencing the social aspect of working at an office with peers that understand the job while enjoying dynamic movement throughout the day instead of just working your entire shift without face-to-face social interaction.
Remote Work Hero
Although you may find it difficult sometimes to stay on task while remote working, you can apply these hacks to your daily routine and make the most of your time. As society continues evolving to rely more heavily on technology and computers, remote work using a device will become more and more common and in the world of tech, almost all jobs can be done from home as long as techies have a safe network, a high-speed internet connection, and the right computer for the job.
If remote working is something that interests you, tech may be the right field for you. Check out our other blog posts about careers in tech and our course offerings at Ironhack to find out more information.