Often times, I hear people in the 9-5 world say to me that they wish they could work from home. It seems to be a common opinion that remote workers have it easy.
So what do we really do all day anyway? Sure, it’s nice to work in pajamas with a flexible schedule, but it takes a certain level of discipline to have a remote role within your company, and here’s why:
Manage Your Time
At first, you might think that not having your supervisor around is the best thing ever, and it is. However, without a boss staying on top of you, no one is going to do it except you. In the remote working world, being a self-starter is key. Your supervisor and your team are all counting on you to make it happen. Having project management tools and a regularly scheduled scrum meeting is something I have personally found to be very effective. I get to check in with my team and we provide updates and set goals for any upcoming tasks.
Aside from having scheduled meetings, it is important to stay in touch with your team during the day. Persistent chat has been a lifesaver for me. Having your inbox and the text messages on your phone flooded to the max gets old pretty fast. With persistent chat, not only can you chat as a group or privately, but you can upload files, provide feedback, and create different rooms (or channels) to keep everything organized. I never miss a beat because I am able to catch up at any time.
Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
One of the advantages of being a remote worker is that the 9-5 mentality doesn’t necessarily apply here. Most of us find it is more effective to work on projects and set timelines. I can easily plan my day by taking a look at my list of upcoming projects. Are there solo projects that I can knock out in a short period of time? Perhaps the bigger projects will require some help and I can work with my team over video to finish it. The actual timing of work on a project is secondary so your team can focus more on providing top-level performance. The key is being efficient and executing quality work.
Maintain a Work/Life Balance
While in the comfort of our homes working, it can be very easy to stay connected. I can’t stress enough how important it is to disconnect and maintain that balance. Take some time to do a physical activity and step away for a little while. If your boss isn’t watching you every minute you can enjoy a healthy walk in the middle of the day, as long as you make up the time later that evening to keep on top of things. Take advantage of the work/life balance and you will see how this can actually make you more productive in the remote working world!