Best Practices for Working Remotely

Now more than ever with all the changes brought on by the pandemic, professionals need to establish strong work habits while working remotely. If you are in the process of adapting to this new environment, here are a few tips to make your remote work situation be the best it can be.

  • Create a defined workspace that establishes the opportunity to focus on your work without any distractions or interruptions. It should be your designated space just as it would be if you were at the office. Try to set it up so there will be few interruptions from family, pets, or any other personal distractions. Because you will be on the computer more often, consider the way you have set up for computer and even the chair that you will use. Make it as ergonomic as possible. You may find yourself sitting for longer periods of time than you were accustomed to doing in your on-site work setting due to more virtual meetings.
  • Test your computer’s audio and video before you plan to use it. Also, make sure your internet is running smoothly and consistently. Pay attention to your visual surroundings if using video. You want to make your background as neutral as possible with little distraction.
  • Stay aware of your body and how it is impacted by sitting for long periods of time. Take breaks so you do not get too stiff- get up and walk around, consider chair yoga, and stretch to keep yourself as limber as possible.
  • Sometimes family members need a visual reminder that you are at work. One way to indicate that you are in “working mode” is to wear headphones. You can tell family members that while you have your headphones on, you should not be disturbed.
  • You need to hold your yourself accountable and create a regular schedule that works for your specific needs. You will probably have more freedom in deciding when to complete projects but need to stay on task and be able to demonstrate your outcomes. Stay within your workday schedule to make sure you are completing your projects on-time and set up limits so your work life does not “spill into” your personal life.
  • Dress for work to put yourself into the right frame of mind and maintain professional boundaries. It will help to distinguish your personal time from your work time. Also, it will help maintain your professional image while in Zoom meetings.
  • Be sure to communicate well and comprehensively with all your colleagues. While working remotely you will only be able to stay connected through your computer so you need to make your communication through and go into detail when needed.
  • While working remotely it is important to give others positive feedback and recognize your colleague’s contributions. Everyone is experiencing a similar challenge in their work situation right now so offer support to each other, especially if something unexpected happens like a bad internet connection or someone is trying to figure out how to keep their dog from interrupting a meeting.
  • Lastly, if you are feeling isolated or stressed out from being apart from your colleagues, try to maintain a sense of community and stay in touch through brief “catch up” meetings using video or phone.
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