Covid-19 has impacted most companies globally and made them require employees to work remotely. I have been working from home since August of 2016 because my role at my previous job does not require me to be in the office, and all of my teammates globally were working from home.
At first, the sudden shift to remote work was a tough change to get used to. There were days when I missed driving to work, getting stuck in heavy traffic in Manila, and just listening to my favorite trance music, being able to go on lunch breaks with co-workers, and laughing with them.
I have had my personal struggles during the first few weeks working remotely; there was a time when I went to bed without eating dinner, felt lonely, and left out at times.
As time went by, I realized that working from home was not that bad and that I can still be very productive and successful at my job even when I do not go to the office. I listed the best practices I have practiced in years and hopefully would help you guys reading this to become effective remote workers.
Maintain Your Morning Schedule
You read that right! Get out of bed when you typically would, and the same goes for going to bed at night. Eat your breakfast, have coffee, and take a shower before your first meeting. This practice helped me avoid the sleepy and tired feeling while working throughout the entire day.
Prepare an Appropriate Environment for Work
Invest in getting a comfortable desk and chair as your workstation, like in the office. This would make you feel like you are in the office. It is worth it to create a spot where you can focus on your projects and tasks. Do not work on the couch or in your bed; this will make you so relaxed that it will make you sleepy, not motivated, and lack drive for the entire day. Your homework desk will also be used for video calls, so make sure you have a neat background.
Stay Connected, Over Communicate
This has been my challenge when it comes to working remotely. I felt lonely during the first few weeks in the said working setup. I didn't realize that being connected is the key. It is important to know your workmates beyond just work. Without the connection with your team, that’s the time you will begin to feel isolated and alone. So, even if I mostly work alone on your task, I always communicate with my coworkers, set up meetings, and chat with them. Now that I'm a project manager, I always make sure that I start my few minutes of catching up and seeing how everyone is doing. This style is effective and will surely make everyone feel included.
Avoid Social Media and Leave Your Phone on Silent Mode
Always put your phone on silent mode when working, and make sure you put it far away from your desk. This helped me stay on top of my tasks and avoid distraction, just like when I'm in the office. In my case, I made a schedule for my phone. I only check it every 2 hours because I have to admit that I love social media, too, but putting it away helped me avoid checking my phone every minute.
Do Not Skip Meal and Take Breaks
Always make sure to schedule your meals, as I missed this step when I started working remotely. I skipped meals without knowing it, which made me feel more stressed, weak, and hangry. Working from home can make you feel really productive; it may look more productive skipping meals, but you aren't. So, always make it a priority because eating can boost your work performance as food literally fuels your brain and body.
Enjoy The Perks of Working Remotely
Yes, enjoy it! Spend more time with your family. Play more with your pets. Eat while working. Play your favorite music whenever you're not in a meeting. Enjoy reading during break time, watch movies after shift, exercise at your own pace. Save money as there’s no need to commute. Meditate in your peaceful room before going to sleep. You have a lot of time working remotely from home and the list goes on and on... Working remotely is not so bad after all!