Guide to Success: How to thrive as a remote worker during COVID-19
🕒: Three minutes
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, millions of workers around the world find themselves forced to work remotely from their homes as the majority of companies have made it mandatory to do so.
Already, the likes of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce and Twitter have rolled out work-from-home policies, with hundreds of companies joining them each day.
So, whether you’re a veteran when it comes to working remotely, or a complete newbie, we at Franchise Europe have you covered. Here are our Top 10 tips that will help you thrive as a remote worker.
1. Communication is key
When working remotely, communication with your colleagues is vital. However, don’t just limit your messages to only when you need something. Working remotely means that there is always a chance that something will slip through the cracks so it is always best to keep in constant contact to update one another on progress and schedules.
It is also worth bouncing ideas off one another like you would in the office. Constant communication will work wonders and help you get the most out of working from home.
2. Set up an office space
A lot of people tend to work from the comfort of their favourite armchair or sofa. While comfort is important, working from a location that you associate with leisure can have a massive impact on how you feel about that location once you finish working for the day. We find that the sitting room just isn’t the same once we’ve spent the guts of 8 hours working from it.
That’s why it is important to create your own little office space. It isn’t really all that hard to do so. It can be from anywhere you don’t associate with leisure or spend a great deal of time. A spare room usually works best. Just make sure it is well lit, receives a strong WiFi signal, and has enough space so you don’t feel cramped.
3. Get a house plant
Studies have shown that people are 15% more productive in the presence of houseplants. Whether this is true or not, it doesn’t hurt to cover all your basis. Besides, a houseplant will add a bit of life to your workspace.
4. Make sure you have everything
You can’t exactly work from home if you don’t have the necessary equipment and/or software to do so. Make sure that you have everything you need and if you don’t or have trouble doing so, inform management. After all, it is in their best interest that you are fully capable of working remotely and have all you need to do so.
5. Work regular hours
Set yourself a schedule and no matter what, stick to it. Working similar hours to the ones you would if you were in the office is recommended. This will ensure that you don’t work overtime, which is a common occurrence when work is always accessible to you.
If time management is something that you struggle with and are one of those people who fall victim to working longer than necessary, a time-tracking app might just be what the doctor ordered as it’ll remind you when to clock on and when to clock off.
6. Plan your day
One of the biggest disadvantages with working from home is the distractions that go along with it. Distractions that you just wouldn’t find in the office. It is far too easy to watch “just one more” episode of your favourite Netflix show, or to take a break to do some laundry or cook yourself lunch. None of which you would do if in the office.
If you do decide to do these things, then make sure that they are planned into your schedule so the distractions don’t get out of hand. Gmail task manager is a great little feature which can help with this.
7. Take breaks
When you work in an office, you naturally get up from your desk to stretch your legs or to talk to a colleague for a few minutes. It’s just natural because you know it isn’t healthy to sit and stare at a screen for 8 hours straight.
When working from home, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of sitting in a comfy chair and staring at the screen for an entire day, without even realising you have done so. You just end up sucking all your energy and creativity.
It’s important to take regular breaks every 90 minutes or so. And this doesn’t mean watching TV or scrolling through the newsfeed on your phone because all you are doing is replacing one screen with another. No, what we suggest is taking a walk around your house for 5-10 minutes, or if the weather is nice, walk around your back garden and take in some much needed fresh air. Ten minutes away from your computer screen isn’t going to kill you. In fact, it might just be the cure for a slump in productivity.
8. Learn something new
Chances are that you’ll find that you have a little bit more time on your hands when working from home compared to working in the office. We don’t know why this is but it always seems to be the case.
The best thing you can do is use this free time wisely. There are plenty of blogs, YouTube tutorials and free courses online to help you improve your skills in a vast number of areas. It never hurts to brush up on your SEO or become better acquainted with Google Analytics.
Whatever you choose, the important thing is that you don’t waste this time. Use it to your advantage and do something you can put on a CV.
9. Use browser extensions
We can’t recommend enough for you to use the productivity extensions of your Chrome browser.
It becomes very easy to lose focus by checking social media or looking at a video on YouTube. Before you know it, an hour has passed and you’ve accomplished absolutely nothing you had set out to get done. There are plenty of Google Chrome extensions to make sure this doesn’t happen but StayFocused is one of the best there is as it restricts time-wasting websites and will make you far more productive to the point where working from home won’t become a problem.
As we previously mentioned, it is very easy to sit and stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. What not a lot of people working from home do is exercise.
Exercise can relieve stress, improve your mental health, and make you more productive. Just 15-20 minutes a day can make all the difference. Now, not a lot of us have the necessary equipment. Don’t let that stop you. A quick Google will give you dozens of simple exercises you can do in the safety of your own home.
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