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9 Tips For Working Remotely

Thousands of employees are working from home for the first time. For many this transition came fast because of the COVID-19 pandemic without a ton of guidance on what this actually looks like. While you can complete many or all of your tasks remotely, your environment will look different. Adjustments will need to be made and routines changed. Launch’s VP of Human Resources, Jane Schropp is offering tips for working remotely.

1. Have a Morning Routine

Do all the things you would normally do if you were going in to the office.  Set your alarm, get your cup of coffee, take that shower and get dressed. You will be mentally prepared to start your day.

2. Have A Designated Work Space

This will allow you to compartmentalize between work and home.  When you are in your work space consider it as being “at work.”  Try to have it in a location that is free from distractions.  Establish expectations with your family so they understand that when you are in your work space you need to focus.

3. Work Smart

Utilize calendars, “to do” lists and automatic reminders to keep you on task and prioritize work activities.  Avoid diversions that allow you to procrastinate (turn off the TV and resist the urge to look at social media. Have a realistic daily plan of items that you need to get done and hold yourself accountable for accomplishing them.

4. Maintain Regular Hours

Set your schedule and let your family know what it is.  Have clear guidelines on when to work and when to call it a day, this will help you maintain the balance between work and life.

5. Schedule Breaks

Know your company’s policy on breaks and lunch.  Do not short change yourself.  You will think you are being productive, instead it is the opposite.  Your brain needs a break to recharge and refocus.  Get outside as long as it’s safe to do so.  Your body needs to move and the fresh air and natural light will do you good.

6. Keep in Touch with Your Colleagues

The most common problems with working remotely is loneliness, disconnect and isolation. Use chat channels if your company provides one (e.g. IM or Jabber).  Maintain a daily call with your department and add in time at the beginning of the call or at the end to socialize, even if only for 5 – 10 minutes.  This is a time that we all should OVER communicate!

7. Be Present

When you are on conference calls or webinars, pay attention and engage. Don’t try to multi-task.  Rather listen and participate.  Replicate the same professional and polite behaviors on the phone as you would in person.

8. Don’t be too Hard on Yourself

If you find yourself getting up to get another cup of coffee, helping your child with their schoolwork or just to stretch, don’t be too harsh on yourself. You are organized and focused so intermittent distractions will not impact your overall productivity.

9. End your Day with a Routine

Just like you start your day with a routine, end your day with a routine.  Whether it’s saying good evening to a co-worker or making a list for tomorrow’s activities, then shut down your computer.  Don’t use the excuse, just one more thing or e-mail. When the work day is over, walk away and enjoy your evening.

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