As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, many of us have found ourselves in a work-from-home (WFH) situation. Working from home certainly has its perks but it also comes with its challenges. If working remotely is a whole new world for you, learning ways to stay accountable, collaborative and productive will be essential for your success.
Our team has compiled a list of tips for staying connected and motivated while working remotely.
- Make a strict calendar schedule. Creating a schedule is a great way to hold yourself accountable and stay organized. Aleesha uses a calendar schedule to visualize her daily goals, give herself breaks and stay productive throughout the day. A great tip to consider when creating your to-do list is to break it down into categories based on importance.
- Take mind breaks. Staring at a computer all day can be straining on both the body and mind. Emma suggests taking mind breaks throughout the day to rest your eyes and get the body moving. Whether you take a walk around the block or down to the kitchen, this can help clear your mind and leave you feeling rejuvenated for the remainder of the afternoon. A great time management tool Emma finds useful is the tomato timer. This method is a great way to focus 25 minutes on one task before switching to another. a
- Communication is key. Moving to a virtual workspace can certainly disrupt peer-to-peer connection and workflow. To avoid this, Alicia has found that overcommunication is vital. Using tools like Zoom, Slack and phone calls are great ways to check in with your colleagues and move projects forward that may be slow moving. Bonus tip? Ensure when you end each conversation, each party understands what their action items look like for optimal success.
- Learn to compartmentalize. Working remotely can make it difficult to maintain a healthy balance between one’s professional and personal life. Geena recommends when signing off for the day, to head right into a task that’s not like work at all – like cooking, walking, or tidying up your workspace. This helps your brain “turn work off” with a clear end to the day.
- Get a workout in. Sweat it out first thing in the morning! According to Melissa, this is an excellent way to get the blood pumping and help you focus for a day full of Zoom calls. However, if you’re not much of an early riser and struggle to find an optimal workout time, try incorporating movement within your workday through various tasks like meetings. If you’re able to take a meeting over the phone rather than Zoom use this opportunity to walk around and get on your feet.
- Friends that hold you accountable. Finding ways to stay motivated and live a healthier lifestyle can be challenging. For Caroline this means having a friend group that holds her accountable for general wellness and work life balance. Doing virtual workouts sessions like yoga with friends is a great way to exercise and keep each other motivated. True friends will be honest about areas you can improve on and finding ways to combat that together is the best part.
- Use a project management tool. Time and task management is increasingly important when we can find ourselves spending a lot of time in Zoom meetings. Maddie recommends using a project management tool such as Asana or Notion to help keep your work on track and maximize productivity. Identifying pockets of time in your day for deep work, meetings, and answering emails is key. Ensure that you are planning ahead and putting systems in your calendar in order to hit the goals you want to hit!
- Make time for things unrelated to work. Throughout the day make time for things that bring you joy. Listen to your favourite podcast, mediate or read a good book. Sara enjoys spending her lunch break going for walks or video chatting with co-workers about non-work related topics. Finding this balance is essential for maintaining your mental well-being.
Working remotely may not be what you anticipated; however, the beauty of being human comes with our ability to adapt with change. There are plenty of tools and techniques available to help make this transition successful. It’s just a matter of finding what works best for you.
Which tips will you be incorporating into your daily routine?