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6 months ago

How to work remotely? 9 tips to become a remote working master.

The future of work is remote, no doubt. But whether you have chosen to work remotely yourself or you are being forced by your employer because of the Coronavirus, adapting to working remotely is a challenge.  It requires a certain tactic to be productive.

Based on our remote working experience and my personal experience in coaching nomad entrepreneurs and remote workers we have created this blog with 9 tips to help you become a master at working remotely. 

1. Take your responsibility.

One of the most beautiful things about working remotely is that it gives you a lot of freedom. Freedom to work when, where (maybe not at the moment) and how you want. But keep in mind that this freedom comes with great responsibility. You are responsible for the outcome of your work, nobody else. If something isn’t working don’t use it as an excuse, fix it. In the end, nobody cares how you did it, as long as you did it. It’s the result of your work that matters, not the hours you’ve put in. 

2. Set clear goals

When you realize it’s not the time you’ve put in that counts but the results it’s time to create a result-driven approach. You do this by setting clear, ambitious but realistic goals for yourself, do this together with your manager if you are an employee. Based on your goals I recommend setting your weekly priorities at the beginning of every week. By doing this you can readjust your priorities based on your progress towards your goal. 

3. Create a good workspace

When you work in an office or a co-working space you have a designated place that is created for a working purpose. When you work at home, this might not be the case. You might not have the space to create a complete office, but at least try to make sure that you create a suitable workplace. For example with an additional (portable) monitor, a mouse, a laptop stand and a keyboard. 

4. Use digital tools

There are a lot of online tools to help you manage your work and boost your productivity. I use Google Drive to share and create files. Google Meets, Whatsapp, Zoom, and Skype to have video calls and Trello to create and manage my to-do's.

5. Create a routine

Working from home doesn’t mean you have to work in sweatpants. To be productive it helps to have a good morning routine. For example, starting with a shower, getting into the right clothes and eating a healthy breakfast. Having a powerful morning routine is a great start to your day. 

6. Get social

When you work from home you don’t have the social contacts you have when you work from an office. Although this is great for your productivity it’s not something most people like. Normally I’d recommend everyone to use a co-working space as they are great places to meet new people, but if that’s no option you can engage up with like-minded people online as well. When you are working with a team, make sure to schedule regular moments to interact. 

7. Create focus. 

When you don’t work from an office it’s easy to get distracted, but to be productive you need focus. This is especially difficult when you are not alone in your home. There are a couple of things you can do to create more focus. What I recommend is to put on a headphone with music that helps you focus. The headphone also helps people around you (partner, kids) to see that you are working, preventing them from interrupting you. 

8. Manage your energy, not your time

Now that you don’t have to work in an office during regular times you can choose yourself how to structure your day. Try to schedule your day based on your energy level. Most people have more focus and creativity at the start of the day, so try to use this time for work that requires deep focus. Use the afternoon (or evening as I do) for easier tasks, calls and to-do’s. 

9. Have someone to keep you accountable

Working remotely remains challenging, even with the right tactics in place. At times we work too much and too hard because we can work all the time. At other times we lose our focus. Luckily there is one thing that can make a huge difference. An accountability partner.

An accountability partner is someone you have a video call with once every week or two weeks. Together you look back at your accomplishments from last week and look forward to the next week by setting goals and priorities. It’s a lot harder to fool someone else than it is to fool yourselves. Try it. I recommend finding someone who is not a direct colleague, friend or family member. It works best with someone who is like-minded and not afraid to challenge you when needed. 

Looking for someone to keep you accountable? We’d love to help you stay on track now that we are all forced to adapt to the Corona situation, so I am offering to keep you accountable for a month with a weekly 20-minute session. I just want one thing in return: You offering 20 minutes of your time to help someone else who needs it. Deal?