Remote Work 101: Tips on Building a Routine That Helps You Stay Focused

The state of remote work has changed drastically in the past five years. And now more than ever, it has become the necessary reality for a growing number of companies and the workers they support.

While 99% of workers (upon going remote) report wanting to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, it’s not always an easy transition. Not only does it require the right technological setup, but employees also have to adjust their mindset.

Remote work allows for greater flexibility, but it also requires an ability to self-manage. Your work location doesn’t change the fact that it’s still business as usual for your employer.

Here’s how to build a routine that helps you stay focused when working from the comfort of home.

Get Up When You Usually Would

Even if you don’t have to commute an hour into the office, continue keeping your alarm set for a decent hour—one that affords you time in the morning to get ready for the day.

Less time on the road could translate to an extra hour of sleep. Or you could dedicate the time to something more productive like working out, taking a walk, reading the paper, or journaling.

For the sake of keeping your head in the right mindset, it also wouldn’t hurt to get dressed for the “office”. At least consider hopping out of your sweatpants every now and then.

Time Block Your Calendar

Whether you’re at home or in the office, time blocking is a great tactic to keep yourself on track and focused throughout the day.

Think about when you’re most productive and schedule your to-dos accordingly. Having a visual layout of what you should be working on and when will help in moving progress forward.

Schedule Time to Check-In With Your Team

Working from home can get pretty lonely, that’s why tools like Slack and Zoom come in especially handy in moments of stir craziness.

They’re also useful for keeping your team aligned and communicating. Schedule set times during the week to check-in with your manager on business goals, ask questions and identify roadblocks as needed.

Some teams have even found book clubs to be a great tool for improved virtual collaboration.

Take Breaks

Breaks are a vital part of developing a routine that’s productive and enjoyable. Consider taking a short ten to fifteen-minute break every hour. To get more bang for your productivity buck, use those short breaks as an excuse to switch out your laundry, take the dog out around the block, or empty the dishwasher. 

Set aside a clear-cut time for lunch whenever possible as well. Step away from your computer, prep a healthy bite, and fully disconnect before finishing off the afternoon strong.

Hold Firm to a Sign-Off Time

When the boundaries between work and home blur, it’s easy not to unplug and run the risk of burnout. For your own sanity and overall efficiency, make signing off a priority.

If you would normally hit the road at five after a day at the office, try to stick to that same time when working remotely. This helps you maintain healthy boundaries and expectations across your team.

By Staples Canada

April 03, 2020

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