10 rules for remote working – how to work remotely and effectively?

Remote working is becoming more and more popular, because it has a lot of advantages. Many small and big businesses finally seem to notice it. It’a also a chance to many disabled people, who can work remotely. However to make your remote work effective you must remember about some rules and habits. Thanks to that you will be more productive and your work will be more pleasant.

According to IDC research, from 2016, above 3/4 of big companies in Europe offer their workers the possibility of remote work.  If you are this lucky one, who can work remotely, you are probably very happy. You don’t have to travel to work, you can work in your own way, in your comfort zone – nothing only freedom and a lot of free time! Remote work gives you of course many possibilities. However to make it so great you must obey several important rules. These are some of them:

1. Don’t work in your pyjama!

When you work from home, a lot of temptations ‘lurk around every corner’. One of them is working in your pyjama 😉 You get up, turn on your computer and start working (or what’s even worse, you stay in bed and work). Unfortunately working in your pyjama isn’t productive, because you are becoming lazy and it’s more difficult for you to deal with everything. It’s the best to set your working time, for example at 8 a.m you are already at work – you ate your breakfast, got dressed and so on. Work is work, so you should treat it seriously.

2. Don’t eat in your workplace

Another temptation is eating at your desk and working at the same time. It’s not good because of two reasons. First of all you get into “non stop working” ( I’ll write about it later ), and secondly you don’t take breaks. Working mainly on computer you must remember about breaks. Your body will be grateful for that. What’s more, when you eat in peace and away from your workplace, you are able to relax.

3. Your own working space

If you think that working in any way and in any place will be effective, you’re wrong. It’s the best to organise some place, where you’ll put all your ‘office equipment’. Additionally prepare yourself a comfortable chair and desk and you can start working. If it’s possible choose one room as your workplace. You can also buy yourself earplugs or headphones, just in case the neighbours are too loud ( for example if they have all day long party ;)).

It’s not also good to work in bed or on a sofa, because your body will associate these places with work, and not with rest. Keep the balance.

4. Set your working hours

When you work remotely concentrate on an effect and not on the number of working hours. That is why if you want to work effectively, stick  to the same working hours. Your brain will switch into it and it will “know” that these are its working hours. Setting time frames will also let you impose some working pace. If you decide to work 8 hours, work 8 hours and not more.  Then your brain will know that it has limited time for tasks.

5. Good equipment of your home office

Your home office equipment should have good quality. Many companies provide remote workers with laptops or in case of using household appliances the employer usually pays monetary equivalent. Additionally provide yourself with a good Internet connection and a good chair, desk and light. The comfort of your work will influence its effectiveness.

remote working at a cafe

6. Don’t forget about taking regular breaks

When you work remotely you also have a right to a rest break. Of course don’t overuse it and especially for your private matters. Apart from meal breaks, remember to stand up from your desk from time to time and move yourself a little or at least go and make yourself something to drink. If you can’t concentrate at work, you can always go for a short, relaxing walk.

7. Concentrate on tasks and don’t distract yourself!

As we feel safer at home and nobody looks over our shoulders, we can get distracted very easily. If you want to keep balance, turn off everything what can distract you: all social media, the most often visited websites and so on (there are many tools, which will help you with that – for example Chrome extension – Stay Focused). If you don’t need your mobile phone at work, turn id down. Additionally you can turn on some light background music to make your work more pleasant.

8. Keep balance (work – life balance)

When you work-just work. When you rest-just rest. Unfortunately when you work remotely, this border between work-life balance often disappears, so remember about that. If you set yourself time frames, it should be good for you, and your personal life should also profits from it. If you work remotely mainly on computer, get some exercises after work. Swimming, riding a bike or running can be very helpful. There is a famous Chinese proverb ‘The person who can’t rest, can’t work as well’ -its’ worth remembering that.

9. Challenge your status quo

If it’s possible change your workplace from time to time. Working in a standing position or moving your desk somewhere else can also help.  Think about going to the cafe (at least once a week) and working from there or use coworking. Thanks to that you can make new friends and profit from all advantages of remote work. Leaving your comfort zone, you potentially increase your chances of effective work.

10. Be active

After a hard day at work there’s nothing better than physical activity. Thanks to that you will reduce stress and relax your body before another workday. Take care of your body and it will surely pay you back. If you don’t want to spend money for gym or swimming pool, just go running or ride a bike. You can also buy some exercise equipment and do some exercises at home. Even 30 minutes a day will make you feel better.

Do you work remotely? At home or outside? Or maybe you travel a lot and work remotely from different places? Write in comments what you do to make your work the most effective.