How to Be a Good Remote Worker
6 Tips to success as a remote employee
While shelter-in-place orders associated with COVID-19 pushed the remote work migration over the tipping point, the modern workspace was heading in that direction anyway. Between 2005 and 2017 there was a 159% increase in remote work, according to BusinessInsider.com. So it’s safe to say, with or without quarantine, it’s a good idea to set yourself up for success while working remotely. We surveyed tips and how-to content from all over the internet and came up with these 6 tips on how to be a good remote worker. The key's to being a good remote worker include: Get Fast Reliable Internet, Communicate Proactively, Structure Your Days, Create a Dedicated Office Space, Excercise Regularly and Keep Learning. Let's look at these in depth.
After nine-months of quarantine, you have probably already done some thinking about how to be a better remote employee. But with the new year upon us, it’s time to start thinking about ways to continuously better yourself as a work-from-home employee. If improving your work performance is a priority for you, it’s time to revisit some of the keys to being a better remote worker.
1. Get Fast Reliable Internet
This one is probably obvious and it’s only a problem when it’s a problem. While your boss will never “take notice” of your fast internet speed, they might notice if it’s slow. The last thing you want is to be the person who is always glitchy or unable to use video on tele-meetings. There might not be a lot you can do depending on services in your area, but if you need to change providers or change routers, it can make a big impression.
2. Communicate Proactively
No more bumping into colleagues at the coffee machine, so find ways to engage them digitally. Plan occasional meetings with your team to create a strong support system. Know and communicate your goals and clarify expectations whenever appropriate.
3. Structure Your Days
Structure is important to success. Maybe this means setting office hours and sticking to them, including breaks. Regular breaks give you time to detach and focus on personal thoughts and tasks, so these won’t distract you so much when working. Maybe this means using task lists and other time management tools. Also, consider your morning routine—give yourself that structured personal time to wake up, have some coffee and plan your goals for each day.
4. Create Dedicated Office Space
Set yourself away from distractions. If you can see your video game controller, your puzzle or other hobbies, you’re more likely to be distracted by them. It’s also important to compartmentalize work and home activities through quarantine to ward off fatigue of feeling like you’re “always in the office.” Being able to shut the door or mentally block off your workspace is important for your mental health.
5. Exercise Regularly
This doesn’t mean start training for a 5k today (unless that’s something you’re into). You may not realize it, but walking around the office, walking to and from your car or walking to get lunch was an important part of your health before quarantine. If you haven’t made up for it with other forms of light exercise, your body is missing it, so why not take a daily walk.
6. Keep Learning
Your can-do attitude and self-starting personality is less noticeable remotely, so have something to show for it in the form of new skills or new knowledge. Whether your goal is to move up to a management position or just be the best associate you can be, take advantage of any seminars, trainings or other learning opportunities that come your way and don’t forget to brag (proactively communicate) about them to your team.
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