Working Remotely: Guide to Success

The views expressed in this post are the writer's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Aloa or AloaLabs, LLC.

Currently, there is a lot going on in the world that is changing how people are living their lives. We now elbow bump instead of shaking hands, wear masks in public settings, and grab hand sanitizer immediately once getting in the car. It has been months of being stuck at home with the fear of getting COVID-19; or worse, the uncertainty that COVID-19 could be the new unwanted normal.

The workplace is another aspect of life that is changing. Before the pandemic, people thought working from home once in a while was a luxury but now it is our reality. Although some companies have slowly started to bring their employees back to the office, a large number of people are still working from home.

If you’re still working remotely, are you starting to lose motivation? Did these few months of working from home turn into indefinitely? Remote work can be tough, but there are also benefits. At Aloa, we are a fully remote team so we have tips and tricks on how to do this successfully. Since times are uncertain and no one knows how the workplace will be forever changed due to COVID-19, we are here to make sure you are prepared for success with the following tips. 

Create a Daily Schedule

Creating a daily or even weekly schedule can tremendously help you stay productive during the day. You can do this in many different ways, so try out a few methods to figure out which best fits you. One idea is to add time blocks on your calendar for specific tasks. This is a nice visual plan for the day that maps out what needs to be done, what time to work on it, and how long to work on the task. Another method is creating a list of tasks that need to be completed and organize it by priority to ensure you get the most important ones done first. Once the task is finished, cross it off. There is no better feeling than seeing all the tasks you completed at the end of the day and knowing you finished what you planned to. An easy way to manage these is by using a weekly planner template to organise your work.

Create a daily or weekly schedule to help you stay focused

We all know that staying on a schedule is difficult. You plan to spend an hour on a task but it actually takes two hours or something else unexpected comes up. This can push back your whole plan, but, it’s okay and even easy to alter your daily schedule when this happens. As long as you try to stay on schedule and use it as a guide, it will keep you accountable for work that needs to be completed. You can also use a daily planner app to record your reflections and thoughts about your daily schedule.

Having a work-life balance is imperative, especially during these trying times. While it is easy to continue to work after hours, remember that when going into the office, there is a point of the day where you leave to go home. It is important to know when to log off of the computer at the end of each day. Establishing a set time each day to “leave for the day” will help keep a sense of normalcy. Check out this article on setting work-from-home boundaries for more ideas.

Create a Designated Workspace

It is very tempting to work on the couch or in bed while working from home, but this can be a dangerous habit. These locations can lead to being tired or getting easily distracted. When sitting somewhere this comfortable, there is a temptation to take a nap or lay down for a couple of minutes. These couple minutes can accidentally turn into an hour and completely alter the schedule you made for the day.

So where is the best place to work? This depends on your workflow. A good rule of thumb is to be at a desk or table in a semi-traffic free place. You want to avoid distractions as much as possible in order to stay focused and productive. We know this can be hard sometimes especially if there are multiple people where you are trying to work. While it is easy to put yourself on do not disturb on your work messaging system, it is not as straight forward when working from home. Create your own “do not disturb” system while at home to make sure your roommates or family don’t interrupt you. For example, place a post it note on your door with the time your meeting will be over to ensure no distractions.

Take Small Breaks Throughout the Day

Working remotely is tough because you feel like you need to be working all 8 hours of the workday. While working in an office, it is unlikely that you work straight through the workday without taking a break, grabbing a cup of coffee or even socializing with coworkers. It's hard to stay productive while working for 8 hours straight. Taking breaks gives your mind a rest and allows you to stay productive. We all need to de-stress and re-charge at some point in the day. Lastly, using task management tools can help you stay organized and productive while still taking breaks to recharge during remote work.

Take small breaks like walking outside to give your mind a rest

Need ideas for a small break? Try these:

  • Take a walk around the neighborhood to get fresh air and a change of scenery
  • Meditate or do yoga for 5-10 minutes
  • Talk to someone in the house
  • Call a friend or family member
  • Stretch
  • Grab a snack
  • Check out Aloa’s website 😉
  • Walk up and down the stairs a few times
  • Read a chapter of a book
  • Straighten up your room or house
  • Read the news

We know working remotely is a tough task, but we are here to help. If you have any questions or need more tips, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] and we would be happy to help you. While we know the world is an uncertain place right now, the workplace doesn’t have to be.

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