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10 Tips for Managing Your Remote Work Set Up

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In today’s day and age, more and more people are choosing to work remotely. Whether you’re a digital nomad with wanderlust or someone who simply doesn’t want to commute every day, remote work gives you the opportunity to do your job from anywhere. And while working remotely can be extremely beneficial, it comes with its own set of challenges. Working from home is not easy. Unless you live in a mansion or have an amazing loft space that also doubles as an office, working from home can be a challenge in and of itself. So if you intend on working remotely in the future or are currently doing so, here are 10 tips for managing your remote work setup.

Plan your workspace

First and foremost, you need to decide where you’re going to work. Remote work can be done from anywhere, but that doesn’t mean it has to be done everywhere. For starters, remote work is best suited for indoor work. Distractions like loud sounds, other people talking, or even a gorgeous view, can hinder your productivity. If you’re working from home, you might not have an office — or even a desk. This doesn’t mean you can’t make it work. In fact, you might want to consider investing in some home office furniture. A home office not only gives you a place to work, but it also serves as a physical reminder of your job. You’re also going to want to keep your work environment tidy and organized. This not only ensures you have ample space to work, but it also keeps you focused and on-task.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key when working remotely. This is especially important when you’re just starting out and need to prove that you can be productive from home. When working with your manager or team, be sure to communicate your availability and what hours you’ll be working. Once you’re in the flow, you can work around your team’s availability and switch up your hours as needed. If you work with clients, you need to let them know you work remotely. While this may seem obvious, it’s crucial to keep your clients informed on how the work will be done. Whether you use a platform like Aslan that enables communication via text and calls or a scheduling software like Base, keep your clients in the loop.

Don’t forget to celebrate milestones

Remote work comes with benefits, but it also comes with downsides. For starters, there’s no paid sick leave or paid time-off. So if you don’t have any major life events coming up — like a wedding, a graduation, or a birth — don’t forget to celebrate your remote work milestones. If you’ve been working remotely for a year, consider taking the day off and celebrating with a few drinks. If you hit three years of remote work, throw a party or visit your nearest city. If you hit five years, treat yourself to a vacation. For special occasions — like a birthday or anniversary — don’t forget to celebrate with your loved ones. And when those special dates roll around, don’t forget to celebrate your remote work with a special treat.

Utilize collaboration tools

Every now and then, you’ll need to collaborate with your team or clients. Whether you’re working on a project or simply need their feedback on something, you’ll need to communicate with the outside world. While you can use communication platforms, sometimes those aren’t enough. For example, if you’re working on a project with your team and need feedback from a client, tools like Screen-to-Screen (S-to-S) or Zoom are invaluable. When it comes to collaborating with your team, you have a few options. You can use something like Google Docs, where multiple people can work on the same document at once. You can also use tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams, which allow for real-time collaboration.

Stay well-hydrated

Working from home is great, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. For starters, you have no one to keep you accountable. This means no one is there to oversee your work schedule, keep track of your hours, or remind you to take a break. This can not only lead to burnout, but it can also put your health at risk. To keep yourself healthy, hydrated, and productive, make it a point to drink plenty of water. This is especially important when you’re working from home because you’re more likely to forget to drink.

Don’t skimp on headphones

Headphones are your best friend when working remotely. Whether you’re listening to music or a podcast, or tuning into an audio book, you should always have a pair of headphones nearby. When you’re working from home, you’re often alone — not to mention, it’s incredibly quiet. This can be both a blessing and a curse, as your work can progress quickly, but it can also lead to boredom or distraction. Working in silence can be an effective way to get things done, but it can also be incredibly boring. When you have nothing but silence to keep you company, you have no choice but to work at the same pace. When you have headphones, you have an accompanying soundtrack. You can plug into music or a podcast, or you can simply switch on an audiobook. Having something to listen to keeps you engaged, while also helping you to remain focused on your work.

Brightening and lightening tools

While you’re working from home, you’re typically in a dark room with no windows. Unfortunately, this kind of setup is not only boring, but it’s also not very healthy. With no sunlight to brighten up your day, your body becomes depleted of vitamin D — which not only harms your health, but it can also negatively impact your work. If you work from home and don’t have a ton of lamps, you can try downloading a light therapy app. There are a ton of them out there, but one of the most popular is called f.lux. This app changes the brightness and color of your screen so that it’s easier on the eyes, while also providing a light therapy session.

Don’t forget to breathe — seriously

If you work remotely, you should know that your work environment is also your living environment. This means that you’re not only sitting in a chair at a desk, but you’re also sleeping in your bed, taking care of your hygiene in your bathroom, and eating in your kitchen. While you can make changes to the first three, you can’t do anything about the air quality or sound quality in your home. Air pollution is a serious health hazard, and it can adversely affect your body. When you’re working from home, you’re not only breathing in pollutants from outside, but also pollutants from inside your home. These pollutants can be particularly harmful to your health if you have allergies or asthma, as these pollutants can exacerbate your symptoms. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to mitigate these hazards. First, make sure you change the filters in your air conditioner or furnace regularly. Secondly, keep the fresh air flowing by opening up the windows whenever you can. And finally, make sure to clean your home thoroughly so that dust and allergens aren’t building up in your home.

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