Telecommuting has definitely transformed the way we think about work. Being able to work remotely can be incredibly liberating and cost efficient, and the number of remote workers is only expected to increase in the near future. Alex works from home and remotely quite often, and also as a blogger I often work out and about.
Going remote is not as easy as it may seem. Your success as a remote worker depends on how productive, prepared, and committed you are outside a traditional office environment.
Here are six tips that can help you make remote work arrangements really work for you.
Focus On Productivity And Communication
Working remotely doesn’t mean working in isolation. You still need to meet deadlines, pitch ideas, deal with colleagues and clients. There are some productivity tools that can help you get things done more efficiently and save time when it comes to communicating with others irrespective of their or your location. Apps like Slack, Quip, and ScribblePost have been created to help you manage information and improve your workflow wherever you are.
You may have every productivity tool available out there, but it’s hard to get things done unless you feel comfortable first. Of course, comfort is subjective, so you’ll have to think about the little things that could make your work environment more enjoyable. Some ideas include investing in a good office chair and high-end ergonomic furniture, decorating your work area with plants, making space for a “creative corner”, keeping a good supply of your favourite gourmet coffee or tea, etc.
Most workplaces have a secure network that protects intellectual property and sensitive data, but how secure is your remote work setup? At the very least, you should invest in a VPN, a privacy filter for your screen, password protect all external drives and phones, and use secure cloud storage. Depending on the nature of your work, you may also need to use email encryption software.
All this may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many remote workers don’t follow these basic security measures!
Set Personal Goals
Whether you are a freelancer or work for a company, managing yourself is one of the most challenging aspects of remote work. It takes time to get used to a new work environment, different working hours, and different working procedures, so you’ll need to create a detailed plan that outlines your personal strengths and weaknesses and how to address them on a daily and weekly basis.
It also makes sense to build and nurture a personal work culture based on your own values and goals, as this can give you a sense of direction and help you become more accountable.
It’s definitely taken me awhile to adjust working at home and remotely when I’ve been office based in all of my previous roles.
Have A Back-Up Kit
As a remote worker, you can set up an office pretty much anywhere, but there are a few problems you may run into if you decide to work away from home. A poor Internet connection and power supply issues are the most common problems, so always have a back-up kit ready. This should include:
- USB WiFi adapter to solve weak WiFi signal problems
- A mobile hotspot or an unlocked phone with hotspot capabilities plus a data SIM card. This will allow you to work even if WiFi is down
- A power bank or portable laptop battery charger
Insure Your Gadgets
Most remote workers spend a great deal of time working from coffee shops, co-working spaces, libraries, and other public areas, so there’s always a risk of getting your devices stolen. It’s better to be safe than sorry, having gadget insurance is a must for remote workers.
Some insurance providers (like SwitchedOn or LoveIt CoverIt) specialise in insurance policies that will appeal to remote workers, such as mobile phone insurance, multiple device cover, and business gadget insurance.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post