Many companies are adapting to permanent remote work for their employees. For some, this is exciting: they’ve discovered increased productivity, feel safer, enjoy their environment, and the freedom to control their day. But for others, remote work is not as ideal. They feel isolated, trapped in an environment unsuitable for work, or have fallen victim to one or more evils of working from home: the fridge, the bed, or the TV. Simply Hudson thrives on remote work, so we’re here to lend some advice on how to overcome the remote-work challenges you may be facing as you adapt from cubicle to counter.
Putting some of these suggestions into practice will help you become more comfortable and productive with remote work. As always, we’re available for personalized coaching and consulting to support your transition to remote work.
Addressing Three Common Challenges
1. Overcome loneliness and isolation
Gone are the days of water-cooler chats, hallway run-ins, and impromptu brainstorming sessions. While not physically present with each other, your colleagues may seem busy or unreachable. However, with a few tips you can maintain your work relationships and coworker camaraderie.
Build team camaraderie and engagement with virtual events.
- Bring your team together in a unique way with team-building events. Plan virtual-hosted events and pre-order lunches or snacks to be delivered to your employee’s homes before the event. Companies like Snacknation help you do just that.
Transition your coffee chat networking to virtual.
- Continue to connect with your strategic allies by setting time to sit down over coffee. Focus on building the relationship, staying present and finding ways to help so you’re top of mind for exciting projects, recognition, and promotion. Differentiate from other virtual meetings by ensuring a different atmosphere, if possible moving away from your desk and truly breaking from both your work and home workspace. Cheers over your coffee cups!
Utilize a cowork space (as available through local COVID restrictions).
- We love being surrounded by the energy of those hard at work around us, so we thrive at coworking spaces. Plan power hours with your fellow coworkers or bounce ideas for some creative thinking. Bringing people together from all walks of life can bring about amazing innovation. There are national chains, like Impact Hub and Knotel, but doing a Google search of “cowork + your city” will yield local results. Or you can use a search engine like Coworker.com to find something near you.
- Two of our global favorites are Lokal Tbilisi in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Mokrin House in the Serbian countryside.
2. Create an environment suited for work
Remote work brings its own set of environmental issues: kids, pets (or in our case, wild iguanas!), or no dedicated workspace to name a few. It may take a while to get it right, but finding the Goldilocks of a work space to be productive will make it all worth the effort.
Get the right setup.
- For a home office, a good chair, spacious desk, and good lighting are imperative to staying productive. If you like to move locations, get a laptop lift, travel-size mouse, and Bluetooth keyboard to help keep your neck and spine healthy.
Make it healthy.
- Take regular breaks to stretch and rest your eyes. Not moving from your desk to a meeting, lunch date, etc. can find you caught at your computer without a break. Take care of your body with movement throughout the day. And, stock your work location with healthy snacks if your kryptonite is eating too much too often.
Bring the comfort.
- Fuzzy socks, a space heater, smooth jazz playing lightly in the background—find the things that bring you comfort and make your space your own. Just as we decorate our office desks with plants, family photos, and some corporate swag, decorate your space to boost your comfort and productivity.
3. Conquer the three evils
The fridge, the bed, and/or the TV are common pitfalls we may fall victim to when working remotely, especially if remote means working from home. These may be the tip of the iceberg, but awareness of your kryptonite and self-discipline will help you overcome that pint of ice cream or binge watching The Queen’s Gambit in the middle of the day.
Create and stick to a morning routine.
- Unfortunately, working from your bed is a recipe for burnout. Keep your personal space sacred by differentiating a work location. Get up, get dressed, and move to a non-bed location. As part of our morning routine, you’ll find us meditating, practicing Spanish, or reading a few pages before jumping in.
Make use of the Pomodoro Method.
- This is a six-step process to keep you focused. Basically, you choose a task, do it for 25 minutes then take a break. You can visit the site for the full explanation, but even if you structure your day loosely around this concept, you’ll stay focused. Personally, we like 50 minutes on, 10 minutes off. Play around until you find what works best for you and the task at hand. To really up your game, find an accountability buddy to share these power hours with, noting what you plan to accomplish and checking in at the end of each hour.
Make a to-do list and check things off as you complete them.
- We love a good to-do list and checking things off as we go. It gives a sense of accomplishment to see tasks crossed off and ensures you don’t get sidetracked. Add work-related tasks as they come up and prioritize accordingly. Block time on your calendar for the big projects, and fit in the little items when you have a surprise break between meetings.
What Are You Doing?
We’d love to hear how you’ve overcome remote work challenges that you’ve encountered so we can share with our readers. Your tips could be just the actions someone needs to increase their remote work productivity!
We’d Love to Work with You
Struggling in your new remote work environment? Not sure how to stay on task? We’d love to help you overcome remote work challenges you’re facing! Contact us and we’ll set up a free consultation call to discuss how we can help.