Photo by Kristin Wilson on Unsplash

The COVID-19 emergency has led many companies to recommend that employees work from home. Working remotely is a new reality for many companies and employees so they need to get used to it.

Here there are four useful tips to keep yourself accountable, collaborative, and productive as you work from home.

 

Tip 1: Create “work” triggers for your brain

When you work remotely, it is important to establish a designated workspace, this can help your brain to understand that you’re in the place where you do work productively. You can also create “start the day” triggers that get your head ready for work in a similar way, like exercising, yoga, reading the news, listening to the radio or making coffee.

About the physical space, if you can sit down and be productive anywhere, that’s great. If you need more structure, establishing a designated workspace, whether it’s a separate room, a fully stocked desk, or just a clean part of your kitchen table, can help tell your brain you’re in the place where you do work productively and without distraction.

The distractions? They’re one of the biggest challenges of working remotely. To keep your brain in the right mode, avoid doing nonwork tasks during your work time. For example, schedule a separate time to do laundry instead of tackling it while you’re finishing a work presentation.

 

Tip 2: Stay motivated with a list

A simple to-do list can keep you both organized, motivated, and productive as you work from home. As you create your list, think about big, long-term goals, like finishing a project, as well as small goals, like completing tasks that lead to that big goal. Checking off those smaller goals lets you know you’re making progress, which gives you positive reinforcement throughout your day. Write or type out your list instead of just having it in your head, the pleasure of crossing tasks off your list can help you stay motivated.

 

Tip 3: Create a process for collaboration

Working from home might seem like a solo experience, but it usually still involves interacting with others, whether it’s meeting with your team, getting assignments, making decisions, or giving and receiving feedback. So it’s important to set up methods for collaboration while you work remotely.

Talking face to face can help collaboration, so consider videoconferencing for these moments.

If you need to ask a quick question or send a fast update to your team, chat apps like Google Hangouts or Slack are a good alternative to email. Brainstorming or detailed discussions usually require an official meeting. Talking face to face can often help collaboration, so you might consider videoconferencing by useful tools Skype, Zoom, Go to meeting.

It is also a great way of having regular check-ins with your team. This can help you stay active and aware of what others are doing, and also help everyone keep up a rapport that might otherwise go neglected from not sharing a workplace.

 

Tip 4: Make a schedule for everything

Remote work requires a schedule considering to take regular breaks to refresh yourself mentally, physically and emotionally, and nonwork activities as well.

When creating your schedule, take into account the other commitments in your life and find a routine:  if you have a child, you play sports or volunteer, schedule time to get work done before or after these activities. Once you’ve set your schedule, make it visible to your coworkers with a shared calendar. This way, they’ll know when you’re free to meet and when you’ve blocked out work and personal times. It’s also a good idea to make sure friends and family understand your schedule and respect it. Set boundaries and expectations by letting them know that working remotely doesn’t mean you’re free all the time.