Remote working is on the rise. With technological advances and the race for talent heating up, working from your kitchen table is no longer unusual. In fact, it’s becoming commonplace.
If you’re thinking about making the move from an office to your living room sofa then you need to be prepared. Here’s your ultimate remote working checklist.
Working from home can be very different when you’re used to an office environment. Think about the things that you will need from day to day. Do you need a printer? Perhaps you’ll need to install a second desktop at home. Is your wifi strong enough? Don’t leave these preparations until the last minute.
Write down all your passwords and sync all important files on Dropbox or Google Drive. Remember to bring notebooks and physical files home too. Everything you need should be at your fingertips.
Set up your workspace
Yes, working from your bed might seem tempting but realistically you’re not going to get any work done there. When you’re working remotely you need to make a conscious effort to separate your work and home life. Ideally, you will have a separate room or even an area that you use during the workday.
You don’t have to stick to traditional office furniture like a desk and chair. Find out where you work best. If it’s a cushion on the floor then so be it.
Stick to your morning routine
Remote days aren’t holidays. You should treat them like any other day at work. Get up at your regular time and go through your normal morning routine.
These little morning habits help you to get into the working frame of mind. Subconsciously your brain knows that the next thing that you have to do after breakfast is go to work. Lying in bed for that extra half an hour will actually make your day harder, not better.
Prepare to ignore
Repeat after me, I will not do household chores during work hours. Cleaning the shower or defrosting the freezer can almost seem like a fun distraction when you’re snowed under at work. Don’t go there! You wouldn’t spend 30 minutes mopping the floor in the office now, would you?
Lay down your boundaries early on. While you’re working from home you shouldn’t be doing anything else except work.
Make healthy choices
When you work in an office you’re probably more active than you realise. Think about it. You walk to your train or car each morning. Then you spend the day walking around the office talking to colleagues. You nip out at lunchtime to grab a burrito and then you take the same route home again. Working from home means that you’ll lead a fairly sedentary life. Combat this by taking a short walk during the day.
Make sure that your house is fully stocked with healthy food. Try to stick to your usual mealtimes. Don’t be tempted to scoff a packet of cookies while you answer your morning emails.
Have a plan B
At the beginning, remote working can seem amazing. You don’t have to deal with office politics, there’s never a queue for the toilet and you can make yourself anything you want for lunch.
However, after a week or two, you may start to feel restless. It might be the dead silence of an empty room or it might be the fact that you haven’t talked to someone in person for two whole days. If this happens you need to have a backup plan i.e. somewhere you can go when things get lonely. This can be a coffee shop or coworking space, whatever works for you.