New to Working Remotely? Here Are Some Tips

Head of engineering shares five tips that have helped him stay motivated and avoid distractions that can pull him away from being productive.

I joined Uprise Partners about six weeks ago and since then I’ve been working remotely while I prepare for moving to our new headquarters. In that time, I’ve picked up a few tips that have helped me stay motivated and avoid distractions that can pull me away from being productive.

1. Keep a Sleep Schedule

Sleep health teaches that we will sleep better and feel more rested by getting to bed and waking up at the same time every day. With your newfound freedom to work from home, it may be tempting to stay up later and sleep in later. Feel free to do just that but do your best to still get to bed and wake up at roughly the same time. You will feel better throughout the day.

2. Don’t Work in the Same Place You Relax

Separate your workspace from your relaxing space. When I first started working from home, I sat on the couch and worked the day away. When I no longer wanted to work, I would close my laptop and stay on the couch. Without transition, I struggled to put work away and felt pressure to always be connected. Now, I work from a makeshift workstation at my kitchen table and at the end of the day, I step away from it. By bookending my day like this, I’m less likely to feel like I’m always working and make sure that I maintain my homelife.

3. Keep a New Routine

Similar to having a designated space, keeping some of your normal work routines can make it easier to transition in and out of the workday. Even though I won’t be in person for any of my meetings, I get ready for the day like I will be. I shower, I put on clothes appropriate for work, and I start my day by catching up on email over my first coffee just like I would if I were in the office. One thing I am experimenting with is the Pomodoro technique to keep me focused in an apartment filled with distraction while still giving myself an outlet to take breaks. Although keeping a structured routine might seem irrelevant when you have flexibility, it helps create the mindset that you need to keep focused and productive while working.  

4. Enjoy Being Remote

Everything so far has been about making working remotely feel more like working in the office. Do that… but also enjoy being remote. Where you normally would take a break by walking to the office kitchen for your fifth coffee, take a walk outside. If you are sheltering in place, open a window and enjoy a cup of tea while watching a five-minute clip of some slow tv or a nature video. Cook your favorite lunch instead of bagging leftovers or getting takeout. Eat a snack over half an episode of The Office (but be careful to not overdo it). Coordinate a break with your family. Part of the benefit of working remotely is that you get to control your space and your time more than if you were sitting at your desk at work.

5. Understand Your Productivity Will Change

Let’s face it, as with any transition, productivity will change for the worse initially but may surprise you in the long run. You’re going to figure out how work best given your new environment and that will take time. By being deliberate about experimenting with what works best, you will find a new normal and may end up enjoying the change of pace.

If your company is looking for help in how to transition to a remote workforce, Uprise Partners is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at hello@uprisepartners.com.

Read about why remote work is becoming more popular and tips for managers with remote teams.

Malinda Gagnon

Malinda is CEO at Uprise and has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy and technology at companies including Google and WPP, and has advised clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, VW, BlackRock, and Walmart.

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