From web development and technical support to designing, translation and many more. Remote work is rapidly growing across many sectors for which the location of people is not relevant anymore, but their knowledge and skill are.
A detailed analysis done by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics found that there has been a major upward trend in the number of people working remotely in the U.S. Most of the companies like Automattic, Gartner, and Buffer are taking advantage of distributed teams to encourage innovation and build their growing businesses. Flexible workforce offers a scalable solution that empowers employers to stay on-budget during busy and slow times and avoid overstaffing and layoffs.
If you are considering taking time off from your 9 to 5 and work remotely on a regular basis, you need to make sure you establish healthy routines and follow good habits in order to perform your remote work successfully.
We asked experienced professionals what good work habits they follow for achieving and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Here is their advice:
Structure Your Workday
My husband and I both from home with our two-year old and three-year old sons with us full time. We work together to carve out time to work and time to dedicate to our sons.
My tips to working effectively at home are:
- I set (and more importantly, write down) my intention before I start work each day
- I listen to motivating music, and I have different playlists for different clients/ tasks. This helps bring me back into a project that I have picked back up and keeps me focused on the task at hand.
- I work in a regular, dedicated workspace away from distractions.
- I use the ‘Forest’ app (Android) to keep me off my phone.
- I batch similar tasks so I am focussed on just one thing at a time.
- I set times to check and respond to emails.
- I batch my time to worry. If something of concern arises, I simply make a note and add it to my list of items to worry about during my daily 10 minutes allocated to worrying.
- I allocate time to tasks and keep a google spreadsheet that records what I spend my time on.
- I start and finish each work session with a guided meditation on the Headspace app.
- I check in with other participants of my Mastermind to assist with accountability.
- I use social media to keep me accountable – I promote what I am working on, launch dates, upcoming collaborations, etc.
- I lean on my online network (from social media, Masterminds, etc) to go to for advice and motivation.
- I take a walk on the beach at the end of the day
Karly Hocking, Founder, Karly Hocking Content
Karly Hocking is a content creator working from the beaches of Australia. She is passionate about helping organizations and entrepreneurs create simple, effective content. Karly describes herself as ‘corporate drop-out’, quitting her government job in favor of working flexible hours on projects that make a real difference within communities. Follow her on Instagram.
Maintain a Healthy Work-life Balance
Lori’s morning ritual boosts her productivity the second she rolls out of bed. As soon as she wakes up, she rolls out her yoga mat and does 30 pushups, 100 sit-ups and 3 rounds of one-minute planks followed by a quick stretch. It takes less than 20 minutes and not only does it get her heart pumping and immediately wake her up, it gives her a calm start to the day! Then she grabs her coffee, cracks open her laptop and begins the entrepreneurial grind already 200 calories lighter! Follow her on Twitter.
Lori Cheek, Founder/ CEO, Cheekd
Make a Schedule and Stick to It
I tend to have what I would call “productivity hotspots” & rituals in my house. It tends to happen for different functions of my business. First, NO business gets done without coffee. Ever. EVERRR. Almond milk long mac topped up please and thank you.
Right now, my hotspot is a yellow winged back chair in my bedroom. It became a hotspot during the school holidays for launching an online product, as it had great light, was comfy, and one of the few spaces where I could shut out the noise of the kids. I kept working there because, for me, it had “launch energy”. I think I have left a butt imprint that if you look close enough it says “launch pad”.
When it came to writing my book, the first draft happened in my office, in cafes, in random places, and it would be fair to say that the first draft was the same – random.
The second draft, however, cues the kitchen bench.
Another productivity hotspot.
Maybe it was the coffee access, I don’t know.
But that second draft flowed out like a jigsaw putting together ninja master champion.
I called it the book energy hotspot.
So much that all the editor deadlines got hit from the kitchen bench, and the kids learned how to order with uber eats, so no starting writer (or starving kids-of-writer) eventuated.
I’m still looking for my million dollar energy hotspot. It’s probably under the odd socks in the laundry. I’ll keep you posted. I’m going to find it this year.
Belle Lockerby, Transformation Coach, and Best Selling Author, Awkward is the New Brave
Overcoming an arsenal of life’s “adversity wedgies”, bestselling author Belle becomes our bravery bestie. Having coached over 1000 humans from all walks of life, Belle knows we can repurpose our pasts using a shield of humor and sword of honesty to become lovers of AND fighters for our own lives. Check her website here.
Personalizing Your Workspace
I find that most productive habits are lighting a candle when my workday starts at home! I’m not sure what it is about lighting a scented candle that makes me get going but it always does without fail!
Catherine Way, Marketing Manager at Prime Plus Mortgages
Be comfortable in Your Environment
My work from home days are a constant battle to see who can claim the most desk space. Me or the cat!
Now for someone who up until 6 months ago claimed to hate cats, I put up with a lot.
This cat sits on the keyboard. He continually headbutts my screen. He fully walks across the keyboard and sends messages to important clients. Don’t get me started on the cameo appearances in the Zoom video calls.
My solution – embrace it. I haven’t had a client pull out due to his unscheduled appearance on video. Working solo can be quite lonely and isolating so his presence, however annoying, is loved.
Megan MacNeill, Director of Brand Sanity at Relevant
Do The Hardest Thing First
Working from home or the office, my go-to habit is the same: always do the toughest thing first. From going over financial reports to reviewing new product introductions, always move the biggest boulder first. This way, your day starts off as productive and only gets better from there. Always doing the toughest thing first enabled me to develop the discipline to run Micrel for 37 years.
Ray Zinn, Co-Founder, and CEO Micrel Semiconductor; Founder, Tough Things First
Raymond D. “Ray” Zinn is an inventor, entrepreneur, investor, angel, bestselling author and the longest serving CEO of a publicly traded company in Silicon Valley. He is also the founder of a nationally launched ZinnStarter program at colleges around the country, providing the financial and mentoring support for students to launch new products and companies. In 2015, Ray published his first book, Tough Things First, with McGraw Hill.
As the workplace and the society adapts to more flexible work options, it is undebatable that remote work is here to stay and offers plenty of perks for the workers, the employers, and society as a whole.