Whether you’re working from home for the first time — or transitioning to working 100% remotely — we’ve put together some tips to help you be your best remote self. Most of all, take care of yourself in an anxious time.
At Beam, our team works remotely all the time. Here’s what we know works:
Yes, this one is definitely common sense. But still worth saying. Whether you’re in a share house or an apartment or have your own office (luxe!), set up a workspace that’s as quiet and clutter-free as possible. Consider noise-cancelling headphones if your home environment is busy. Share home office photos with colleagues for inspo.
Familiarise yourself with your work’s policies around home office set-ups for health and safety.
It’s easy for the lines between home and work to become blurred. Be thoughtful about how you create these boundaries for yourself. Rituals matter.
This is always true. But if you need to reduce work-from-home distractions, focus on the outcomes you want to deliver. Consider doing one clear thing at a time. Try the Gary Keller approach: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”
What does that look like for today, this week, this month?
The biggest risk of remote work isn’t a lack of productivity — in fact studies show that goes up — but loneliness and mental health issues related to isolation, and feeling like you should always be “on”. With community anxiety all around us at the moment, it’s important we take extra care of ourselves, our team members, our leaders and our external stakeholders as well. Community is important, even more so as we’re socially distancing.
Be intentional about looking after yourself — and if you think you might struggle, pair up with someone who can prompt you! Consider building breaks and exercise into your calendar. If you’re an extrovert who needs lots of social interaction, plan for virtual or in-person catch-ups.
When everyone is in an office, you can pick up on how they’re feeling or how busy they are without them having to say anything. This is much harder to do when you’re all remote.
If you’re concerned about something or need assistance from a team member, be clear about what’s going on! Overcommunicating is definitely better than undercommunicating right now.
Remember that different people have different communication styles. In particular, under high stress, people react differently — most commonly people will either go into attack, retreat, hyper-control or passive aggressive. Be kind and reserve your judgment — know that people are getting through this stressful time in their own way and it’s likely not bringing out the best version of themselves in high-pressure conversations.
How can you challenge yourself to be even better in this remote working environment than in the office?
How can you find extra productivity, how can you make even deeper connections with your stakeholders and team-mates?
How can you self-motivate and make great choices that lead to great work outcomes — and great outcomes for the other parts of your life?