How To Transition from Onsite To Remote Work

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated August 18, 2021 | Published May 21, 2020

Updated August 18, 2021

Published May 21, 2020

Related: Speak Up in Meetings: 3 Strategies for the Virtual Workplace

This video aims to help you to learn how to elevate your presence in virtual meetings to contribute confidently and communicate effectively.

There may be a time in your career when you need to switch from onsite to remote work. This may be due to life changes, the need for more flexibility or you may simply prefer to work from the comfort of your home. Whatever the reason, it's important that you find ways to make this transition as smooth as possible. In this article, we share 20 steps for how to transition from onsite to remote work.

Related: Q&A: What Is Remote Work?

Why is it important to have ways to transition from onsite to remote work?

Having techniques to transition from onsite to remote work is important because this career change comes with many adjustments. With remote work, you have more flexibility and freedom in your work schedule. Although this can be quite beneficial, it's important that you find ways to motivate yourself and stay on task without a supervisor or manager overseeing your work. Remote work requires you to be more reliant on your work ethic and self-control.

Read more: 7 Challenges of Working Remotely and How to Overcome Them

How to transition from onsite to remote work

Follow these tips to help you adjust to working remotely and be more productive:

  1. Make interpersonal connections.

  2. Keep your team updated on your work.

  3. Create a daily work schedule.

  4. Set goals for yourself.

  5. Limit your distractions.

  6. Turn off your notifications.

  7. Create a designated workspace.

  8. Keep your work area clean.

  9. Prioritize your tasks.

  10. Get ready for your workday.

  11. Set boundaries at home.

  12. Make rules for work hours.

  13. Find a community of other remote employees.

  14. Be patient while starting.

  15. Learn to embrace independence.

  16. Continue to develop your skills.

  17. Get the right equipment.

  18. Plan breaks during work.

  19. Encourage a positive work culture.

  20. Make sure your devices are up to date.

1. Make interpersonal connections

One of the biggest changes with remote work is having fewer in-person interactions. Compensate for this by trying to make connections with your coworkers virtually. You can do this by sending direct messages to your team or suggesting your team meets for a group lunch over a video chat. Finding ways to get to know your colleagues can help you build stronger relationships and learn how to collaborate with them more efficiently.

2. Keep your team updated on your work

Remote employees tend to feel like they need to work extra hard to prove that they are staying on task. Instead of overworking yourself, make an effort to keep your team updated on your work. This could be as simple as sending them a daily or weekly progress report. They may send their progress too, which can help you determine if you are staying on track.

3. Create a daily work schedule

Having a more flexible schedule is definitely a perk of working from home, though you may find this transition easier if you follow a regular work schedule. Get a general idea of when you plan to start and end work each day. This can help you keep a more consistent schedule, making it easier to plan for things outside of work and get to bed at a reasonable hour.

4. Set goals for yourself

Employees who work in offices often meet with their managers for employee performance reviews. If your remote employer hasn't mentioned doing a review, reach out to your manager to schedule one. During this conversation, you can discuss your performance and develop goals for yourself. Your goals can help you stay motivated and focused while working at home.

5. Limit your distractions

As a remote employee, you may enjoy fewer interruptions from coworkers, but without someone overseeing your work, you may find other things are distracting. For example, you may want to clean your home or do other household chores during working hours. Limit these distractions by completing these tasks before or after work. This way you can focus on your work and get your projects done on time.

Related: 10 Ways to Improve Your Focus at Work

6. Turn off your notifications

Text messages, personal phone calls and social media can become a distraction during your workday. That's why it's beneficial to turn off all your notifications that aren't related to work. Many browsers and apps have settings where you can block certain websites, making it easier to refrain from checking social media or entertaining websites.

7. Create a designated workspace

Rather than working in your bed or on your couch, try to create a space that is solely your work area. This can help you create a boundary between work time and personal time. When you are done with work, you can leave this area and focus on things outside of work. It's important to feel like you are away from work so you can decompress and recharge for the next day.

8. Keep your work area clean

Staying organized can help you be more productive during work. Keep all your files and papers organized. Make an effort to keep your work area clean by wiping down your desk and picking up clutter. Pretend that your coworkers are seeing your space to help motivate yourself to keep things clean.

9. Prioritize your tasks

As you work from home, your workday may feel more fluid since others have less influence on your schedule. Stay on task by prioritizing what you need to do at the beginning of each workweek. As you complete tasks, cross them off your to-do list and adjust your schedule to what's left. Write down important deadlines and due dates since you may not have coworkers reminding you of them as often as they would in an office setting.

10. Get ready for your workday

Remote employees have the luxury of not having to dress up for work or rush to their morning commute. Although it is easier and more comfortable to work in pajamas, you could also use the time you are saving each morning to start a morning routine. For example, you may find that a morning workout followed by a shower and breakfast wakes you up and has you feeling energized for your day.

11. Set boundaries at home

If you live with others, communicate to them that you need a quiet and distraction-free workspace. If someone needs your attention, tell them you would appreciate it if they talked to you during your breaks or outside of working hours. These boundaries can help you create a balance between personal time and work time, allowing you to get more done during work.

Related: How To Stay Focused When You Work From Home

12. Make rules for work hours

People who work in an office can physically leave work at the end of the day. As a remote employee, you need to find a way to create some boundaries between work and home life. By letting them overlap, you may feel like you are in work mode all the time. Instead, when you clock out, make a rule that you can only check work-related communications during work hours.

13. Find a community of other remote employees

Find other people who have gone through a similar transition. Other remote employees can give you advice, support and guidance as you are making this transition. Ask them what their favorite part of working from home is and what challenges they experienced when first starting remote work.

14. Be patient while starting

At first, you may find the transition is a bigger adjustment than you anticipated. Like any change in life, it can take some time to get used to things. Be patient and willing to find ways to make this transition easier for yourself. If you need any support, reach out to your supervisor and communicate any questions or concerns you have. Eventually, you may find that you're much happier working from home than in an office setting.

15. Learn to embrace independence

Working from home requires self-control and brings a sense of independence. During this transition, try to push yourself to figure things out on your own. You're likely to find that you are more capable than you realized. Use your problem-solving skills and critical thinking to overcome any obstacles you may encounter.

16. Continue to develop your skills

While working in an office, you tend to have career growth opportunities such as additional training or educational seminars. Even though you work from home, it's still important that you look for chances to continue to develop your skills. One way to do this is by watching online tutorials or reading reputable publications. You also could ask an experienced coworker to meet for a video chat so they can explain a new task to you or teach you a new skill.

17. Get the right equipment

If you plan to work from home for a long time, then it's worth investing in the right equipment. Choose an ergonomically designed chair and desk, so you can comfortably work for an entire workday. Having dual monitors is another way to make your workflow more efficient. Add some decorations such as photographs or art to make your space more welcoming. Ask your employer if remote employees get a stipend for any work-related equipment or materials.

18. Plan breaks during work

Having breaks throughout your workday can help you recharge and be ready for your next task. Take some time to eat a nice lunch or go on a short walk. Along with being beneficial to your physical health, moving around can help you feel more awake and alert.

19. Encourage a positive work culture

Remote employees can still help create a work culture. Make an effort to connect with your team and learn more about each other. Team-building activities can help everyone feel more invested in their jobs and satisfied with work. Try virtual team-building activities such as online game tournaments or virtual happy hours. Likewise, you can create a positive work culture by giving your coworkers positive feedback via email or other online messaging applications.

20. Make sure your devices are up to date

You may need to become your own IT department when working from home. Ensure your work devices are safe and secure by keeping them up to date. Make sure your Wi-Fi is password-protected, so you can keep your information private from other users.

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