15 Essential Tips for Working Remotely (Plus Benefits)

Updated February 16, 2023

Whether you've participated in a remote workforce for some time or you're new to working from home, making changes to your work style can allow you to remain productive. Setting yourself up for success can help you provide your employer with quality work. It also enables you to take full advantage of the benefits working from home has to offer.

In this article, we offer 15 tips for working remotely and outline the benefits of working from home so you can better adjust to this increasingly popular employment situation.

15 tips for working remotely

Though there are several benefits to working from home, it's important to understand how to adjust to this unconventional type of work. The better you're able to accomplish this, the easier it can be to make the most out of your workday and provide your employer with value. Here are 15 tips for working remotely:

1. Establish a designated workspace

Separating your work and living spaces can help eliminate distractions and increase your productivity. For example, if you work on your couch, you may feel tempted to watch TV or take a nap instead of finishing your job-related tasks. A designated workspace signals to your brain that your time spent there is only for work.

Consider setting up an office in a spare bedroom or another designated area of your house. Having an actual desk or table and chair to use only for work can make it easier for you to focus on completing daily assignments. It also allows you to spread out your work materials and keep them organized.

Related: Everything You Should Know About Working From Home

2. Adhere to a routine

Adhering to a routine can provide your day with some structure and ensure you stay on task. Consider creating an hour-by-hour schedule along with a prioritized list of your responsibilities for the day. For example, you can create a schedule that outlines what days and times to complete certain tasks. It can also be helpful to share this schedule with others on your team so they know when you're available for virtual or telephone meetings.

In addition, a set schedule in which you wake up and go to sleep at about the same time every day can regulate your body and support your health. Maintaining a routine can make it easier to wake up and start work each day. For example, if you decide to wake up late one day and you end your shift much later than usual, it may be harder for you to wake up early the following day. A consistent schedule gives your body time to rest and ensures you're ready for future challenges.

Related: How To Make a Daily Work Schedule

3. Determine your optimal work hours

It's also important to consider the time of day when you're most productive and center your schedule around it. For example, your productivity peak can be in the morning, afternoon or evening. If you accomplish your best work in the morning, start your day early and prioritize your main responsibilities at that time. This can ensure you're optimizing your workday and allocating your energy efficiently.

Related: Q&A: What Is Remote Work?

4. Take regular breaks

It's vital to be mindful of your time and find a balance between when to work and when to rest. When you create a schedule, include times for breaks and lunch to help you stay energized and motivated. It's also beneficial to leave your home and get some fresh air and natural light to help clear your mind. Consider taking a walk or spending time in a park or nature area at some point during the day.

Related: How To Take a Break From Studying in 7 Steps

5. Decide when your workday ends

Determining the end of your shift can help you set boundaries. Make it a habit to log off by a certain hour to help inform your coworkers that you're not available every hour of the day. Determining when your workday ends can encourage you to step away from your work. It's also essential to resist the urge to check your work email when you're not working. Taking time away from your work duties to relax can ensure you return to work refreshed and ready.

Related: How Do I Create and Stick to a Daily Schedule?

6. Create a work-life balance

Develop a good work-life balance to avoid burnout. Along with spending time at work, you can also take time throughout the day to practice self-care and address your responsibilities outside of work. For example, while it's important to have set work hours, it's also important to attend to doctor's appointments, family obligations and other activities. Pursuing hobbies, in addition, can give your mind and body time to rest.

Related: Ultimate Guide to Work-Life Balance

7. Determine your work style

To make the most of your workday, find out what environment is most conducive to your productivity. For example, you may prefer working in a bustling cafe or in silence. Once you know which style better promotes your efficiency, establish a work environment that's suitable for your needs.

Related: How To Be More Productive

8. Communicate with coworkers

Use technology to stay connected with your colleagues when you work from home. Check your email or your company's messaging platform when time permits and use these tools to help you stay informed while fostering a collaborative virtual environment from afar. Talking to colleagues regularly can also encourage teamwork despite being in a different location than your coworkers. Be sure to consider any differing time zones and plan communication accordingly.

Related:10 Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace

9. Eliminate distractions

To promote productivity throughout your workday, reduce any distractions such as the television or social media. Along with a designated workspace, consider shutting the door if you're working in a room, working away from your home television or using noise-canceling headphones. These can help you stay focused while increasing the overall quality and speed of your work.

Related:5 Tips To Stay Focused Working From Home

10. Get dressed

Wearing something you didn't wear to bed can help you get in the right mindset for work. By changing out of your pajamas into work clothes, you can separate the notion of sleep from the idea of starting your job. Psychologically, you may be more apt to remain focused if you're dressed when a client or a coworker calls. Getting dressed also ensures you're presentable if a video call arises suddenly.

11. Stretch your muscles

If you're sitting at a desk regularly, it's important to stretch your muscles and limbs regularly to avoid any cramps or unnecessary pain. You could also consider a morning workout or short walk before your shift to increase your energy level and help your mind and body wake up before your workday begins.

12. Drink water

Staying hydrated can help you stay focused and motivated. Keep a glass of water on your desk or near your workspace to help improve your mood and overall productivity throughout your shift. It can also help to have healthy snacks nearby to keep you energized.

13. Use reliable technology

It's important to have dependable technology and a strong internet connection to help you perform your job well. For example, if you need a laptop or computer, make sure it has the memory capacity and speed capabilities you need to complete your tasks. A strong internet connection ensures your progress continues uninterrupted, and a pair of headphones can help reduce background noise.

14. Set ground rules

If you're sharing a space with others while you work, such as your children or your spouse, tell them what environment you prefer while you're working. This also applies to your other family members. For example, you may ask them to remain quiet during certain hours of the day.

15. Ask for what you need

Some companies provide you with a laptop or other home office equipment to work remotely. Make sure to ask for this kind of equipment as soon as possible to ensure you have the tools necessary to start your shift. Some things you may need include a computer, a keyboard, a chair or particular software.

Related: The Benefits of Working From Home

Benefits of working remotely

Working from home provides you with several freedoms you may not experience working on-site. If you're thinking of going remote, consider the following benefits of this type of work:

Flexibility and work-life balance

Working from home means you're likely able to start and end your workday when you choose, as long as you finish your work for the day. Having a flexible schedule means you're able to better coordinate your personal engagements and appointments with your professional ones. For example, you can drop your kids off at school before logging into work instead of finding transportation for them so you're not late to the office.

No commute

By avoiding traffic and other stressors that come with a commute to work, you can reduce your stress levels. Not having to commute also eliminates any transportation costs, including gas or public transportation fees, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves you valuable time. This time can allow you to sleep in and give you time to make a healthier breakfast, exercise or start work earlier.

Lower costs

Along with saving in transportation fees, working from home can also save you money on expenses like work attire, child care and lunches. For example, you can eat lunch at home rather than getting a takeout meal at work. You can then reallocate your savings elsewhere in your budget.

Custom office

Working from home means you can create a designated workspace to your liking. For example, instead of having to use company chairs or your workplace's particular layout, you can create a workspace that's most conducive to your personal productivity. You can also decorate and organize your workspace to reflect your own style.

Location of choice

Working remotely also means you can work in a setting of your choosing. For example, instead of working in an office environment, you can opt to work at home, in your neighborhood coffee shop or even somewhere in nature. You have the opportunity to work at a different place each day if you so choose.

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