“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they are at their desk or in their kitchen. Yours truly has never worked out of an office, and never will.”
― Richard Branson
Remote work is no longer the future. It’s here now, and it’s not going away. Businesses have seen significant benefits, including reduced expenses, improved productivity, and happier employees. If your office hasn’t jumped on the remote work train, it might be time to find a new office.
There is a catch, however. To enjoy the benefits of remote work, you need to be a good remote worker. It’s no secret that many bosses are outside their comfort zone with remote workers, but if you’re crushing it away from the office, a smart boss will double down on that and get out of your way.
So how do you impress your boss, enhance your team, and maximize your results while working remotely? Here are ten tips to bring out your remote A-game:
1. Don’t start the day with work.
It’s tempting to get the workday going immediately. Resist the temptation. Instead, get up early enough to ensure at least two hours before you need to start work. Exercise (even a little bit helps), shower, get dressed and eat breakfast. Maybe knock out a personal task too. You’ll be primed and ready for action.
2. Invest in a solid internet connection, a good webcam, a quality microphone, and decent lighting.
These are non-negotiables today. A good video feed is the remote work version of “dress for success.” Sure, you’ll occasionally have “technical difficulties.” But your team will forgive you if high quality is the norm.
3. Get proper sleep, nutrition, and exercise.
If you want to be your best, you need to prepare like the best. Taking care of yourself will improve your focus, give you energy, and help you stay healthy. You don’t want to be dosing off in the next Zoom meeting or struggling to finish tasks, so take care of your body.
That doesn’t mean cc’ing everyone on every email. It does mean keeping your team informed and your boss in the loop. Don’t leave anyone in the dark.
5. Show your work.
When you’re in an office, people assume you’re being productive. When you’re remote, you need to show your work. Of course, that’s probably a good strategy for in-office workers too.
6. Work on clearly defined tasks.
If something isn’t clear, get clarity. Ask questions and set expectations.
7. Focus on one thing at a time.
Multitasking slows you down. It’s the worst form of interruption. If you have several things to do on the same day, work in blocks. Email, brief responses, status updates, etc., can fit between solid focus time.
8. Get up and walk around, outside if possible.
Don’t focus on exercise. Focus on movement. When you get out of your chair and move around, it gets the blood flowing to your brain again. Stepping away from the monitor gives you a chance to reset your mind. Adding in some sunshine will improve your mood and give you a jolt of optimism. About 15 minutes twice a day is a good start.
9. Be reliable.
If your team can’t count on you to deliver results, non of this other stuff matters. You need to build trust and continuously reward that trust.
10. Keep improving.
Constant improvement is the “work smart” part of the equation. Push yourself to be a little bit better every day. Take on the challenging tasks that help you grow. Study, train, and experiment your way to new levels. The more you improve yourself, the more you improve the team.