How To Work Remotely, and Still Love It

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How To Work Remotely, and Still Love It

More people than ever find themselves working from home. While the dream of opening your laptop, and sitting in your pajamas all day sounds great, many are having a hard time adjusting to this new reality.

Many are struggling in learning how to work from home, or fashioning home offices out of any spare furniture they have laying around. The biggest struggle for those working from home is being as productive as they were in the office.

Managers everywhere are worried they will see an insurmountable drop in productivity, and that their workers will fall behind the ever-increasing to-do list.

As someone who feels like a pioneer in virtual work, I can finally say that my time has come! Finally, I can share my knowledge on how to work from home and still love it! I have had triumphs and epic failures, but still love the ability to work remotely, and have loved every day of craving out my stake as a freelancer, and built my career faster than I believe I could have in a traditional working environment.

If you are looking for the best tips to work remotely, and still love it, read on!

How to set up your home office

For those struggling to adjust to working at home, one of the easiest ways to get back on track is to revamp your working space. While the notice to start working remotely was nowhere to be found, people have acted fast to cobble together barely functional work spaces.

For those working remotely, having a working home office is a necessity. Having a great office space doesn’t mean you have to drop a lot of money or even add all the bells and whistles.
The key to any workspace is that it is functional. That means having a hard surface for your computer, a comfortable chair you can sit in for hours, and ideally a door you can close for when you have virtual meetings.

You can make this out of any items you already own. When I first started working from home, I used a camp table and even an outdoor chair that had cupholders in the arms. It wasn’t glamorous, but it worked and was comfortable. Depending on the tasks I was able to switch where my ‘office’ was for the day and could work outside on sunny days on my patio, or work at the kitchen table, or in the recliner if it suited the work I had to do.

For working from home you will need:
  1. A dedicated workspace: Whether the kitchen table or sunroom, have a dedicated area you will work.
  2. A Table/desk: For anyone who types you will need a table for your day-to-day interactions.
  3. A comfortable chair: Camping chairs, kitchen chairs, or recliners? While nothing can beat an office chair, a comfortable chair you can sit in for hours will help!
  4. Office Equipment: High-speed routers, printers or scanners are all necessities of working from home!

Setting up a home office is a necessity for those working remotely. Not only will having a dedicated space help switch your brain into work mode, but it can help you be more productive. By having a dedicated workspace that is functional, you can focus more on what you need to work on, not the distractions of your home!

Must-Have Items For Working Remotely

While those that work in an office are used to having their work supplies readily available, those transitioning into working from home may find that their workspace is ill-equipped.

For those working from home, they are often lacking the supplies they need to support their workday. Having the right equipment goes a long way to having a more productive workday!

Here are some must-have items for working remotely:
     A Headset/webcam
     High-Speed Internet
     A Second Monitor
     Printer or Scanner
     A Good Pen (Nothing Beats A Good Pen)
     Sticky Notes
     Pen Holder
     Desk Organizer
     Notebooks

When working remotely, a headset and webcam go a long way! Online meetings are the norm right now, so having the right equipment (if your camera is lacking) is a must! Paired with fast internet these are necessities for meeting with your remote team.

Having the right equipment for working will minimize distractions throughout your workday. Having to get up from your desk and scrounge the house for a pen or pencil and a piece of paper won’t help your stay focused in your meeting.

Having pen and paper handy will make it easier for you to get your work done in a day, and when you get a smart idea you will be able to write it down as soon as the thought comes to mind!
You should do all you can to keep your home office as organized as possible. Having a clean layout to your desk, and having all the necessities within an arm's reach. If you are looking for some home office inspiration, check out this list of best items for your office.

How To Make A Productive Routine

The biggest struggle for those working from home for the first time. How to be productive while working from home? It’s easy! Just have a productive routine! Creating a productive daily routine for yourself is a great way to completely transform your workday. It can be as easy as setting the right habits in the morning!

The biggest mistake those working remotely do is they don’t have a hard ‘clock-in’ time. For those looking to be more productive, having a firm time to start and end your day makes it easy to frame the rest of your day and be more productive.

I have also found that having a healthy breakfast and morning workout gets my blood pumping and keeps me focused throughout the day. 

This is what my productive morning routine looks like:
     Wake Up
     Make and Eat A Healthy breakfast
     Read For 15 Minutes
     Workout for 1 hour
     Take A Shower
     Get Dressed For Work
     Clock in For Work

What I love about my daily routine is that it is easy to modify depending on the day I am about to have, and puts me in a great mood for the rest of the day!

Routines set the bar high for personal productivity. If you aren’t much of a morning person you can still make yourself a productive routine that works for you. Even a short walk around the block is enough to get your blood pumping and help you get ready for your day.

When it comes to making a productive work routine, time blocking will be your best friend! Time blocking is a way of scheduling your workday to accomplish the most important tasks first. It minimizes distractions by applying a laser focus to the task at hand and only working on this task until it is complete.

When you set up your time block it is crucial to make sure that time is allocated correctly and properly. You should focus only on the most important task that will make your day easier if it is accomplished. Make sure you set realistic lengths of time to accomplish these tasks, and then work in the daily tasks that need to be completed.

By sticking to a strict morning routine, and applying a time block to your activities you will make it easier to keep yourself focused and productive when working from home.

How To Minimize Distractions When Working From Home

Working remotely is a blessing and a curse, while it may minimize the distractions caused by coworkers, there is still plenty to be distracted by at home!

Dishes, laundry, pets, children, you name it! To have a productive workday minimizing your home distractions are a necessity. One of the easiest ways to remove distractions at home is to set a clear routine and schedule for all your family members!

 For those with children or pets properly time blocking your day to include breaks to spend time with the kids, do an activity or even take the dog on a walk! When you time block, you can evenly properly schedule your children's schedule to collerlate when you have tasks that need to be done. If your son takes a nap at 2, that is when you can schedule a meeting to spend time working on your next big proposal.

You also need to set clear ‘clock out’ time to spend time with your family. It is harder than ever to unplug, but when you properly plan and time block you will feel more productive and be able to relax and spend time with family.

Another major distraction when working from home is noise! While soft music can help boost your productivity, listening to Netflix in the background will make it harder than ever to focus on your work. You can easily use a set of headphones and a Spotify work playlist to keep your mind from wandering. Working in a quiet room, or a room with a door can reduce distractions!

Keep your workplace clear, as a messy workplace is easy to get distracted. Leave the household tasks for after work hours, and make sure you keep your workspace clean and organized as possible. A pile of laundry sitting next to your desk can distract anyone, so make sure to have your space clear to give you room to focus.

Social media is a huge time and productivity killer and by limiting when and how much time you can spend on social media you can better focus your time and energy throughout the day.

You can easily set a trigger for yourself that signals the start of your workday. For me it is when I light my scented candle. I know it is time to work by the time the smell of the candle tickles my nose! It gives me just enough time to check emails and get into my major time block of the day.

Summary

When I started working remotely over 5 years ago, I didn’t know how it would affect my career. Little did i know that I had actually made one of the biggest and best changes to my life! I was able to accelerate my career to a whole new level, and be able to raise my son. By following a strict routine and keeping myself motivated, I have been able to make my own path.

More people are finding themselves working remotely, and don’t know when they might be back in the office. For them, they are trying to make the best of a totally new situation! Working remotely can be extremely rewarding, if done correctly!

 It requires planning, motivation, and a can-do attitude to keep yourself focused. For those working remotely the first time, having a plan to minimize distractions, a solid daily personal and work routine and the right home office can make working remotely a dream come true!

Here Is How To Start Working Remotely, And Love It:
     Have A Home Office: have a dedicated workspace with a good table and chair. Your workspace should be comfortable and functional for your work.
     Have The Right Equipment: Router, printer, Scanner, webcam and a headset are some of the items you will need for your workspace. Make sure your remote workspace has everything you need to properly do your job!
     Set A Productive Routine: From the time you get up to when you go to bed, having a productive daily routine makes it easier for you to work remotely! Timeblocks your daily work tasks to make it easier to focus on the most important work you need to complete.
     Minimize Distractions: Follow a routine that works for your family and your life, and keep a clean workspace. By drawing a distinct line between your home and work hours you can minimize distractions when working remotely.


Working remotely offers freedom and flexibility. For those with the right amount of discipline, and motivation it can be a dream come true!

---
About the Author: Catherine Way graduated from Michigan State University with her Bachelor of Advertising, with a specialization in Graphic Design. She is a content marketer for business, mortgage, and real estate industries. She has written real estate articles for Silver Doctors, The Paper Source, Active Rain, and Progressing Income. She enjoys finding new creative outlets through writing, designing, dancing, modeling and more. She currently writes and reports for  Prime Plus Mortgages:Hard Money Lenders

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