A brief, simple guide to surfing the waves of remote employment.
Structure is the key
But not too much of it, either. Working remotely is all about being able to administer time properly. Finishing tasks is important not only in order to get paid, but also because it allows you to have “unscheduled” free time throughout the day. It is in those moments when the “eureka” intuitions occur. Make time to do nothing (even if it implies waking up earlier, or substituting your power nap for some “lost” time) so some ideas that might never get the opportunity to shine do appear. Idle time has the potential of being incredibly fertile.
Don’t work in your pajamas
It’s tempting to stay in your flannels, but get dressed. Working from home is still working. To get in the productive mood, get up and get ready as you would for a regular, everyday office job. Take a shower. Get dressed. Get breakfast. Get sharp. Wear cologne if you would do so when going to the office. Even if you are not expecting any video calls during the day, act as if you were there with your colleagues.
The fact that you are home doesn’t mean that you are necessarily available for everyone in your household. Sure, you can pet your dog. Sure, you can help with some stuff since you are already there. Sure, you can have a short conversation here and there, but you are at work. Make sure you let everyone around that you are indeed working, and that you need certain conditions to do so.
Tell your colleagues, bosses, clients, customers, and employees, what you are doing. Follow up. Reply to emails. Don’t leave people waiting. When working remotely, communicating in a timely and proper manner is one of your main assets. Make sure you have the tools you need to communicate (Google Hangouts, Skype, WhatsApp) installed on your laptop, desktop or mobile phone, even if it’s only to let someone know you’re not at your desk at the moment, but that you will soon be.