One of the great things about being a Project Manager at my office is that I feel like I can be connected to my team and my work from just about anywhere. All my important files are either on the computer or on a cloud based server that I can always access. While many people, myself included, believe the ability to work from home is a freeing experience, it can also be a tremendous struggle. Finding the ability to balance work and life while still being effective is challenging to say the least. Regardless of where you work, whether it be from home or an island in the Caribbean, we will always be divided by the distractions around us. To get the most out of your remote office, there are a few thing things that we can all do to maximize our time.
Find a Balance
Action for Happiness posted an article that says we should all make time for fun. A struggle that many people face in the office can be the same as someone working remotely, make time for fun. When working out of the office, I have the temptation to spend additional hours at night or early morning working because I know I am not always being an effective worker. A strategy that can help though is to schedule you work time and your play time. If you find that you are most effective at 6am-10am and 4pm-10pm then plan on working those hours to their fullest. Don’t work 6am-6pm operating at half capacity.
Communicate with you team
One of the biggest challenges you will face working remotely is the ability to connect with your team. It is hard to have quality relationships and build trust when you can’t interface on a regular basis. To help, take advantage of the technologies that have become available that allow us to connect easier than ever before. Tools like Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. all can provide that instant real time interaction that email cannot. Communication is a building block for a successful enterprise, be proactive about it and stay connected.
Get out of the house
Most people associate working remotely with working from home, because most people follow that mantra, but remote working can be from anywhere, and it should be! Do not fall into the trap of locking yourself away in your office at home for 12 hours, not seeing the sun for a week. It is important to get out and be active. Leaving your house can be as simple as taking your work to the local coffee shop or the park near your house, just change the scenery. Breaking the monotony re-energizes us and can help facilitate engagement and efficiency in your work.
I know there are a ton of things that I can say to help everyone be the best version of themselves when working remotely, but I know that each of us will have a different style. Some will prefer to work from home and others may choose to sit on the beach. After spending some time working on my vacations, I would say it’s extremely hard to concentrate when you have a margarita and the ocean to enjoy, but to each their own. What I really want to encourage though is to not lose touch with yourself and those around you. Enjoy your life, and be the best version of yourself for everyone to see. Your team doesn’t need to have you watching their every move, they just want to know you are engaged. So next time you are cooped up in your home office, take a break to enjoy a new experience and work from somewhere you have never been.