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4 Strategies for Remote Work Success

The perks of a work-from-home arrangement are many, a flexible schedule without a costly or crowded commute, for starters.  But dangers in the form of distractions and the lure of procrastination lurk in the shadows, threatening to sabotage productivity and sideline remote work success.

Consider these key strategies for reaping the most from a work-from-home arrangement.

1. Designate an office or workstation

Claim as much space as necessary to accommodate the equipment, supplies, and surface area needed to accomplish your tasks comfortably. If an actual “office” is not available, a desk or table in the corner of the house’s quietest room will do. Keep in mind that a cramped workstation or the inconvenience of having necessities out of arm’s reach will hamper productivity.

Avoid the kitchen table if possible—too distracting as the family comes and goes, and those breakfast dishes in the sink will keep calling your name. And nix the idea of toting your laptop to the family room sofa each morning. It’s an invitation for temptation via the television or the urge to take a nap.

While part of the beauty of remote work involves not having to leave home, a space set apart from the rest of your home and life’s daily activities will aid productivity. So will a comfortable chair, a source of natural light, and an orderly workspace.

2. Get dressed

While much ado has been made about the perk of working in jammies, sweats, or yoga pants, when the remote work arrangement becomes long term, the pj’s need to be retired. The laidback mindset that accompanies sweats and t-shirt days is apt to seep into a person’s work habits, encouraging a later start to “work time” and less productivity.

It’s okay to skip the suit and tie but do make a dressing point in a manner suitable for public viewing. “It may have been something you took for granted before, but getting dressed for work is something that helps us so much on a daily basis,” says Mitali Saxena, CEO of fashion subscription service Fashom. “Besides being a way to express your sense of style, getting dressed for work sets the tone for your day.”

Another tip: shower and tend to your hair, face, and teeth in a typical fashion, so that a forgotten Zoom meeting or spur-of-the-moment video call from a colleague won’t have you resorting to the non-video option.

3. Identify and ward off distractions

Many a work-from-home scenario has failed-to-thrive due to distractions. The lure of social media, the never-ending homelife to-do list, or the constant interruptions of a neighbor/friend/family member suffering from a misunderstanding of what remote work means.

It is key to realize that what interfered with your workplace productivity may differ from what snares you in the remote work setting. Determine to identify and conquer the distractions that will, if allowed, greatly hinder your success.

4. Leave the house each day

Even folks who genuinely enjoy being home will benefit from a daily venture beyond the house walls. Some fresh air, a bit of sunshine, and the chance to work the kinks out of mind and body benefits everyone.

“Nothing will drive you crazier faster than being at home 24/7.  It’s a great opportunity to go for a walk outside, clear your head, and get your bearings,” suggests Julie McCormick in 7 Tips for Productively Working from Home.

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