8 Essentials You Need When Working Remotely
Whether you work from home, travel for work, or work remotely from a shared office space or coffee shop, there are some key ways to set up optimal productivity. It’s not the easiest task to discipline yourself in a non-traditional office space, but these eight essentials will get you on your way to getting the job done.
1.) Designated Workspace
If you have the flexibility to work from home, there are obvious upsides and downsides. One upside is that you skip the commute, thus save time to get more work done. On the downside, you can get easily distracted working within your personal space that you get too comfortable and out of work mode. To keep a separation between personal and work life, designate a place to work in your home. A desk, a desktop monitor, a comfortable work chair, a printer—whatever makes it feel like an office where you can go to when you need to grind out some work. Even if you prefer to be mobile by working off your laptop on the couch, try to at least have an area that’s far enough from distractions and away from say, the kitchen or TV.
While working from home does allow you to get some housekeeping items done, like a load of laundry, unloading the dishes, cleaning up around the house—try to maintain a regimen so you don’t go down the rabbit hole on your personal to-do list. Activities like grocery shopping or a work out should either happen during a “lunch break” you designate, just as you would if you were in an office setting, or before or after work. Try to also set a time frame for working hours. Waking up and starting work at around the same time can get you in the mindset to produce and then knowing when your work day is done, based on what you decided on your own terms, will help you get through the day more productively.
3.) High Speed Internet
This seems like a given, but to really achieve optimal productivity, having fast internet service is crucial. You want to be able to do work with a reliable connection so there are no lapses in communication, especially if you have to get on a screen share or video conference. Look at your home internet service as an investment into your job. If your job is dependent on sending and receiving files and real-time communications, high speed internet is a must. Having smooth internet connection works to bolster your professional reputation because you’ll be able to deliver uninterrupted communications and produce at a maximum productivity level.
For those who travel frequently for work or tend to work on-the-go most of the time, a mobile hotspot can come in very handy, especially if it costs money to access public Wi-Fi networks in the areas you’re in. Factor in data usage for your job when choosing a mobile service package. With a portable hotspot, you can do work at conferences, at airports, hotels and in whatever city you may be traveling in. It removes a productivity bottleneck when you can’t find an internet service around you.
5.) Portable Battery Charger
Working remotely means you’re responsible for powering up the devices you use for work. When you’re working on the go, the last thing you need is for your phone to die while sending a timely email to the client or have your laptop die before you’re about to give a presentation at a conference. Get a portable battery charger for relevant work devices. It’ll keep you powered up and productive to do work from anywhere.
6.) Noise-Cancelling Headphones
For the noisy days at home or when you’re working in a public area like a busy airport, it can get extremely difficult to concentrate. Get a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to block out the distractions. These will additionally become very handy for the times when you have to take a conference call but can’t find a quiet space to hear everything that’s going on in the meeting.
7.) Daily Inspiration
It takes a lot of self-motivation to be able to work remotely and do it well. Some days can be harder than others, but it’s important to keep your mind focused. While each individual works differently and has different drives, pick something that works to motivate you. For instance, is it reading a daily mission statement that’s posted up somewhere in your home office? Or does going to a yoga class first thing every morning clear your mind and give you the inspiration to take on the day? Perhaps it’s jotting down the positives of your job and why you do it every day. Being able to put your thoughts down in words can help reinforce a mindset that’s ready to take on each task with guided intention.
8.) An Escape
Balancing work and personal life is already hard enough, but when you mesh the two together as you work from home, it becomes even more important to draw the line between the two. Mentally and emotionally, try to keep the two separate so that you can give your full undivided attention to each when things get busy. This could mean creating an escape or place to go where you know one won’t collide into the other. Perhaps your escape is taking the dog out for a walk—do so when you need to clear your mind and be present in the moment, stepping away from work to fully recharge. Alternatively, maybe your break from the daily grind is facetiming with your spouse or children. Taking a moment to address and maintain your personal relationships is important to your mental and emotional health. It works to know that you have loved ones continually supporting you.
Make working remotely a positive, productive experience with these key essentials. They’ll keep you in check and prepped to take on each day as you work from home or away from the office.
Lana Evans is a contributing editor at Upward Onward and freelance writer who covers topics about finance, lifestyle, travel, entertainment and anything that includes tips for making life easier.