Updated: May 15, 2022
I’ve been working remotely since June of 2019. Coming from the classroom fulltime, this has been a big adjustment for me! I used to be away from home 10 or more hours a day, now I’m home most of the week all day, every day. I wanted to share how I’ve been able to make a smooth transition with this guide to working remotely.
I was really worried about the transition to remote work, but honestly, I love working remotely! It’s truly so great to be home every day and I find I’m really productive. So, here is my beginner’s guide to working remotely.
Step 1: Have a routine
We are humans and thrive on our routines! When I first started working from home, I set up my daily routine and tried my best to stick to it. Good routines lead to good habits and when working from home, it’s really easy to build bad habits like looking at your phone all day or sitting for long periods of time. Coming up with a routine and sticking to it will help!
Read for 30 minutes with coffee
Turn on my podcast
Walk my dog, Oakley
Get ready for the day
Step 2: Create a work-only space
This is something I didn’t do when I first started and really wish I had! I started off working in my living room only and was finding that being in the same place all day was driving me crazy. I finished work and then would be in the same room. This made separating work from home really hard.
Now, I have set up a dedicated workspace that I use during the workday in order to keep my spaces separate. It’s helped me get started working faster, get in work mode, and stay focused.
choosing a space that is distraction free (try a white noise machine)
can you get natural light and fresh air?
Step 3: Set aside time to leave the house or do something physical
One thing that can happen easily when working from home is sitting in one place all day, or go from sitting in one place to another! Don’t let this happen. It’s unhealthy both physically and mentally!
Instead, build time into your routine for being active. I take my dog for walks twice a day and bought some little weights that I use every night to make sure I am doing something physical every day. I also spend time working standing up, use ClassPass for flexible work out options, and try to stretch daily.
Step 4: Short term and long term to-do lists
To-do lists are seriously my lifeline… I keep long term and short term to-do lists that help me stay on track and focused on what I need to get done that day. I use my Google Calendar to keep track of what needs to be done long term, and sticky notes to create my daily tasks list.
What has worked for me is starting off my workday by looking at my long term calendar, thinking about what needs to be done as I create a short to-do list for the day, and finally organizing my email at the beginning of every day so I feel like I am prepared. This keeps my inbox from feeling overwhelming as well.
Step 5: Have a hard start and stop time
I have a hard start and stop for my workday. I try very hard not to work outside those hours (although sometimes I have to). Having this time creates a space between work and home that allows me time to relax without thinking about work. The hard start and stop makes me way more productive and makes sure I don’t feel like I’m at work all the time.
Step 6: Stay healthy, stay positive
get natural light
drink lots of water
eat lots of veggies
don’t stay in your pajamas
plan time away from screens
These are general health tips, but getting sun, feeling the real air, and staying hydrated will make sure you are a happy and healthy human. Our moods deeply affect the work we do, our motivation, and our daily decisions. By making sure you are staying healthy, you’ll do better in your work and personal life!
I hope this guide to working remotely will help you think about how it can work for you. I absolutely love working remotely and honestly don’t think I want to head back to an office anytime soon.