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How Do I Prepare for Remote Work?

The question, "how do I prepare for remote work?" comes up more often than it used to just a decade ago. More organizations are becoming more open to long term remote working. If you're a worker or manager just switching to remote work, this page will share tips on how to prepare for remote work and transition seamlessly.

Tips on how to prepare for remote work

Adopt a self-directed mindset: As a remote worker, you need to have a self-directed mindset. It's vital to schedule your day and organize your work time around your team or organization's goals to maintain motivation and momentum and get the best results. When you work remotely, there will be no boss or colleague looking over your shoulder, so you have to prepare by building systems and schedules that support you to do your work. Try techniques like time batching or the Pomodoro method for improved time and task management.

Create a dedicated working space: A dedicated workspace helps you to separate work from the rest of your activities. The act of walking into your dedicated workspace is akin to walking into the office. It helps you to be ready for work and cut down on distractions when working remotely. Your workspace can be a quiet, isolated place in your home, a coworking space with a blend of flexibility and office-like atmosphere, or even a coffee shop. Depending on your work and how you get it done, you should carefully choose the best space to accomplish your work. Check out our guide to setting up a home office.

Adopt a daily remote work routine: Without a working routine, you may never optimize your remote work life. Instead of working sporadically or without adequate breaks, you can create a loose schedule that helps you do the right and productive things at the right time with time to spend with family, friends, and other essential life activities also scheduled. You can set block times for different tasks, including meetings. Also, try to replace usual tasks like commuting with more productive activities, e.g., meditating or exercising. This boosts your energy for the day. 

Ensure you have access to the company network and systems: Before going remote, contact the IT department to configure your devices to ensure you have remote access to the company network, systems, and even email and project management software. For company-wide security and based on the level of access you need to get your work done, you may be allowed limited access to specific portals when away from the office. This ensures the organization’s network is free from major safety risks. You should make sure to always adhere to the rules of the organization regarding logins from remote locations. 

Let friends and family know your new work arrangement: Remote work is still relatively novel for many. Let your family and friends know that you are still working and not on a merry holiday from home or your new workspace. It would be best to share your work routine with them, clearly mark your dedicated workspace and important meeting times. Let your family and friends know that remote work does not translate to being free all the time.

Get virtual meetings right: Online meetings are a significant part of remote work. In your preparations for remote work, it is wise to take some time to get familiar with your virtual meeting tools. Learn to set up meetings and join meetings without fuss. And learn to communicate concisely, with both voice and video functionalities. This will allow you to get the best results from your virtual meetings. You also want to make sure your virtual meeting setup is secure. You can ask your company’s IT department for tips and support.

Whether you're an employee whose organization is going remote or a professional testing the remote waters, knowing how to prepare for remote work can make your experience productive and even career defining.