A Guide to Becoming a Very Competent Remote Worker

A Guide to Becoming a Very Competent Remote Worker

Beginning to work from home can be a very daunting experience, especially for people who have never done it before. It is especially hard for extroverted people because working from home means that mostly you’re stuck in your home office. Getting into the mood of working can be difficult too, it would be hard to direct your focus to the things that you should be working on, that is assuming you know what you have to be working on. It is hard to rely only on agendas brought up on the remote meeting you just attended for the list of tasks you should have been accomplishing. And we haven’t even begun talking about motivation, it is your home anyway, it’s the place you go to after your supposed 9 to 5 job, it is the play where you rest, watch tv or play video games.

Being a more effective and competent remote worker certainly takes time. You have to be able to figure out the things that work and don’t work for you when talking about working remotely, like dealing with confinement and resisting distractions. We have listed tips to help you achieve being an effective and competent remote worker in no time. Without further ado, let’s get on the first one.

Establish Limits

Working from home while not first establishing limits has its dangers, you could end up treating this opportunity and take it leisurely, doing more fun stuff at home than work. Practically, your home becomes your office so it is important to set limits to help you separate the work stuff from the home stuff. You may begin by provisioning your working space, this becomes an exclusive for work only place, this is why we recommend that you don’t put your working space near places like the kitchen and the living room where there are a lot of inevitable distractions.

Creating limits would prepare you mentally that once you enter your working space, you’re at work now, and it also tells your family that somehow you are in “do not disturb” mode. You should also be very creative when provisioning your workspace, make sure you maintain its cleanliness, and decorate it as if it were an actual office, this would trick your brain somehow into thinking it is a real one, which puts you in the mood to get work done.

A Guide to Becoming a Very Competent Remote Worker

Take Advantage of The Peace and Quiet

One advantage of working from home that definitely rises to the top is quietness, the office is full of distracting people roaming around, and a lot of time is getting wasted by the conversations that pop-up anytime, and meetings that could have been done through email, you can never really control the noise levels and the amount of activity going on in an office setting. Working from home changes all these, all the time you saved that would have otherwise been spent doing the things we mentioned above, you can use to sharpen your skills some more.

When you get creative, you can do literally anything with your extra time productively besides work. If you like, spend it taking an online course or, watching a tutorial on YouTube on how to do something, or you can hop on the treadmill and burn your substantial lunch. Just don’t whatever you do, spend it on something that would ruin your productivity like social media, video games, or television. Always remind yourself that as a remote worker, you are in charge of your time management and you must control the things you can only do when it’s time for work.

Keep In Touch

Reconfigure the relationship you have with your coworkers, if before the way you collaborate in-person is talking 25% about work and 75% stuff, not about work, this is the time to change that, you now have time to access the tools for remote work collaboration which eliminates all the inefficiencies of having to deal with other things besides work. Using platforms like Slack, for example, helps you to collaborate with your coworkers very efficiently, as you could send them an inquiry anytime and all the conversation is documented within the system, which you can come back to very easily. Keeping in touch remotely does not only eliminate the feeling of being isolated, but it also increases the efficiency of collaboration.

A Guide to Becoming a Very Competent Remote Worker

Improve on your Remote Communication Skills

Working remotely means that chat apps like Slack now become your primary way to connect quickly with your colleagues, it simulates a more “natural” way of communication, unlike email which has a very formal and meeting-like vibe. Working remotely makes you utilize these tools to their fullest potentials until it comes very naturally to you.

When you need to ask your coworker, for example, you first reach them with a quick message in Slack asking if they have 5 minutes to talk, then when they agree, your video calls them via Zoom. Same goes with email, your team would announce that there would be a meeting at a certain time when the meeting commences it would start on Zoom and everybody joins, and questions and answers would be conducted inside Zoom as well, and personal concerns would then again be discussed on Slack.

But of course, slack is not only for talking about work, Slack features channels which are created for the purpose of segmenting the topics for conversation so you only hear from channels that are relevant to you.

You would start to realize that these tools are now essential to you as a remote worker and you would no longer do without them ever again unless of course something better comes up.

Keep Improving Your Remote Working Prowess

When you can now navigate the ins and outs of working remotely I don’t think you would ever think of going back to the old office setting. Working remotely gives you all the opportunity to improve both work and your personal life.

Founder, Editor-In-Chief // A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, ICANN, and Raytheon. A mentor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Entrepreneur School, Dr. David Choi. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; and invested in some. // Let's Connect: john@lastartups.com

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