Being a part of a remote team for over four years, I can say that surviving a remote job is not as easy as it sounds. While the whole concept of being able to work from home or anywhere sounds fun, it can be monotonous at times. However, what I really like about this form of work is that it’s flexible. You can decide how to frame your work and so, if there’s monotony, you can break it up yourself. In my entire span of working at Gadget Flow until now, this flexibility is what keeps me going. Even after spending four long years (I mean it!) at Gadget Flow, I still feel I am brand new. Every single day brings a new challenge and our team makes sure every one of us gets to face it in our own way. Whether it’s about jumping into a different department and helping some teammate with an urgent task or doing virtual calls, life at Gadget Flow is unique and everything a remote job should be.
But, this didn’t happen to us in a day. We, as a team, have been working on improving our remote team culture and we still feel there’s a long way to go. As far as I am concerned, here are my top 6 tips to make your remote job interesting!
Design Your Workspace from Scratch
This is something I didn’t relate to in the beginning because I was used to a day job and cubicles. But, in a remote setting, you must pay attention to your workspace. Primarily because in this form of work, you hardly get to see your team members. Your workspace is the place you visit every day to get your job done. If that looks dull and colorless, your work life will be the same. I totally agree with Fast Company that one of the biggest upsides of working from home is being able to design your own office. From choosing the brightest area of the house to having good organizers, here are my favorite home office ideas for you.
Don’t Stick to Your Workspace Only!
While having a cool workspace sounds fun, it might not be the best place to work on those dull days. In fact, those days are for the outdoors. Whether it’s the local cafe or the park, you can make use of any space you like. This will help your mind destress even while you are working. As a matter of fact, that happens to be one of my favorite ways to make my Fridays more productive. I prefer working from a cafe but many of my friends and colleagues say a park works great, too! But, before you head out, make sure you have the right accessories. Something like a portable workstation or a laptop stand bag would be useful while you work away from your dedicated workspace.
Choose Your Work Hours Based on Productivity
I love the fact that my job allows me to choose my work hours. There are days when I feel productive in the morning while there are some other days when being a night owl seems like my kind of life. Your remote job gives you that liberty to choose your productive hours of the day. I keep updating my task list based on my productive hours and this helps me do every task with 100% attention and focus. I believe that’s one of the many reasons why I love working remotely. It gives you the power to decide when to work and how.
Make Sure to Take Short Breaks
I don’t know how many of you face this but I keep working at a stretch without taking breaks in between. This gets on my nerves at times and I tend to make mistakes at work. When I tried looking for a solution, this blog post from Buffer helped me come across the Pomodoro cycle. Here’s what I do – I prefer working in small bursts. There’s a timer set for 25 minutes and every time it goes off, I take a break for 5 minutes in the day. After about five Pomodoro sessions, I take a longer break of 30 minutes. I’ve just started this for a couple of weeks and it seems to be working really well.
Wear What You Like
I have heard quite a bit that you need to dress up formally even if you are working remotely but I disagree with that statement. You can call it a personal choice but I prefer being comfortable while am working. So, when I am working from home, I prefer being in my pajamas over anything else. I leave the formalwear to the days when I am on the go. Always remember, you chose this form of work because it gives you the liberty to work however you want. On the other hand, if you feel dressing formally makes you more productive at work, please do so. Anything that keeps your motivation high at work is perfect.
Interact with Your Colleagues
Finally, I believe a remote job will not seem like one if you regularly communicate with your colleagues. After we started our virtual coffees (yes, you heard that right! ☕️) at Gadget Flow, the team seems to be more connected and positive. We feel more like a unit and less like independent employees from different countries. Interaction plays a huge role in pumping your motivation at work and, the more you do it, the better it is for you as well as your company.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the way I prefer to handle my remote job. Please let me know how you handle yours in the comments below. Let’s make remote life more fun!