Keys To Working Remotely

This morning’s tip is aimed at those of you who are doing some, or most of your work from home.  This may be new to you, but it’s been my life for a long time.

Here are some ideas you may find helpful:

  1. Set up a dedicated work area where have some privacy: Working at the kitchen table doesn’t work.  Sitting in bed with your laptop doesn’t work.  This is your job.  Set up a dedicated area, separate from the rest of your life
  2. Get your technology sorted: Get a reliable computer with a camera and a mic and a fast internet connection
  3. Have a family meeting, explaining rules for the new normal. Mine include: not coming to chat if my door is closed; turning down the volume of life if there’s a tie hanging on my door, which means I’m on a zoom call, or recording a course.
  4. Follow a routine: Get up at the same time.  Make your coffee, do your workout or whatever routine is normal for you, and then report to work.  Come out for a coffee break.  Then back to work.  Take lunch, then back to the office.
  5. Communicate regularly using video: If you’re the team leader, this is the most important rhythm to establish right away.  Morning huddles are key.  Everyone answers:
    • How are you checking in today out of 10?
    • What are your top 3 priorities for the day?
    • What roadblocks are you stuck on?
    • Any wins to report?

    Remote work requires contact with others.  Overcommunicate!

  6. Share your calendar with your team: That way they know you aren’t sitting around watching Friends reruns in the middle of the day (don’t do that btw.  You’ll feel terrible about yourself, and the spiral is hard to stop.  Plus, you may tire of watching immaculately dressed young people without jobs living in luxury in Manhattan.  Or is it just me?)
  7. Embrace the perks of remote work: This is awesome!  Your commute is now 24 seconds!  Traffic jams in the kitchen involve you ending up with a nice piece of peanut butter toast, and rarely include meaty-fisted men in work vans giving you the finger.  You have the flexibility to discover your ideal work rhythms.  For me that includes getting outside at some point for a walk, and trying to hop in the hot tub at least once. If we have a scheduled call and the jets come on, I apologize in advance

One of the lasting pluses of this unique time is that we’re going to discover some of the magic of remote work.  We’re now getting used to using Zoom (or Skype or Google Hangouts) and finding that they can actually be pretty efficient.  Maybe you don’t have to hop on a plane for a face-to-face every time.  Maybe your future life will include more flexibility.

Enjoy it, embrace it, and make it work for you!

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