Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on FlexJobs.com.
If you’re new to the world of remote work, then let us be the first to say welcome!
It’s hard to understate the excitement you’re likely feeling as you launch this new phase in your career.
But even as you revel in the freedom that working remotely affords you, it’s essential to set yourself up for remote work success from the start.
We’ve put together a list of best practices for new remote workers.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you hit the ground running and stay productive — and happy — in your new home office.
1. Establish a Morning Routine
One of the best things about working remotely is that you don’t have to commute, and if you’re not on a video call, you won’t necessarily have to do anything but roll out of bed and head down the hall.
And while that freedom is great, it can also be a double-edged sword if you’re not careful.
Without a set work routine, it’s too easy to let your work life bleed into your personal life — and vice versa. That’s why it’s crucial to establish some boundaries from the get-go.
Try to wake up and follow a morning routine each day similar to the one you had when traveling to work, even if you don’t have any specific commitments.
You’d be amazed at how much getting ready for the day can help get and keep you in a healthy mindset.
2. Create a Dedicated Workspace
When you’re used to going into an office every day, it can be tempting to plop down on the couch with your laptop when you start working remotely.
But that’s a recipe for less focus and more muscle aches and pains.
It’s vital that you create a dedicated workspace in your home, even if it’s just a tiny corner of your living room or bedroom. Doing so will help your mind transition to work mode when you sit down at your desk.
And just as importantly, it’ll help you transition out of work mode when you step away at the end of your workday.
If you can, try to find a space that’s quiet and free from distractions.
And make sure to deck it out with everything you need to be ergonomically productive, including a comfortable chair, a desk lamp, and adjusting your screens and keyboards to the right height.
3. Be Intentional About Staying Connected
It’s easy to feel like you’re out of the loop regarding what’s going on with the world in general, but it’s especially true when this is your first foray into remote work.
However, there are a ton of great tools and technologies can help you stay connected, no matter where you are.
One of the best things you can do is ensure you have a strong and reliable internet connection. That way, you can participate in video calls and webinars and stay up to date on the latest news and information.
And while plenty of great chat platforms and social media groups can help you feel connected to others, don’t underestimate the need for in-person connections.
Instead of waiting until you feel isolated, make it a goal to plan for a coffee or a chat with someone.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
You will get distracted. It’s one of the most dismaying aspects of remote work. No matter how disciplined and focused you are, your home is eagerly waiting to steal your attention.
Use technology to help you create a productive routine, make lists, create a calendar, and block distracting apps. Research and find the best tools and applications for your needs before you start working remotely.
Check out our list of best apps to help you stay focused to help you get started.
Regardless of what tools you settle on, ensure that you intentionally block off work time and schedule other time for your laundry, to play with the dog, to binge-watch the last episode of your favorite show, or to catch up on your cousin’s latest social media posts.
5. Make Time for Wellness
Transitioning to remote work can be tough on your mental and physical health if you’re not mindful.
Schedule some time each day for exercise, relaxation, and socializing. And don’t forget to take occasional mental health days when you need them.
Continue to pack a healthy lunch so you don’t give in to the urge to snack, and remember to get out of the house often, if not daily.
Fresh air can work wonders for your health, even if you just take your laptop out to the back porch for a little while.
6. Maintain Your Career Growth
Just because you’ll be working remotely doesn’t mean your career has to take a backseat. In fact, there are plenty of great ways to continue growing and developing in your role, even if you’re not in the office every day.
One of the best things you can do is to stay up to date on the latest industry news and information. That way, you can have meaningful conversations with your colleagues and superiors, and you’ll be better equipped to handle any challenges that come your way.
In addition, plenty of excellent online courses and resources can help you develop new skills and knowledge.
And don’t forget to set aside time each week to network with others in your field, even if it’s just via LinkedIn or social media, rather than in-person events.
7. Get Dressed for the Day
It might sound silly, but one of the best things you can do for yourself when working remotely is to get dressed in real clothes for the day — even if you’re going to be sitting in your living room all day.
While you don’t need to put on a full suit, you should put on something that makes you feel comfortable but confident and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
And that way, you won’t feel overly embarrassed if there are any surprise Zoom meetings.
8. Schedule and Take Breaks
In the excitement of a new role, it can be easy to pour yourself into your job without thought for balance. But just because you’ll be working from home doesn’t mean you should be chained to your desk all day long.
It’s essential to take breaks throughout the day so you can recharge and come back fresh and more productive.
Step away from your computer every few hours and walk around the block, or make yourself a healthy snack. If you find yourself getting antsy, try doing some light stretching or yoga to release tension.
9. Set Boundaries With Friends and Family
Recognize before you begin that your loved ones may see you at home and forget that you’re working.
While it can be challenging, you owe it to yourself and your employer to establish firm boundaries from the onset and establish work-from-home rules.
Let your loved ones know you’re working and need to focus during a prescribed set of hours. Consider a “Do Not Disturb” sign or posted working hours to offer a visual reminder of your needs.
And if you have young children at home, set up a system so they know when they can ask you a question and when you shouldn’t be disturbed.
10. Enjoy the Perks
You chose to move to remote work for a reason, whether it’s because you wanted to use your commute time to work out instead of sitting in traffic, or because you dreamed of being more present for aging parents or growing children.
Whatever your reasons are, ensure that you’re making an effort to enjoy the perks of working from home, rather than letting work overwhelm your day.
Working remotely isn’t without its challenges, but to enjoy the full benefits and find enjoyment in your new role, be intentional about pursuing the benefits that drew you to remote work in the first place.
List your reasons and intentions, then schedule check-ins to ensure you’re fulfilling your promise to yourself.
Successfully Transitioning to Remote Work
These 10 tips will get you off to a successful start as a new remote worker. Just remember to be patient with yourself as you adjust to this new way of working and take things one day at a time.
Soon enough, you’ll be a pro at working from home!
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