Five Remote Working Pro Tips That Will Set You Up for Success
How to avoid burnout and develop connections while working remotely
Working from home (even part-time) comes with many benefits. Your commute is much, much shorter, you get to spend more time with your pets, and you’re always there when packages arrive.
On the flip side, feeling burned out or disconnected from your teammates are also challenges that come with remote work. Follow the tips below from The Dashlane Guide to Hybrid Work to avoid these pitfalls and set yourself up for success.
1. Get your workspace ready
When working from home, it’s tempting to use your computer while lying in bed or slouched on the couch. But using a designated, ergonomic workspace each day keeps the backaches away. Create a comfortable sitting or standing workspace at a desk or counter. Find a supportive chair (or standing desk) and raise your monitor to eye level. For extra credit, up your audio quality with a headset or upgrade to a larger monitor.
2. Make a tech support plan
A reliable internet connection is a must for remote work. We know this, but it’s something we often forget until that lag kicks in—right in the middle of a meeting. So don’t just think about having a good internet connection. Think about your readiness to deal with any challenges.
- Tech support: Do you know how to contact your IT department if there’s a problem?
- Reboot: Shut down and restart your computer at least weekly to prevent it from freezing or crashing.
- Speed test: Practice doing a speed test to check your internet connectivity so you can predict issues before a meeting or important deadline.
3. Create work rituals
When you work at the office, you usually benefit from a structure or sequence to the day. For example, you may get up, get dressed, commute, get coffee, and arrive at your office desk. This initiation sequence gets your brain ready to focus. You’ll benefit from creating your own initiation sequences at home, too.
- Start-up ritual: Get focused by following the same two to five steps every morning. For example, sit down in the same spot > stretch your neck to the left and right > take five minutes to review your calendar and plan out your day > say hi to your team over Slack > and begin.
- Wrap-up ritual: Use an alarm when it’s time to end your workday. This practice is important since you can quickly burn yourself out with overwork when there are no boundaries. Your wrap-up ritual can become the bookend for your day. For example, switch your status to offline > say goodbye to your team > and step away from your desk.
4. Self-manage your workflow
Burnout can be a challenge for people working remotely. Many toggle between worrying they aren’t doing enough and overworking. Avoid this seesaw effect by talking to your manager and team about how you’re feeling and focusing on your goals. Here are some ways to optimize your work:
- Prioritize: There are a lot of prioritizing strategies, so experiment with what works best for you. You could review your outstanding items, communications, and goals at the beginning or end of the workday. Or you could identify one to three of the most important things you can accomplish during that day and focus on getting those done first.
- Promote flow: Psychological flow is the positive mental state of being completely absorbed, focused, and involved in what you’re doing. Talk to your team about what you can do to optimize your personal and team schedules, and support your teammates in creating time for flow.
5. Build intentional relationships
A big risk with working remotely is the sense of disconnection and isolation that you may feel from your team or that they may feel from you. The human brain is wired to monitor in-group/out-group dynamics, and working remotely can trigger the feeling of exclusion on both sides.
The solution? Find your own way to form relationships in a broader network at work. That doesn’t mean you have to go to every social gathering, but you should seek out opportunities for socializing with your team. That might be going to an in-person gathering or scheduling regular virtual chats. And if your preferred way to connect isn’t available, volunteer to make it happen!