If you have been living in the world for the past two years or so, then you know about the notable shift in employment. At first, life went on as usual. Next, people were required to stay home and work from their personal space. Later, it became the norm for many to continue working remotely. And now, the options for where you can work are seemingly unlimited. This is especially true if you are a dedicated remote worker. Continue reading to learn some useful tips to increase productivity, comfort, and efficiency in your work-from-wherever lifestyle.
Ensure Communications Are Available
As a remote worker, you need connectivity. You require the ability to connect to communicate with your employer, family, and friends. However, being remote does not mean being cut off from the world. In fact, as a remote worker, you have some viable options to maintain clear lines of communication to ensure calls are connected without static or disruption.
The easiest way to make calls when you are on the go or in a remote location is with WiFi Calling. WiFi Calling allows you to make and receive voice phone calls and send and receive text messages – no matter where you are. You can take some time off of your work day to go sightseeing from your tropical work location and make a WiFi Call from the inside of a cave while exploring. The options are endless, and the freedoms you are afforded from reliable connectivity are invaluable.
Before beginning a trip to a far-flung location for leisure and remote work, assess your smartphone. Determine if it needs a new screen protector or case for protection. Next, decide whether you want to continue or purchase a monthly insurance policy on it in case of a mishap. (Always read the fine print before agreeing to or changing any policy documents.) If you think your phone is near the end of its functional life, consider replacing it before embarking on your travels. Having a reliable phone is essential for keeping the lines of communication open.
Set Clear Expectations and Boundaries for Your Time
Setting boundaries and expectations go beyond the confines of your employment agreement. You need to be clear in your intentions with your family, friends, and employer. When all parties, whether personal or professional, know what to expect, it is easier to navigate the nuances of remote work.
As you probably already know, it is all too easy to blur the lines between work and everything else. The pandemic made the idea of working from home the norm for a while. With little else to do for many, it became easier to work at any and all hours of the day or night. As life moves back to the “new normal” you must determine your boundaries to maintain a balance between the different parts of your life.
If your boss begins to encroach upon your personal time by communicating with you outside of the agreed-upon business hours, begin by setting an automatic out-of-office reply on any communications applications your company uses. This shows them something in writing that is concrete.
Creating a professional voicemail listing your hours of availability can help, too. Your next step will be to talk with your employer and discuss the expected hours that you were given when you were hired. From there, if you need to, you can negotiate an agreeable arrangement for when you will and when you will not be available. Feel free to ask your boss what their availability is to drive the point home.
Set Physical Boundaries Wherever You Are
Working from home while your roommates or family are present can seem lovely – like the best of both worlds. If you have been working remotely while living with others, you know that the situation can be fraught with frustrations. Since you are at home, others will try to encroach on your space without meaning to.
Regardless of whether you only have space to work at your kitchen table or if you are lucky enough to have a dedicated office, you still require peace and quiet to get your work done. Closing a door and setting “office hours” is ideal for working from home. Let your housemates know when you will be available to talk or answer questions and post that time on the door.
Working from the family dinner table requires a bit more finesse. Start by talking with everyone about your required unseen boundaries. Since you will likely be sitting right in the mix of things, select an object to place on the table that signifies you are “unavailable.” A simple sign or placard reading “Working” will make your intentions clear, as well.
Watch this video for ideas on how to help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Reduce Distractions While Working
When you have the luxury of working from anywhere, it is important to reduce and remove distractions when possible. If you can maintain productivity while sitting at a piazza and eating gelato in Italy, enjoy!
Should that prove frustrating and pull you in too many directions so that you cannot appreciate the beauty of the moment or accomplish any work, find a quiet place to sit for a while. Your hotel room may be the best place to work remotely. Close the windows and blinds to reduce ambient sounds and harsh light from entering the room. Sit at a desk instead of on the bed to give you a sense of being at work.
And, allow yourself breaks to enjoy the locale. If you choose to break up the work day with a fun distraction, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to return to work. It can be too easy to stay outside and engage in vacation activities instead of maintaining focus on your work.
Working remotely is a gift when you treat it as such. Finding that ideal sweet spot where a work-life balance exists can be difficult, but it is not impossible. Utilize options to make communications easier. Set clear lines of demarcation between work and play. Then, go out and enjoy!
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