Working remote can sound like a dream for some, but if you’ve never done it before, it can be a challenge. Here’s how to get started if you’ve never had to work remote before so you can keep your productivity and morale high.

  1. Find a workspace. This may sound somewhat obvious, but you need to find a space that’s free of distractions, and a place you can designate just for work. You don’t want to have to constantly be moving your laundry or moving your computer so you can have lunch. This will also help motivate you, so you know when you sit at your workspace, you know it’s time to work.
  2. Make a schedule. Know your priorities for the day and when you plan to manage them. Also remember to schedule breaks. Leaving time to take a quick walk around the block can help motivate you after several hours of work.
  3. Get Dressed. You don’t have to dress like you are going to the office, but make sure you have work attire on. You’ll be far more productive if you get up, shower and get dressed to go to work.
  4. Stay Connected to Colleagues. You don’t have to be constantly plugged in, but make sure you are remembering to check your email and other inter-office communication software (like Slack, for example). It’s also important to have some non-work-related conversation with your colleagues. Make it a point to have “water cooler” talk at least once or twice a week.
  5. Use Video Chats When Possible. A good way to help keep yourself from feeling so isolated at home is to utilize video chat when you can, like Zoom. The human interaction can make a big difference in your productivity and mental health. (Tip: make sure when you video chat you look at the camera and not at the screen so people can see your eyes!)
  6. Know the End of Your Workday. A common problem when working remote is not knowing when to turn off your workday. Don’t let the urge to check your email after hours drive you crazy. If you’ve got a laptop, close it and possibly even tuck it away. You could even close your email program so you’re not hearing the constant ding of new messages.

Life will look a little different now that you’re working remote, but utilizing these tips will help you transition more smoothly to this flexible work schedule.