We are not the Onion and we are not an official satire blog… BUT this is all tongue and cheek 😛 with some real talk advice and suggestions thrown in. Needed to get that out of the way before the bored at home internet trolls blew up the inbox.
Working remotely is no joke and is not for the faint of heart. Your resolve and tenacity will be tested in the best of times. You will be brought to the brink of despair in the worst of times. Take solace in knowing that millions of your fellow humans are riding in the very same boat. Now, let’s cover ten ways you can work remotely shall we?
1. In your pajamas
Working in your pajamas can totally be a thing. Especially if you don’t have any video calls or important meetings. I’d find important meetings by what is being discussed in the meeting. If you are having a meeting where you are negotiating contract terms oh, it’s a sales call or a call that is really important to you, then I highly recommend getting dressed all the way to shoes.
I noticed that when I get completely dressed I have a different approach to my work and a different sound when I talk. This is not a coincidence and I’m sure there are lots of empirical data to back that up. You won’t find any of that here.
2. Coffee and food-stained shirt that is 10 days old
You know cuz we are on day “who knows” of lockdown. I mean does the state of your shirt even matter? On Zoom you only see from the shoulders up, right? I totally get it, I feel the same way. I can tell you that my attitude gets drastically better after I have showered and changed my shirt. The shirt may still be black, but it’s a clean one (most of the time).
3. Losing your cool every 5 minutes
TYPING IN ALL CAPS won’t make the stupid go away and constantly refreshing your Facebook feed is not a good way to spend your morning. I wouldn’t know anything about refreshing my feed every 5 Seconds to see if something new has happened.
With all of the news and stressors that are happening in your life right now, it is totally understandable to lose your cool periodically. I can tell you though that losing your cool every 5 minutes is not going to help you be productive or efficient. It also won’t endear you to your clients, colleagues, customers, or loved ones.
4. With a buddy
This is one of my favorite ways to work remotely. Working with a buddy means that you have a co-working partner that kind of acts like the person on the other side of your cubicle. When I work with somebody I like to be on video with them using a video conferencing service like Zoom. There are a multitude of other options for video calling and coworking virtually if you are not into using Zoom.
Working with a buddy means that you have a built-in sounding board. When I choose a co-working buddy I often work with people who will challenge me and I can offer insights into what I’m working on. In return, I know that I’m able to offer insights for them and challenge them if that’s what they need.
5. All by your lonesome
Real talk? Working by yourself is sometimes totally necessary. I sometimes need to work alone and don’t always want to have a buddy. This is usually true when I need to do website work, write something really hard, or do in-depth research and data analysis.
6. With intention
Working with intention. what the heck am I even talking about? Isn’t everything we do intentional? When I use the phrase “working with intention”, I’m talking about doing the things that need to be done and will make the difference in your job, business, and career. Sending out one more tweet will not be the difference between your failure and success. not sending out that proposal is more important than tweeting one more time on your social page.
If you are a remote worker with a job and an employer, recognize that being efficient and intentional in your work may mean that you work fewer hours than you normally would. And that is perfectly normal. Be prepared for a total of 4 hours worked at home that you would have spent 8 hours in the office to achieve.
Would not recommend. Seriously. I’ve worked this way before and it does not work out very well. I meeeaannnn you could be aimlessly wandering around trying to get things done, but when quitting day comes around, you will wonder what happened to your day. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that, more than once. You would think I would have learned the first time.
I also would not recommend wandering aimlessly around the house while trying to decide what to do. While this does add to your number of steps each day, it usually leaves me feeling like a chicken with its head cut off or when I imagine they might feel like if they weren’t dead.
8. With laser focus and maximum efficiency
While this is my favorite way to work, it isn’t exactly sustainable. Working this way for too long leads to exhaustion, burnout, and an overall sense of failure. For me, this mostly occurs because I have worked too many days in a row like this. But I have found to be most effective is to work with laser focus and maximum efficiency in sprints and short bursts. with brakes and Times of quiet for creative thinking and pondering. This seems to be the best blend and leads to much more efficient work time for me. But if you want to run a marathon all week long, go for it.
9. With all the snacks
Ugggghhhh food and snacks. We need sustenance to keep going throughout the day. But taking the time to eat means you’re not working. I totally get it. One of the things I struggled with early in my remote working career was eating. Sometimes I didn’t eat at all. I would look up at 2pm (after waking up at 5:30am) and realizing I hadn’t eaten all day. Other times it meant that I ate all day long and ate more than I needed for the day.
The back and forth did a number on my health and did absolutely nothing to improve my relationship with food. Snacking responsibly is key to maintaining whatever type of figure you love. Managing a healthy schedule to include carefully selected snacks has made all the difference in my ability to work at my best.
10. Do it outside
This might be my favorite thing to do. My remote setup at home is engineered so I can go outside and work if I want (or need) to. If at all possible I highly recommend you make it so at your home as well. Getting outside can help you clear your mind, stimulate your senses and help you focus on a specific task. I especially enjoy writing or brainstorming with good old fashioned pen and paper.
Doing these activities outside means I don’t have the distraction of computer notifications or my phone buzzing. Also, I get to wiggle my toes in the grass anytime I want as long as it’s not snowing,or raining or hailing (I’m looking at you Western PA). You know what I mean.
That’s all for this list…
Well there you have it, 10 ways you can work remotely. If this is your first time, don’t be scared. It will get easier and also harder, but mostly easier. Good luck!