23 lessons from remote working

Written 27 March, 2018, 2 minutes to read

Remote working sounds great, but could you actually do it long-term? Most people generally know whether remote work would suit them, but some aspects can still come as a shock. To get a better idea of what full-time remote existence might look like for you, we asked the Timely to share what they've learnt about remote working.

Our top lessons from working remotely:

1. Routines are essential: when it’s time to stop, disconnect from your devices and focus on the rest of your day.

2. Wi-Fi can make or break your day. Always make sure you have a back-up plan.

3. Coffee shops are actually pretty terrible places to work. You just get distracted, uncomfortable and over-caffeinated.

4. Make an effort to go outside every day. Plan in into a routine if you need to. Get. Out. The. House.

5. Can you actually forgo daily communication? Even if you’re comfortable in your own company, you’ll still miss small social interactions.

6. If you’re one of those people who can’t rest until a job is done, and hate walking away from something half-way through, you’ll likely thrive.

7. You need discipline and a strong “work conscience”. If you don’t feel an internal pressure driving you to focus, it might not work long-term.

8. Video calls are a communication staple. Get used to seeing your own giant face in hi-res on your screen.

9. Be intentional about how you communicate and over-communicate if you need to.

10. Keep your work space separate from your personal space. If you’re working at home, try and set a specific area for work.

11. Fewer things will justify you ever leaving the house.

12. Exercise routines are great ways of ending your working day and signalling movement into downtime.

13. Make an effort to work social interaction into your day. Otherwise, you’re going to get seriously lonely.

14. Change your work scene at least once a week to work momentum and novelty into your work structure (and to avoid going mad).

15. You need to be cool with a dynamic, loose structure.

16. Only go remote in an area you’re already established in. Remote work is not the best setting for a career shift.

17. In the absence of physical presence, you’ll likely want to respond to Slack messages immediately to show reliability. If that’s really disruptive, don’t.

18. You’ll learn a lot about your own boundaries. Try different routines, timetables and workstyles to learn how you function best.

19. Working “nomadically” while you travel may actually be a super stressful, dumb idea.

20. You need to accept that some perks need to be reserved for your office-bound colleagues. It’s easy to feel disconnected, but make an effort to stay included and involved.

21. Remote work may not be as flexible as you imagined – you may still need to work certain core office hours.

22. Be ready to adapt! You’ll be using a bunch of new tools and software, navigating language barriers and time zones, and using a whole new style of communication.

23. You’re going to be more productive than you ever thought possible.

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