What makes a person successful in their career? The better question to probably ask would be “how do you measure success?”. Do you tend to set smaller goals for yourself to measure achievement, or perhaps a feeling of “success” is simply completing a great, productive, and fulfilling day of work?
When it comes to remote working, it can be quite important to measure your successes, and also to take steps to build productive habits that will enable you to work to your best ability. There are many factors that can lead to success in remote working, and often this starts by putting yourself in a great work environment and building a solid routine.
If you’re wondering about some ways in which you can enhance your productivity and output when working from home, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’re going to share our top 5 remote working success habits that you need to build in 2021. These habits will help keep you in a productive frame of mind, enabling you to contribute to your best ability in your job or internship, while also keeping yourself and your colleagues supported.
1. Put yourself in a professional environment
When working from home, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of being “too comfortable”. Sure, it can be really nice to lounge around in sweats during the workday or work outside next to the pool on a beautiful day. While these types of things can be enjoyed from time to time, it’s not always advisable to make them part of your “work from home normal.”
Many professionals who work from home advise that it is best to keep yourself in a professional environment and act & dress as if you were still going into your office each day. Be prepared for video calls, which can mean sporting a business casual (or more formal if required by your company) attire even though you’re working from home. Along with looking professional for video calls, wearing a normal business outfit can help you feel more in the “work mindset” rather than in the “relaxing mindset”.
Of course, everyone is different in what makes them look and feel their best, but if you’re struggling to stay focused and in the “work frame of mind”, try dressing as if you were commuting into your work or internship each day – even though you’ll only be commuting from your bed to the computer!
2. Master the art of keeping a schedule
If you’re not utilizing a scheduling app like Google Calendar, or keeping a written schedule/diary in 2021, you’re really making your life a lot harder than it needs to be!
Seriously, any professional you talk to will probably rave about how much of a lifesaver their calendar has proven to be! What better way is there to keep all of your events, appointments, deadlines, calls, and so much else all organized and easily displayed? The beauty of working with a calendar, whether through an app or on paper, is that you can personalize it to suit your own unique style and needs! You can also enable alerts to keep you informed of meetings that will be starting soon.
One of the keys to being successful in any job or internship is the ability to manage your time and prioritize tasks. This means staying on top of important project deadlines in the short and long term, and also not forgetting about a big global company call that is coming up soon! We recommend getting started with a simple Calendar app like Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar and start setting up your schedule in a way that will enable you to be your best before, during, and after your workday!
3. Take a break
Yes, you still need to take a break even when you’re working from home! In fact, there is loads of research that shows that taking regular breaks can make us more productive by allowing our brain a bit of a reset!
Sometimes, if you’re very bogged down by work, you can feel like you have so much work you don’t even know where to begin. Take 5 minutes to get away from the work – get up, and physically walk away or go into another room to clear your head for a minute. You can perhaps take a quick stroll or journey around the block to get a few minutes of fresh air before returning to your work. Even just a few minutes of this may have an enormous effect, so try it!
There are also those who recommend taking several shorter breaks during the day, such as taking a 10-minute break every two hours, rather than one long break for lunch. After all, how much work are you actually getting done during your fifth hour of working on that large project? Figure out what works best for you and what allows you to feel sharp and allow a bit of a recharge so you can perform your best!
Remember, don’t neglect the importance of breaks – and any break is better than no break!
4. Be the connector
Working remotely can run the risk of feeling isolated, disconnected, and can lack a critical part of socializing that we humans desperately need. Therefore, organizations and individuals alike need to put extra emphasis on “connecting” their teams to drive away from this isolation. Team happy hours, global Zoom calls, trivia nights, and other “virtual” events are some great examples of being able to connect in virtual work and supplement important socializing.
As an employee or intern, don’t negate the impact you can have on your colleagues by striving to be a “connector”. Sometimes, we all need someone to check in on us, ask how our day is going, and even connect for a short 15-minute call. It’s a great habit to reach out to your teammates often to just say hello, and this type of effort can go quite a long way in helping people feel connected. If there are people on your team or in your department who you haven’t heard from in awhile, take the proactive step and reach out to them! You might end up making their day!
Remember, each of us should strive to be the “connector”, as this can mean a huge boost in team morale, and as a result, team productivity.
5. Know when to turn off
It’s never a good thing to be working all day, every day. Even the most successful workaholics who easily clock in 80-hour weeks like it’s nothing need a break, and need to listen to their bodies and their mental health. While remote work does allow increased flexibility, some remote workers have claimed increase stress, and that they’re actually working more than they would if they were back in the office. How could this possibly be the case? Well, the answer should be obvious…not knowing when to “turn off”.
When you work from your bedroom, home office, or kitchen table even, your home (which is typically your space for leisure and family) now becomes a space for work as well. This can be a hard line to walk, and remote employees and interns can sometimes struggle with keeping work and life balanced.
Working too much can lead to exhaustion and resentment, and it is something you should try to take active steps to avoid. If you’re having trouble knowing when to “call it a day” and be done with work-related tasks, try setting yourself a strict schedule. Perhaps you say “after 7 pm I will not take any work-related calls or emails until the next day”…maybe your time frame is a bit earlier or later, and of course, you should find what works for you.
Again, the overall theme is that work burnout is a very real risk in any career field, and as an employee, intern, or manager, you need to know when it’s time to turn off.
Ready to step into your own professional work experience? Want to put some of the above advice into practice through a remote internship? Check out our great program offerings for summer 2021 remote internships today!