Posted on February 15, 2019 by Webfor Working remotely or telecommunicating can either excite people or scare them. For me, it’s always been a goal of mine. At Webfor, we work remotely two days a week, which was a positive change in my professional life. However, I found out quickly that there are challenges that come with working remotely — challenges that I welcomed. To be productive while working at home or at your favorite trendy coffee shop takes a lot of self- discipline. Even though you might not have to physically go into your office, this in no way means you have the day off. I’ve had many discussions with friends and colleagues about working remotely, and I’ve found that people either hate or love working remotely — similar to their relationship with beets. If you’re like me and you love the idea of working wherever you feel like hanging out that day, it’s important to learn a few basic fundamentals. Top 5 tips on how to be productive and successful while working remotely: 1. Establish a Routine Create a schedule that works for you and your team. Be sure that you’re still available if colleagues need to get in touch throughout the day. Maintaining “working” hours that work for you and your company helps structure your routine and will help lead you to success. Prepare for your remote business day. Use task manager tools or simply write down your list to prioritize tasks and to-dos so that you’re prepared for working remotely. Once you discover or assess your tasks, stick to your plan. 2. Set Boundaries Take breaks! You need to still take lunch breaks or go for a walk while working remotely. Working from home or remotely can make it really hard for some to draw boundaries, but you still need to start and stop working at given times in order to keep your work-life balance. You don’t want to burn out. On the flip side, working remotely does not mean you suddenly have all this free time. No, you don’t have to clock in. No, you don’t have to turn your computer on at an exact time. But it’s not playtime. You’re still working. If you can’t separate fun time from working hours while working from home, remote work might not be the best fit. 3. Create a Productive Space Remember in college when they said don’t study in a place where you sleep or relax? Well, it’s the same for work. If you work in bed or on the couch you might be tempted to doze off or take an unplanned cat nap. If you don’t have a desk, go out and pick one out that you love, because you’re going to spend a lot of time with it. This is a purchase you can feel guilt-free about. (I’m giving you permission.) Set up a workstation that separates you from your everyday life, where you can get into the work zone. Even if you go to a coffee shop, you need to be prepared and have the tools you need so when you’re in your workflow, you stay in it. 4. Take Care of Yourself Self-care is important in all aspects of life, especially in the workplace, whether it’s the office, coffee shop, or at home. Don’t be afraid to take a break and get outside! Working remotely has a lot of perks. One of my personal favorites: I get to spend my breaks taking my dog for a walk. Physical exercise or fresh air not only helps with overall mood, it also helps lower stress levels and just makes you feel better. Trust me — your dog will appreciate it, too! If you aren’t feeling well, don’t be scared to take a nap during your lunch break. When you’re working remotely and not feeling well, you luckily don’t have to worry about missing work and starting a plague throughout the office. As noted on the Fentress Blog piece, “Remote Work Policies Reduce Sick Leave,” with “a well-planned sick day policy that includes allowing your employees to work from home, you can attract and retain better talent.” 5. Stay Visible Lastly but probably most importantly, as a remote employee, you need to stay visible to your clients and your team. It’s very important to stay communicative and available throughout your working day. For all the obvious reasons, most companies implement a tool to communicate proactively, regardless of where you’re working. Apart from having all your tools and resources available to you while working, keeping your phone and computer on at all times during your working hours is a must. I hope you find some value in this blog post on how to be a successful remote employee. If you’re curious about Webfor’s work perks and benefits check out our Careers and Internships page.