1. Create some routines!
It can be hard working on your own. You can make it easier if you put structure in place. Structures include things like:
- Setting up a workspace where you go every day to do your work (probably not in bed!). Go there at the same time each day and start at the same time.
- Setting daily and weekly targets. Use to-do lists for each day and tick jobs off as you get them done, that’ll keep you motivated while you have to work on your own.
- Consider making a “don’t do list”. This might include limiting social media time, logging on to Netflix or hitting daytime tv!
2. Keep talking!
- Bosses can get anxious if they can’t see you and know what you are doing. Agree on expectations around keeping in touch with your line manager – this could include regular calls or emails to let them know what you’re working on and what you’ve achieved each week.
- Keep in touch with co-workers; not only will that keep you motivated but also ensures you stay in touch with how work is going and how the organisation is doing.
- Use tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype or Zoom. They can be really helpful if you need to talk to several people at once. A basic Zoom account is free and lets you hold a group call for up to forty minutes.
3. Become familiar with technology
Use technology to share documents, work progress, information and all the other things you normally do in your job. Your employer probably has a recognised way of working such as using Microsoft Teams, the Google suite or something similar. Exploit and use those as much as you can – for example having an open document that others can contribute to helps the team to work together and helps everyone to feel involved.
4. Take a break
Be sure to take break! You have downtime and social catch-ups in the office, and this is just as important when remote working, so:
- Agree with yourself to take regular breaks between tasks. If doable and safe go outside for ten or fifteen minutes as fresh air and a walk will really restore you.
- Create a common chat time or a virtual coffee with co-workers at least once a week.
5. Know when to stop and log-off!
Remember those student days where the only endpoints were essay or project deadlines? It can be easy to keep going and not see an end to work. It might be ok, or essential, to work in the evenings or at the weekend but ensure you have some balance. Try establishing a mini routine for the end of each work period, such as looking over the tasks for tomorrow or simply tidying up your workspace.