6 Mistakes Remote Workers Make: Are You Making Them?
As a remote worker, you’re able to enjoy endless freedom and flexibility. You can work whenever and wherever you want to. While there are tons of benefits to working remotely, the transition does take some getting used to. Going in unprepared can make the switch feel like a struggle.
By knowing what to expect as a remote worker, you’re much more likely to be successful. Here are six common mistakes that remote workers make that you’ll want to avoid.
Lacking a Good Work Set Up
Working from your bedroom or a niche in your kitchen may seem wise at first, but you’re likely to quickly realize that these spaces don’t offer the optimal setup. When you lack the tools or space you need, your productivity will suffer.
Before deciding where you’ll work remotely, assess your options. At a minimum ensure that you have access to:
- A desk
- A reliable computer
- Pens and paper
- Proper lighting
By having everything you need in the same space, you’ll spend a lot less time having to run from place to place or trying to find the supplies you need to complete a task.
Even in the traditional office workplace, there are tons of distractions. Chatty coworkers, ringing phones, and never-ending emails all take you away from the tasks you need to be focused on. The fact is, working remotely has its own set of distractions.
Want to work from home? You may get interrupted by a knock at the door, the television, or that pile of laundry that you’ve been putting off all week. Working from a local coffee shop? The constant noise of people going in and out can be a huge distraction.
To minimize distractions, know your triggers and pick an environment that allows you to avoid them. If you can’t work well in noisy environments, choose to work somewhere that you have total control over the noise levels.
Not Having a Schedule
If you work from home, you may find that your office space is the same as your personal space. This can make it even harder to tear yourself away from work so that you can focus on your personal life. What’s another hour working on a task that you’ve been focused on all day?
Working from home is supposed to offer better work/life balance, but this is only possible if you have set times to work and set time to focus on personal things. This means you’ll need to create a work schedule and stick to it. Plan to wake up at the same time each day and start working at a specific time.
It’s even more important to have a set end time. You don’t want work to run into the time you should be spending prepping dinner or being with your family.
Not Tracking Their Time
Having a schedule is one thing but knowing what you’re accomplishing throughout the day is also important. In order to improve your productivity and efficiency during your work hours, consider using a time tracker app. When you track your time with an app, you can see just how much time you’re spending doing certain things throughout the day.
For example, using a time tracking app you can see how many hours go into checking email, attending remote meetings, and working on a certain task. These apps will also identify how often you’re idle throughout the day.
By tracking your time, you can identify areas of improvement while also pinpointing any gaps or bottlenecks in your processes.
Not Taking Breaks
No one can efficiently and effectively work for hours on end. The fact is, that in order to be as productive as possible, you’ll need to take breaks throughout the day. While it can be hard to peel yourself away from a hot action or a task that’s due soon, you’ll find that you work better when you give yourself breaks throughout the day.
Taking a few minutes away from the screen can allow you to refocus and to clear your mind. If you’re stumped on how to complete a task or are finding that you’re getting frustrated, take a break, get some fresh air, and come back brand new.
As a remote worker, communication is a little harder. You don’t have the ability to walk to your teammate’s desk to ask a question or to have a conversation. Because face-to-face communication is limited, it’s even more important to choose your communication method wisely.
Participate in group chat rooms and use the social tools that are made available to the team. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone or to request a teleconference meeting.
What’s important is that you don’t let the distance between you and your teammates impact your overall success.
Working remotely is a huge career change and while it does have it perks, it also has its pitfalls. If you’re new to remote work, make sure that you aren’t making any of these common mistakes.