How to Make “Working Remotely” Work for You

 

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During this season of holiday celebrations and unpredictable weather, circumstances arise where you can’t make it into the office. Whether you’re snowed in, spending time with loved ones, or trying to keep that cold from spreading, the “cloud” has made it possible to work outside the parameters of a physical office. However, it can be tricky to maintain the same level of productivity and collaboration you achieve at your desk when surrounded by your colleagues.

How can you make sure working remotely… works? Don’t fret! Here are some tried and true practices and tools we use on the Farm that will help you continue to excel, even when you’re out of the office. 

Routine & Workspace:

First things first, find a place where you can focus. If only we each had a home office filled with mahogany and leather bound books to hunker down in! It’s easy (and extremely tempting) to use your bed or another comfy haven as your workplace for the day. But from there it’s a slippery slope to browsing online and watching Ellen like you normally do in places of leisure. Instead of rolling out of bed in your PJs, abide by your normal daily routine to energize your morning! Then set yourself up in a coffee shop or at your kitchen table – somewhere that encourages productivity, not lethargy. 

Setting Expectations: 

Cultivate a sense of accountability even when it’s just me, myself, and I. Identify goals, deadlines, and quantifiable measurements for yourself (and your team) each workday. Don’t fall victim to the “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. Setting expectations and working towards accomplishing them will give you a sense of purpose rather than piddling around seeing what you can get done. 

On-the-Go Toolkit: 

Now that you’ve gotten settled and have a plan of action, here are some invaluable tools to help you stay on top of things while on the go: 

Buffer

Buffer is a fantastic tool for simultaneously managing all your social media accounts, no matter where you are. Create and schedule your social media posts in advance to make sure they’ll publish at the right time.

World Time Buddy

We’re so busy here on the Farm, it’s hard to remember where everyone is half the time! With World Time Buddy, you can type in specific places and time zones to see what time it is for your colleagues and clients who may not be in the same city as you.

Google Hangouts

Think of Google Hangouts as your own virtual office. You can send files, chat, and even start voice and video calls right from your computer or mobile device. Stay connected without leaving home!

Toggl

With Toggl, you’re able to see how long a specific project takes you or if that 5 minute break accidentally turned into a 25 minute one. Breakdown how you spend your workday and use that information to keep yourself on track. 

Dropbox

Upload and edit documents in real time, then share those with your clients and colleagues on any device. Collaborating outside of the office can be difficult but Dropbox makes it easy to work together from anywhere.

Best Practices: 

You know what makes you tick. Do you work best after two shots of espresso? Listening to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” on repeat? In sub-zero temperatures? Working remotely allows you to indulge all of those motivational tools that might seem unorthodox if you were on site.

Use these tips to be your most productive self while working out of office.  Keep it up and you’ll be employee of the month (of your main AND remote office)!