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Working Remotely: 4 Tips for Making It Work for You

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Have you ever noticed how people tend to have a love-hate relationship with working remotely? There are many ‘pros’ to working on your own, but the list of ‘cons’ is also significant. The good news is that there are ways to make working remotely work well for you.

4 Tips to Make Working Remotely Work for You

Being your own boss can be amazing. You get to set your own hours and take orders from no one but yourself. But, it can also be lonely and under-stimulating. Here are a few ways to make working remotely more fun and productive and less isolating:

1. Have a set schedule – Freelancers or those who work for an employer from a home-based office often do not have set office hours. It’s nice to have the option of working odd hours, but it can be disorienting. Set yourself up for success by establishing office hours, just as you would have with a “real” job. Maybe your ideal working windows is 7-3. Or, perhaps you work best from 11-7. Also, limit checking and responding to work-related communications outside of your scheduled hours. This is a great way to set boundaries and prevent burnout.

2. Dress for success – Staying in your pajamas as long as you want is one of the perks of working remotely. However, this blessing can also be a curse since it sets an unprofessional standard. “Maintaining a professional look is useful not only for your own morale, but if you are scheduled for a Skype meeting with team members, for example, dressing professionally sends a visual message that you are working. It (also) elevates your productivity,” stated How to Be Successful at Working Remotely. Try dressing up for work everyday for a week to see if it increases your productivity and outlook.

3. Do away with distractions – Distractions can easily consume a remote worker’s time. Taking a minute to check Facebook easily turns into a 30-minute detour from your task at hand. The same goes for checking Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and email. If you have trouble limiting your time on social media, log out of all your accounts before you begin your workday. “Forcing yourself to manually type in your username and password will give you a spilt second to ask yourself: ‘Do I really want to be looking at my mini-feed or Twitter stream right now?’ The same applies to Gmail or Facebook chat features. Stay invisible or offline until you’re sure you have time to chat with people—or risk the constant dings of conversation taking you off track,” wrote Molly Beck, contributor to The Muse.

4. Work around people – Do you work solely from your laptop? If so, you have the freedom to work from any location that offers wifi. Being alone all day can be depressing, so try working from Starbucks for a couple of hours after you’ve picked up your morning coffee. A public library is another good place to work that allows you to be in the presence of others while getting your tasks done.

Do you work remotely? If so, you probably have some helpful tips to share. What makes working remotely work for you?

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