We don't usually start our blog posts with a potentially boring statistic, but this one is kind of crazy and definitely not boring: recent statistics on remote workers reveal that more than 4.7 million people work remotely at least half the time in the United States (mind = blown)! This number has absolutely skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. In particular, many marketing & branding-focused jobs are now remote.
Not only is it safer for people to work from home these days, but most people find they are more productive at home rather than being in the office. It's the new norm to say the least. Starting a new job can be stressful enough on its own; knowing how to manage your workday from home is crucial in order to succeed in your new role. Let's dive deeper!
Create Your Happy Space
Having a designated area that you use only when working from home is super important. It could be a separate office room, or part of your living room that you’ve turned into a professional and organized space. Many people initially try setting up a work space in their bedroom, but this sometimes associates working with resting, which you’ll want to avoid if possible. No snoozing on the job, people!
Also, make sure you have a simple and distraction-free space behind your work area, and ensure that there are not too many windows behind you, as this can make you look like a creepy shadow during virtual meetings. If you’re in an area of the house where you’re tempted to watch TV while working, try turning on some white noise or relaxing music instead. There’s always time for Netflix once you’re off the clock!
Making your work space inviting and aesthetically pleasing will help you look forward to your workday more. Add some plants to your desk or an end table, hang up an inspirational quote that speaks to you, or plug in some aromatherapy to stimulate your senses and make for a relaxing vibe throughout the day. Remember, working remotely gives you the potential of taking control over the way you experience work (which most likely takes up a decent amount of your day), so you might as well make it gratifying and appealing!
Time Management & Workday Structure
It’s all about time management and staying focused when working remotely. If you’re just starting a remote position, you might want to consider scheduling regular breaks, making sure you don’t work intensely for more than 90 minutes at a time. Just taking two-minute “microbreaks” has been shown to improve cognitive performance. You’re less likely to get burned out by working this way. Giving yourself (and your brain) a few minutes to breathe can be incredibly beneficial for your mental and emotional wellbeing - and your work performance!
Additionally, many companies have moved away from micromanaging their remote employees (hallelujah), so it’s important to create your own work schedule if your employer does not provide you with one. Set aside time each morning to check your email, respond to anything urgent, and plan out the rest of the day’s priorities (whether it’s hour-by-hour or task-by-task). Keeping up with all of your responsibilities in a structured way will not only set you up for success, but you’ll end each workday feeling rewarded and confident – all from the comfort of your home!
Communication is Key
It’s nearly impossible to over-communicate with your coworkers and supervisor(s) while working from home. Since you don’t have the opportunity to collaborate in person, you’ll need to find other ways to stay in touch effectively and clearly. Some great ways to do this include:
One-on-ones and routine check-ins
Team meetings/video conferencing
Slack or Microsoft Teams messaging
Project management software
Don’t forget to ask your coworkers what their communication preferences are, as they may be different from yours. Some people prefer to receive an instant message via Slack or Teams rather than having to reply through an email, while others would rather collaborate through a video meeting. No matter what the preferred method is, frequent communication will undoubtedly help everyone stay on the same page and build better connections and trusted relationships across the team.
Working from home requires self-discipline, time management, and strong communication skills. It can take a few weeks to get into the swing of things when starting a new remote job, but you’ll soon experience the rewards that come along with it. While some people might start to return to work full-time or in a more hybrid capacity at some point, the trend towards remote work is here to stay. 24% of professional jobs are still available as fully remote, so find the one that’s right for you and start reaping the benefits of remote work!