Working from house is a present, proper up till the cat throws up in your pc. And your neighbor, who you’ll be able to solely assume is constructing a time machine, begins firing up all kinds of energy instruments. In these moments, distant work life feels extra like a punishment than a miracle.
Distant work poses completely different dangers and advantages. Plus, the recognition of this working fashion has solely grown.
In truth, after I started working remotely as a digital nomad in 2017, there was nonetheless skilled pushback, skepticism, and a common dismissive perspective towards distant work. Since then, I’ve been remotely working overseas, and I’ve even printed a e book on the subject.
For me and plenty of others, distant work isn’t a development; this way of life is a long-term alternative that enables us to get precisely what we would like out of our careers. Chances are you’ll want some assist greasing the wheels, however I’m decided that can assist you really feel the identical out of your distant work way of life.
Not everybody transitions into distant work easily, and that’s okay. Let’s discover the distant work developments, ideas, and strategies that may allow you to get essentially the most out of your distant work.
Desk of Contents
What Distant Work Seems to be Like Right this moment [Data]
Working remotely can take many alternative varieties, however what does it seem like for the “regular” distant employee?
From the place distant employees work to how they’re getting dressed and the way they work together with their crew members, let’s see what the statistics say about distant employees as we speak.
- Of full-time staff surveyed in 2023, 12.7% are 100% distant (WFH Research).
- Of full-time employees surveyed in 2023, 28% are in a hybrid remote work arrangement (WFH Research).
- The number of reported days per week that employers allow their employees to work remotely peaked in 2022 and has declined in 2023 (WFH Research).
- By 2024, the hybrid work model is expected to rise to 81% (AT&T).
- Of remote workers surveyed, 98% would recommend remote work to others (Buffer).
- Remote workers love the flexibility more than anything, with 22% of surveyed workers saying the flexibility in how they spend their time being the greatest benefit (Buffer).
And what does the data say about marketers who work remotely? These statistics are from HubSpot’s Marketing Work Culture Survey:
- Of marketers surveyed, 31% work remotely.
- Of marketers surveyed, 37% are hybrid employees, sometimes working remotely and sometimes working in the office.
- Of marketers surveyed, 41% said that their company hosted virtual team-bonding activities in the past year, such as parties, celebrations, or games.
- When asked about getting dressed for work, 13% of surveyed marketers said they wear an appropriate top for Zoom calls and remain in sweatpants since they’re off-screen in video calls.
- Since the pandemic, 27% of surveyed marketers said that they feel more overworked, primarily due to heightened work responsibilities.
- When asked about what led to conditions of overworking, 9% of surveyed marketers said that hybrid or remote work contributed because it made some team tasks more difficult.
What is remote work?
Remote work is the act of doing your job in a separate location from your colleagues. Working remotely can also be referred to as telecommuting, working from home, working from anywhere, or location-independent work.
Remote working encompasses people who work from home and also digital nomads who work from Airbnbs or hotels around the world.
Some workers choose remote work to help meet their physical needs, mental health needs, or family demands. Other remote workers make this choice to increase freedom and flexibility.
Types of Remote Work
Today, remote workers all over the world will open their laptops in radically different work environments.
Some will do so from a home office, a hotel room, and an airplane 30,000 feet above the middle of nowhere. The remote environment can take almost any form.
When we look closely at the different types of remote work, two primary categories arise: working from home and working from anywhere.
Work From Home
Remote work is most commonly done from home. Remote workers who tune into work from home may do so from their beds, kitchen tables, or tailored home offices. The process can be as minimalistic or customized as you can imagine.
This type of work melds your personal space together with your workspace, making a healthy work-life balance difficult to achieve. Remote workers have to set ground rules to avoid both overworking and underworking.
There are many benefits to working from home, but it also has unique challenges. People who work from home have to remain productive yet still make time for regular breaks and time away from the computer screen.
The average worker invests a lot of time and thought into developing their most productive work zone and refining their work style. We’ll discuss common tips and best practices for working from home in a moment.
Work From Anywhere
Remote workers who work from anywhere have to manage their work-life balance the same as everyone else, but they do so while working from oftentimes exotic locations.
Work from anywhere workers may tune into work from their kitchen table, cafes, coworking spaces, local libraries, or Airbnbs across the world.
Remote workers who combine work with travel are called digital nomads, and they can be found working today all over the world.
I became a digital nomad in 2017, and at first, I was drawn into the lifestyle for the opportunity to travel.
I’ve had the privilege of traveling to dozens of countries and am currently traveling full-time with my husband, but something bigger than just travel motivates me to maintain a remote work life: the increased freedom in every area of my life.
“The conversation is much richer, much deeper, and more nuanced than just traveling,” said Mitko Karshovski, founder of the remote work newsletter Remote Insider. “Flexibility is the true underlying theme.”
How to Work From Home
1. Talk to your employer.
Interested in working remotely but aren’t there yet? If you like your current job and don’t want to change it, the obvious step is to find a way to pivot the position.
One of the tips for doing this is folding the possibility of going remote into your next promotion cycle. Talk to your boss often about your intention to pivot.
And, if you’re not sure your employer will agree to working completely remotely, talk about the option of working remotely one or two days a week. When you use the work-from-home tips below, and your boss sees how productive you are, they could allow you more days to work from home.
2. Join a remote-friendly company.
If your work can be done remotely, but your current boss or organization doesn’t allow you to work from home, you might need to get a new job.
When looking for a work-from-home job, you can use the same methods you used in finding your regular office job. This includes channels like job sites, local job ads, and social media platforms.
Job sites that list work-from-home ads include:
Some remote-friendly firms include:
Check out these firms to see whether you meet the requirements to start working remotely for them.
3. Start a career as a freelancer.
If your current job isn’t remote work-friendly, you can go remote by starting your own business as a freelancer or a consultant. Depending on the nature of your current job, you may start your own freelance business while still being employed.
The benefit of starting your freelance business while still employed is that it reduces the financial strain experienced by any new business.
4. Start a home business.
Starting a home business is one way to enjoy remote work.
Unlike other fields, certifications and education are not usually prerequisites. Instead, researching, having a smart business plan, and choosing the right business is more essential to the success of your business.
5. Communicate expectations with anyone who will be home with you.
If you’re already working from home or you manage to get a remote position through one of the ways listed above, you might have “company” at home.
Make sure any roommates, family members, and dogs (well, maybe not dogs) respect your space during work hours.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you’re home. If you share space with another work-from-home adult, you may have to lay ground rules about meeting times, shared desks and chairs, and quiet times.
Sam Mallikarjunan, CEO of AI firm OneScreen, tells how he manages to get work executed even when persons are round.
“If anybody else goes to be at residence whenever you’re working, they simply need to be clear that whenever you’re in your ‘workplace’ (in my case, my sign to the household is having headphones on), you’re working — even when it appears like and feels such as you’re hanging out at residence,” Mallikarjunan says.
He provides, “It’s straightforward to get distracted by the numerous issues that need to be executed round the home in the course of the day.”
If working alongside different members of the family or housemates can’t be averted, think about investing in residence workplace tools like noise-canceling headphones or room dividers to attenuate distractions.
A devoted workplace house will be pivotal in having fewer distractions.
6. Take clear breaks.
It may be really easy to get misplaced in your work as a telecommuter that you just keep away from breaks altogether. Don’t let the guilt of working within the constructing you sleep in forestall you from taking 5 minutes to loosen up.
Nevertheless, somewhat than simply opening YouTube and watching some consolation clips, use your breaks to get away out of your desk.
Go for a stroll, take pleasure in contemporary air, or spend time with others who may additionally be in the home. Take breaks close to pure gentle if in any respect attainable for added psychological stimulation.
Take Reforge’s Ginny Mineo’s recommendation. “Breaks, like making and consuming lunch, can recharge you to do higher work. Don’t assume you should be working 100% of the time when you’re residence to be extra productive.”
7. Work together with different people.
If you begin working from residence, you’ll possible miss the informal social interactions with colleagues you’re used to all through the day.
When working from residence, you don’t have the small discuss and different actions that make every day on the workplace distinctive.
So what are you able to do? Talk.
Battle boredom and loneliness by frequent communication with different staff. Attain out to them by video chat through apps like Zoom and Slack, a hosted telephone system, or nonetheless else your organization communicates.
Keep in mind: You’re working from residence, not the moon. Interacting with different individuals in the course of the day is allowed, even when they’re not your colleagues. It’s a good suggestion to see one other face in the course of the day when most of your workday is solitary. So, use your breaks to work together with others.
“Go outdoors and discover a human to work together with — ordering your espresso, operating an errand, no matter. It retains you sane,” says HubSpot’s Corey Wainwright.
8. Put together meals the night time earlier than.
If you’re in your personal residence, it may be tempting to spend time getting ready a pleasant breakfast and lunch for your self, chopping and cooking included. Don’t use treasured minutes making your meals the day of labor — prepare dinner it the night time earlier than.
Making ready meals forward of time ensures you should use your meal occasions to eat and that you just aren’t performing non-work duties that spend power higher used at your desk.
Digital Advertising Strategist Lindsay Kolowich, provides:
“Cooking at house is time you wouldn’t have spent meal prepping should you’d been within the workplace that day, and I discover the minutes can add up ultimately. To mitigate that, I attempt to prepare dinner and prep my meals the night time earlier than, identical to I might for a day on the workplace.”
When it comes time to eat, have a real away-from-your-laptop lunch break.
9. Decide a definitive ending time.
You is perhaps underneath the impression that working from residence establishes extra work–life stability, however watch out with that assumption.
Working from residence may really feel like being at a on line casino — you will get so caught up in your exercise in a calming setting, that you just lose full observe of time.
“Should you work at home full-time (or commonly), it’s very easy to let your work life bleed into your private life,” says Tyler Littwin, a graphic designer. “Sustaining a boundary is essential for each halves of the equation.”
In lieu of coworkers whose packing up and leaving the workplace reminds you to do the identical, set an alarm on the finish of the day to point your regular workday is coming to an finish.
You don’t need to cease at precisely that point, however figuring out the work day is technically over may also help you begin the method of saving your work and calling it quits for the night.
10. Eat and sleep.
What’s the largest perk to working from residence? One of many largest advantages for some individuals (me), is full entry to the kitchen.
As quickly as I take a break, I mechanically drift in direction of the kitchen for some snacks.
An unhealthy weight loss program can have an effect on productiveness and drain power. Once I switched to a more healthy weight loss program, it made me perform higher and get essentially the most from my routine.
So eat nicely when working from residence.
It’s additionally important that you just maintain to a correct sleep schedule. Save binge-watching your favourite reveals for the weekend. With the proper meals to maintain power ranges excessive and sound sleep to refresh your physique and thoughts, you’ll be able to efficiently work at home.
You could find extra work-from-home ideas within the books listed on this finest remote-work books article.
Working From Dwelling Ideas
1. Get began early.
When working in an workplace, your morning commute may also help you get up and really feel able to work by the point you get to your desk. At residence, nonetheless, the transition out of your pillow to your pc will be far more jarring.
Imagine it or not, one technique to work at home productively is to dive into your to-do record as quickly as you get up.
Merely getting a undertaking began very first thing within the morning will be the important thing to creating progress on it steadily all through the day. In any other case, you’ll delay breakfast and let the morning sluggishness put on away your motivation.
Kolowich says, “When I work from home, I wake up, put on a pot of coffee, and start working immediately — much earlier than normal working hours. I only start making breakfast once I’ve hit a wall or need a break. I’m a morning person and find I can get a ton done in the early morning hours, so this works really well for me.”
2. Make after-work plans.
Do you have trouble closing your laptop and moving on to the next part of the day? Make it easy for yourself by making plans immediately after work.
“You can instantly boost your remote work productivity by scheduling something fun or important in the afternoon,” shared remote worker of seven years Mitch Glass, founder of Project Untethered.
“Adding a firm deadline cranks up the pressure and forces you to knock out the most important tasks as fast as possible. If left unchecked, remote work has a way of creeping into the evening hours, so having this hard cutoff point helps protect work-life balance as well,” Glass says.
3. Use the Pomodoro technique.
One of the top tips for working remotely is to take breaks, but that poses a challenge for most remote workers. Let the Pomodoro Method make it achievable.
“My top work-from-home tip is to use the Pomodoro Method to stay productive and focused throughout the day,” shared Kat Smith, founder of A Way Abroad. Kat has been a remote worker for six years, having spent four years as a freelancer and two years as a full-time remote employee.
In the traditional Pomodoro Method, you set a 25-minute timer, pick a specific task you can finish in that time, get rid of any distractions, start the clock, and complete your task.
“This creates some urgency, so you don’t let a single task stretch longer than it should. When the timer beeps, take a 5-minute break. You can repeat this throughout the day,” Smith says.
This technique is so popular that you can easily add a Pomodoro Google Chrome Extension to your browser.
4. Pretend like you are going into the office.
The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when working remotely.
I know that you love working in your sweatpants (I do, too), but the mere act of changing clothes to something more serious will give you a signal to get work done throughout the day.
When you dress up, you give your brain a reason for dressing up, and it can keep you pumped throughout your work hours.
So when working from home, do all the things you’d do to prepare for an office role: Set your alarm, make (or get) coffee, and wear nice clothes.
Internet browsers like Google Chrome even allow you to set up multiple accounts with different toolbars on the top — for example, a toolbar for home and a separate toolbar for work.
Take to heart the words of HubSpot Graphic Designer Anna Faber-Hammond, who says, “Get totally prepared for the day and fake you’re really going to work. In any other case, you would possibly end up again in mattress.”
5. Construction your day such as you would within the workplace.
When working from residence, you’re your personal private supervisor and might select your working hours.
Nevertheless, with out issues like an in-person assembly schedule to interrupt up your day, you’ll be able to simply lose focus or burn out.
To remain on schedule, phase what you’ll do and when for the day. When you have a web-based calendar, create private occasions and reminders that let you know when to shift gears and begin on new duties. Google Calendar makes this straightforward.
Structuring your day as you’ll within the workplace additionally saves you from work creep. With this construction in place, working from residence is not going to trigger your work to invade your private life.
“Are mornings for writing when you’re within the workplace? Use the identical distant work schedule at residence. This construction will assist maintain you centered and productive,” says Ginny Mineo.
6. Select a devoted workspace.
Simply since you’re not working at an workplace doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t, nicely, have an workplace.
Slightly than cooping your self up in your room or on the sofa in the lounge — areas related to leisure time — dedicate a particular room or floor in your house to working remotely.
Regardless of the house or location, have an space of the house to work and keep dedicated to it all through the day. And, after selecting your devoted workspace, benefit from it by making it quiet.
Mallikarjunan says, “Have a spot you go particularly to work. It could possibly be a sure desk, chair, native espresso store — some place that’s constantly your ‘workspace.’ It helps you get into the proper mind set.”
7. Don’t keep at residence.
Is your own home workplace simply not getting it executed for you? Take your work-from-home life a step additional and get out of the home.
Espresso outlets, libraries, public lounges, coworking areas, and related Wi-Fi-enabled areas may also help you simulate the power of an workplace so you’ll be able to keep productive even whenever you don’t sit in an official office.
Content material Marketer Corey Wainwright, feedback, “I get out of my residence to work and go to an institution with precise tables, chairs, and folks. It helps simulate the work setting and removes the distractions I sometimes have at residence, just like the urge to lastly clear my room, do laundry, or watch TV.”
8. Make it tougher to make use of social media.
Social media is designed to make it straightforward for us to open and browse rapidly. As distant employees, although, this comfort will be detrimental to our distant work productiveness.
To counteract your social networks’ ease of use throughout work hours, take away them out of your browser shortcuts and log off of each account in your telephone or pc.
You would possibly even think about working primarily in a personal (or, should you’re utilizing Chrome, an “Incognito”) browser window.
This ensures you keep signed out of all of your accounts, and every internet search doesn’t autocomplete the phrase you’re typing. It’s a assure that you just received’t be tempted into taking too many social breaks in the course of the day.
Additionally, many have discovered it useful to close off social media notifications in the course of the hours they work at home.
Alec Biedrzycki, product marketer at AirTable, says, “I take away all social networks from my toolbar bookmarks… you will get sucked in with out figuring out it, so eliminating the gateway to these networks retains me on observe.”
9. Decide to doing extra.
Tasks all the time take longer than you initially suppose they are going to. For that motive, you’ll incessantly get executed much less than you got down to do.
So, simply as you’re inspired to overestimate what number of work hours you’ll spend doing one factor, you also needs to overestimate what number of belongings you’ll do in the course of the day.
Even should you come up wanting your aim, you’ll nonetheless come out of that day with a strong record of duties filed underneath ‘full.’
“On days I’m working from residence, I are likely to barely overcommit on what I’ll ship that day. So even when I get the urge to go do one thing else, I do know I’ve already dedicated a certain quantity of labor to my crew,” says Corey Wainwright.
10. Work whenever you’re at your most efficient.
No person sprints by their work from morning to night — your motivation will naturally ebb and stream all through the day.
Nevertheless, whenever you’re working from residence, it’s all of the extra essential to know when these ebbs and flows will happen and plan your schedule round it.
To capitalize in your most efficient durations, save your tougher duties for when you realize you’ll be in the proper headspace for them. Use slower factors of the day to knock out the simpler logistical duties in your plate.
Verily Journal calls these duties “small acts of success,” and so they may also help construct your momentum for the heavier initiatives which might be ready for you afterward.
Product Designer Brittany Leaning, says about her routine, “For me, the best occasions of the day are normally early within the morning or late at night time. I acknowledge this and attempt to plan my day accordingly. Additionally, music that pumps me up doesn’t damage.”
The accountability is on you to know when you find yourself most efficient and construct your work schedule across the durations of most productiveness.
11. Save requires the afternoon.
Generally, I’m so drained within the morning that I don’t even need to hear my voice — not to mention discuss to others with it.
You shouldn’t have to provide your self an excessive amount of time to turn into productive within the morning, however you can give your self some further time earlier than working immediately with others.
Should you’re struggling to develop an affordable work schedule for your self as a telecommuter, begin with the solitary duties within the morning.
Save your telephone calls, conferences, Google Hangouts, conferences, video calls, and different collaborative work for whenever you’ve formally “woken up.”
Senior Advertising Director James Gilbert advises that you just “Make the most of morning hours to crank by meaty initiatives with out distractions, and save any calls or digital conferences for the afternoon.”
12. Give attention to one distraction.
There’s an expression on the market that claims, “If you’d like one thing executed, ask a busy individual.”
The weird however true rule of productiveness is that the busier you might be, the extra you’ll do.
It’s like Newton’s legislation of inertia: Should you’re in movement, you’ll keep in movement. Should you’re at relaxation, you’ll keep at relaxation. And busy persons are in quick sufficient movement that they’ve the momentum to finish something that comes throughout their desks.
Sadly, it’s exhausting to seek out issues that can assist you attain that stage of busyness whenever you’re at residence — your motivation can simply swing so simply. HubSpot’s principal advertising and marketing supervisor, Pam Vaughan, suggests specializing in one thing that maintains your rhythm (in her case, it’s her daughter).
She says, “Once I work at home, my 20-month-old daughter is residence with me, too. It appears counterintuitive, however as a result of I’ve to handle taking good care of her and conserving her comfortable and entertained whereas nonetheless getting my work executed, the strain helps to maintain me centered.”
Vaughan says when her daughter napping or entertaining herself, she goes into super-productive work mode.
“The ‘distraction’ of my daughter (I imply that in essentially the most loving method attainable) means I can’t probably succumb to a number of the different widespread distractions of residence,” she says.
13. Plan out what you’ll be engaged on forward of time.
Spending time determining what you’ll do as we speak can take away from really doing these issues. And, you’ll have deliberate your process record so just lately that you would be able to be tempted to vary your schedule on the fly.
It’s essential to let your agenda change should you want it to, however it’s equally essential to decide to a schedule that outlines each task earlier than you start.
Strive solidifying your schedule the day earlier than, making it really feel extra official whenever you get up the following day to get began on it.
“Plan out your week prematurely to optimize for the environments you will be in,” says Niti Shah.
14. Use expertise to remain linked.
Working from residence would possibly make you’re feeling minimize off from the bigger operations occurring in your organization.
On the spot messaging and videoconferencing instruments like Slack and Zoom could make it straightforward to test in with different distant staff and remind you the way your work contributes to the large image.
It’s additionally important to put money into the proper expertise. For example, a sluggish router can take the steam proper off your enthusiasm to work, so it’s higher to put money into a high-performance router.
CMO and former HubSpot worker, Meghan Keaney Anderson, remarks:
“At HubSpot, we use Slack to maintain conversations going remotely, Trello to maintain us organized round priorities, and Google Hangouts plus Webex to make distant conferences extra productive. Getting the proper stack of help instruments to suit your work fashion makes a giant distinction.”
15. Match your music to the duty at hand.
In the course of the week, music is the soundtrack to your profession (tacky, however admit it, it’s true).
And, at work, one of the best playlists are numerous playlists — you’ll be able to take heed to music that matches the power of the undertaking you’re engaged on to spice up your productiveness.
Online game soundtracks are glorious at doing this. Within the online game, the lyric-free music is designed that can assist you focus; it solely is smart that it will allow you to focus in your work.
Need another genres to boost your routine and make you’re feeling centered? Take them from Ginny Mineo, a startup marketer, who provides her work music preferences beneath.
“Once I’m powering by my inbox, I would like some intense and catchy rap/R&B (like Nicki Minaj or Miley Cyrus) blasting by my headphones, however after I’m writing, Tom Petty is the trick. Discovering what music motivates and focuses me for various duties (after which sticking to these playlists for these duties) has fully modified my WFH productiveness,” Mineo says.
16. Use laundry as a piece timer.
You might need heard that listening to simply two or three songs within the bathe may also help you save water.
And it’s true; listening to just a few of your favourite songs begin and finish, one after one other, can remind you the way lengthy you’ve been within the toilet and shorten your wash time.
Why deliver this up? As a result of the identical common precept may also help you keep on process when working from residence. However as a substitute of three songs off your music playlist, run your laundry as a substitute.
Doing all your laundry is a built-in timer in your residence. So, use the time to begin and end one thing out of your to-do record earlier than altering the load.
Committing to at least one task in the course of the wash cycle and one other in the course of the dry course of can prepare you to work smarter on duties that you just would possibly technically have all day to tinker with. And when you realize there’s a timer, it makes it exhausting for distractions to derail your work.
Folks Ops Supervisor Emma Brudner, notes:
“I additionally normally do laundry after I work at home, and I set mini-deadlines for myself akin to when I’ve to go downstairs to change hundreds. If I’m engaged on an article, I inform myself I’ll get to a sure level earlier than the wash cycle ends. Then I set one other aim for the dryer.”
Staying Productive Whereas Working From Dwelling
When you would possibly miss the workplace, working full-time from residence will be good for you. For one, you don’t have to fret about commuting every single day, and you’ll higher care in your family members by being round extra typically.
The work-from-home ideas that we’ve shared may also help you benefit from your solo routine. Check out just a few, and also you would possibly discover that you just’re simply as productive working from residence as you might be within the workplace.