Many of us in the sports industry have suddenly been faced with the reality of having to work remotely. While remote working is not a new concept, with a dramatic rise in sporting organisations supporting their employees to work from home over recent years, for the vast majority of employees, this is unfamiliar territory and the transition can be a considerable challenge. How exactly do you go about working remotely and how do you ensure you stay productive, focused and energised? We share the key considerations of a remote work life to make you effective and stay happy while you do it.
First and foremost give yourself some time. The transition is a major shift and it won’t work perfectly straight away. Slowly work towards having the structure and environment that works for you and can make you digitally productive and over the course of the first weeks you will develop a routine that supports your workflows and then you need to stick to it!
Start your day as if you were going to the office, making sure you dress as you would for work. Start the day on the right footing is an important part to helping separate your work life from personal life. So, don't change your morning habits and dress appropriately.
Designating a productive workspace within your home will give a physical framework to your work and give you focus. This can be desk in your room or part of the kitchen table, wherever it is, before you start make sure it is clean, clear and free from ‘non-work’ distractions giving you that important degree of separation. Working from a sofa or armchair may sound like a good idea, but are not! They are unproductive, unprofessional and with poor ergonomics are bad for your physical wellbeing over time.
It's easy to blur the lines between work and personal life when working from home and this can be very damaging to your remote working success.
A daily schedule is critical to give you the structure to make your day productive and to give clear boundaries between work and home life. It's easy to blur these lines when working from home and this can be very damaging to your remote working success. Clearly defining when you will exercise in the day, when you will have lunch and when your working day ends are vital. Next, set times for certain re-occurring tasks such as team meetings or daily processes to minimise distractions and keep you on track. Set daily reminders for each of these re-occurring tasks and commit to your routine to build flow especially in the first few weeks when it will be easiest to break.
You likely use one or more of the many solutions out there to help you stay connected with your team, your clients or even to collaborate on projects. Be it Skype, Slack, MS Teams, Zoom or another, define what solution(s) work for you and your team and stick to it. Aim not to work across too many platforms as your productivity will suffer. It is definitely worth spending some time learning the (advanced) features of the solution(s) you choose as this will save you time in the long run by improving you and your teams remote efficiency.
As mentioned, it’s easy for the lines between home and work life to get blurred which can make it harder to switch off. Create some rules about when you will finish work and ideally have a door you can shut on work at this point. Without a commute to decompress, it can be hard to transition to family life. Doing exercise or going for a walk to replace your commute at the end of the day is a useful way to disconnect.
It’s important for you that others in your household understand your work commitments. Being at home doesn’t mean you are not busy and available for household tasks or interruptions. Set limits and rules for your family/housemates for everyone to follow, including you.
Without the physical setting of an office and teammates, goal setting and prioritising your work becomes more important. Set out what you need to accomplish today and in the longer term and create a method for monitoring progress that you can constantly refer to and work through systematically. Digital list or project management apps are a great method for this.
Creating a productive and enjoyable remote working environment can transform your future career. It will open up new opportunities, give you more freedom with a better work life balance and make you more productive.
It's proven that regular breaks are a productivity enabler that should not be overlooked. Working 8 hours straight is not the way to go and our concentration last just a fraction of this time. Set times to take breaks that support rather than disrupt your workflow. This will help you keep energised and focused through the day by keeping your batteries recharged.
Creating a productive and enjoyable remote working environment can transform your future career. It will open up new opportunities, give you more freedom with a better work life balance and make you more productive. Use this time wisely to develop an enjoyable and effective system and you will benefit for years to come as remote working becomes more and more commonplace.
Remember, working from home can be lonely, so try and stay social in creative ways. At very least make sure you have some calls with team members that not all about work but just to chat, maybe even share tips on you’re getting on with remote working.
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