Although working from home is pretty great, it can be tough to stay motivated. Here are our top ten tips for keeping sane and staying motivated.
- Get dressed, have a shower and prepare for work like you would usually.
- Make a list of daily tasks and make sure you do them, block out time in your calendar if you need to discourage colleagues from putting in too many meetings or calls.
- Try and stay out of the kitchen – we know it can be tempting to snack constantly when you work from home but try to have the discipline to resist, just as you’re being disciplined in everything else.
- Plan some social interaction – this is an important one, it can be lonely working from home. Whether it’s evening exercises, standing lunch or coffee dates with friends, do something.
- Change your environment – if you find yourself going a bit stir crazy, it can be a good idea to take your laptop, phone and work to a local coffee shop or a co-working space.
- Take regular breaks – either by doing the above, getting up and making a cup of tea or coffee, doing some laundry, taking the dog for a walk etc. If you find it hard to do these, you could set a timer for yourself.
- Work your way – if you like to listen to the radio or have the television on in the background or whatever it is, if that helps you work, do it. Whatever helps you work more productively, do it!
- Make sure you have the tools you need – a decent WiFi connection capable of video conferencing and file sending/downloading, a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones and potentially a decent microphone with a mute button or a headset – even better.
- Stay in touch with your co-workers and boss throughout the day – there are so many tools available to help you stay connected *cough* like Nowbridge *cough* and other productivity tools like Trello or Asana. Stay part of the team!
- When your working day is finished, stop working – this is one of those easier said than done things…but it’s important. Whether you work 9-5 or you’ve found that you’re more productive working in the afternoon, you need to keep the boundaries between your work life and your home life.
We hope you found these useful! Have we missed anything? Let us know!
Where do you draw the line between work and your personal life when you work from home?
At Nowbridge, we know how tricky it can be, which is why we designed our software but there are lots of other things you can do to keep your work and home lives separate.
Firstly, there are things that you can do during the working day to help with this, like taking a proper lunch break, making sure you get up from your desk frequently and walk around like you would in an office, dress properly for work and making sure you switch off your computer/close the door to your office (if you have one) when your day is done.
Speaking of your home office, as your office and home are in the same place, it can be really hard to switch off at the end of the working day. We’ve scoured dozens of articles about this, looking for ideas and here are some of our favourites:
- Schedule a workout for after work – helps you de-stress and de-clutter your mind
- Get out of the house – do a food shop, walk the dog, go and pick up a coffee etc.
- Have a glass of wine (or something similar)…
All of these things can help you switch off and prevent you from overworking…remember, your boss can’t see all those extra hours you’re doing.
Don’t forget that one of the huge benefits of working remotely or working from home is that you can have a better life balance, don’t be tempted to fall into bad habits.
Are you part of a remote team? Have you tried Nowbridge yet?
If not, why not?
We all know the benefits of working remotely, but it can be lonely. We created Nowbridge so that all of your colleagues, wherever they are in the world, can stay a part of the team.
Our software unobtrusively sits on your desktop in the background while you work, but it’s there when you want to check whether a colleague is at their desk, or you need to quickly send a message that it’s not worth sending an email about. You can use it to call them on Skype or leave a voice message, which they can hear when they’re back at their desks.
The rest of the time, you might not even realise that it’s there, until you need it. There are lots of handy filters that you can apply to your live still images too, which gives you another level of control. It also gives you a clear way of switching off at the end of your day as your remote colleagues can see when you turn it off, your box goes white. This helps distinguish between your work time and your home time.
Why not introduce it to your remote teams and see how you get on?
We all know the benefits of remote working for an individual: increased productivity, reduced stress, money saved etc. but understandably it can be a bit harder to comprehend for a business.
How will I know how whether someone is working?
Besides ensuring that you hire the right kind of person, there are various ways to keep a track of your remote teams. Although you’ll see countless articles about the fact that if you don’t trust your employees, you shouldn’t have hired them in the first place, in reality this is more difficult to swallow.
We created Nowbridge for a number of reasons but one of them naturally eases this problem. Nowbridge sends images between you and your team every 15 seconds. You can control who can and can’t see you, send instant chat messages or start Skype calls and even leave a voice message for someone if they’re away from their desk, which they can listen to when they’re back.
In addition to the obvious things that this software helps with, it also gives remote workers a clear way of indicating that they are no longer working for the day. They can turn Nowbridge on for their working day and switch it off when they’re finished, making it clear to yourself and your team that you have stopped working.
The main thing we’ve learned from the many articles we’ve read about remote working is that the most important thing is communication. In order for remote working to be effective for both the employee and the business, communication is key. There are lots of different apps and types of software that you can use to track workloads and productivity, which make the work side of things easier but without good communication, things can easily slip.
With Nowbridge, you don’t need to be sitting near people to share the day with them – being seen by those who you are close to builds trust. You can communicate in real time and, more importantly, stay part of the team.
Have you tried it yet?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Remote working is on the up and up, and we can’t be happier. Being ‘self employed’ or ‘freelance’ no longer implies being between jobs or out of work. Instead, it’s becoming a sort of, badge of honor nowadays, with lots of people seeing the move as brave.
As more and more companies embrace remote working, there is more work available for people who decide to move away from the office. So really, it’s no wonder that with the increase in public transport costs and the stress of commuting, the pull to work remotely is getting stronger.
We created our software because as great as remote working can be, for productivity, for your stress levels and for the environment, it sure can be lonely sometimes. When you’re working in an office, you have ongoing micro-interactions with people without often even realising it. Even if you can just see the top of someone’s head from your desk or hear them answer the phone, you know that they’re there. Whereas when you’re working remotely, you really don’t have any way of knowing whether someone is available. Yes, you can login to Skype or Gmail chat, if your company use those, but those green “online” dots aren’t always accurate.
Nowbridge bridges the gap between staff working remotely and in the office. Live still images updating every few seconds all day long create the illusion of being together. You control who you connect with and when. You can only be seen by the people you can see. Use it throughout the day to send chat messages to colleagues or even quickly call them on Skype when you can see they’re at their desks. At the end of your working day, press pause or close Nowbridge down and it’s clear to everyone in your team that you have finished for the day.
Also, it’s free to download and easy to use! Have you tried it yet?
Although a lot of companies strive to improve communication and productivity, a lot of the time, this can fall by the wayside when urgent projects and deadlines take priority. Add in staffing/recruitment issues and budget cuts and it’s understandable that focusing on the needs of your current staff can slip. But communication and productivity aren’t just important for the managers, directors, executives, CEOs, they are crucial for the rest of the staff too.
What you might not realise is that communication doesn’t necessarily improve by being in the same office as someone. In fact, often the communication quality improves dramatically when one or both parties work remotely. For one thing, you make time to speak to each other. Often in offices, there’s the temptation to give someone a quick call or pop over to their desks. Convenient yes, but it’s likely that the other person is working on something else and isn’t entirely focused on your particular query. Therefore, you might be able to speak to them quickly but how likely is it that you’ve got 100% of their attention and understanding?
The increase in productivity that comes from working remotely or having remote workers is the subject of many an article, blog post and tweet. But the facts are hard to deny. With the loss of office noise, interruptions, necessary or seemingly-unnecessary meetings, remote workers can focus more on their work and also work during their most productive hours – that is, if the company allow flexible working. We mentioned in an earlier blog that by hiring remote workers, you increase your talent pool. If, for example you are on a different timezone to your employees, this can also mean that while you sleep, they might also be working on the project and can advance it significantly before you even start your next working day.
There are obviously other ways to improve communication and productivity in companies than by having a remote working policy but with all the benefits to both employee and employer that come from remote working, it shouldn’t be ignored.
Don’t forget to try Nowbridge, it’s free, easy and can make remote workers feel like they’re still a part of the team. Try it today!
There has been a noticeable shift in the past few years with more people wanting a better work/life balance and subsequently opting for digitally-focused careers, which allow them more flexibility with how much they work and also, where they work.
“Any businessman, any executive, could live almost anywhere on Earth and still do his business through a device like this.” – Arthur C. Clarke
As predicted by infamous science fiction author and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke, we are now able to work from anywhere. Technology really is incredible. In fact, here’s another quote from Arthur C. Clarke which seems pretty apt.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke
Obviously there are some industries that can’t utilize remote working, but for those who can, it opens up a whole world full of talented potential employees. Rather than being limited to hiring from within a location-based pool of candidates, if your company is pro-remote working, you could hire the best people from around the world rather than the best people in your immediate location.
There seem to be endless articles about the rise of the digital nomad and this all links into the quest for the perfect balance. More and more people are drawn to the nomadic lifestyle, travelling the globe and working as and when they need to. We spend around a third of our lives working. A third! Even if you aren’t travelling the world while working freelance, by working remotely you can take back some control of your working life. Although the stability of working 9-5 works for some people, others might find that they work more productively in the afternoons and cannot focus properly for much of the day.
What do you do, live to work or work to live? Are you tempted to move to remote working?