Tips for Working Remotely

Home office

Working remotely can present new and unique challenges for staying focused, connected and motivated. However, working from home can be just as smooth as working from the office with a few proactive considerations.

Stay connected to your peers

When working remotely, some employees can feel isolated and struggle to stay connected to their peers. Create opportunities to connect with your peers via videoconferencing, phone calls or Trillian instant messaging. This will allow you to continue to collaborate on work and also give you opportunities to check-in on each other and ensure everyone is doing well. When using Trillian consider signing in to be available to peers and using the “Do Not Disturb” setting if you need uninterrupted work time.

Consider your workspace

Determine a location in your home where you can focus on work. Some areas of the house may be better suited for a work environment than others. Be mindful of potential distractions. Consider adjusting your workspace until you find the location that suits your needs.  

Manage distractions

When working remotely, the distractions will likely be different than those that occur in the office. You may have additional demands from family members or pets. Consider the factors of your environment that you may need to control in order to minimize distractions and set appropriate boundaries.

Take planned breaks and lunches

If you take lunch breaks or 15-minute breaks in the office, consider doing the same at home. These moments to clear your mind are important to help you stay focused through the afternoon. As the weather warms, consider a walk around your home or making a fresh snack.

Keep your morning routine (or create a new one)

Getting into the swing of working remotely can be challenging when it feels like your morning routine is out of whack. Consider getting up and getting ready for work as if you were going to the office. You can save yourself that morning commute and get your workday started early, or spend a little more time with family over breakfast before starting your day.

Know when to log-off

Maintaining your normal work-life boundaries can become more challenging when you aren’t commuting to the office. Decide when you will end your workday and do your best to stick to that time. This will allow you to properly disconnect and decompress in the evening.

Here are five tips from D-H's Informational Services Department to help work remotely:

Remote Work Tip No. 1: Create a workspace

Rather than take the idea of “work from anywhere” to the extreme, put some thought into where you’ll be spending your time.

  • Dedicate a space as your home office. Ergonomic Basics for a Comfortable Home Work Space provides additional information for setting up your work space. 
  • Pay attention to noise levels. Quiet areas promote concentration and convey professionalism when conversing via phone or WebEx. Locate your home office as far away as possible from common sources of noise, such as the television and the furnace. An office door that closes is also a help.
  • Consider a chair that provides back support, appropriate lighting and a good work surface.

Remote Work Tip No. 2: Follow “workplace” practices

Remember that even when working from home or another remote location, you must follow your organization's policies and procedures.

  • Manage confidential or private information according to approved policies and practices.
  • Always log out or lock your screen when taking a breakno matter how short or long.
  • Explain to everyone in the household the importance of respecting a closed office door. Post a “Do Not Disturb” sign along with the time at which you’ll be available.
  • Remember an employee who “regularly telecommutes” cannot be responsible for dependent care during work hours.
  • Adhere to your expected work schedule or core work hours.

Remote Work Tip No. 3: Develop a routine

Remote work often allows greater control over when tasks get done, but a lack of structure can lead to feeling aimless, overwhelmed or on-call 24/7.

  • Come up with a ritual to mark the start and the end of your workday. For instance, a cup of coffee in the morning and changing clothes at the end of the day.
  • Routinely organize your workspace, ensuring that all confidential materials are appropriately maintained.
  • Be conscientious about maintaining good ergonomics:
    • Change positions frequently.
    • Take frequent stretch breaks or take a short walk.
    • Maintain good posture.

Remote Work Tip No. 4: Stay engaged

Developing camaraderie and connections with your colleagues will facilitate productivity and engagement.

  • Establish regular remote check-ins with your supervisor via WebEx, phone or other platforms, and plan times to meet in person on a regular basis.
  • Affirm that you understand the expectations for successful performance.
  • Demonstrate independence, responsibility and achievement orientation.
  • Find ways to stay in touch with colleagues when working remotely. For example, “arrive” to video conferences early to check-in.

Remote Work Tip No. 5: Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Be conscientious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Check out a few of the many resources recommended from across the system for maintaining well-being at home and at work: