There’s no question that 2020 has brought a new culture to the working industry–the culture of working remotely from home.
It’s now totally common to hold virtual meetings and conferences, and many of us are working our 9-5 without ever leaving our home.
That’s awesome to some, horrible to others.
Regardless of how you feel about working remotely from home, it’s a new way of working for most of us.
Here are some tips to help you slay the workday.
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How To Stay Professional While Working Remotely From Home 1: Workspace
Think of your new workspace at home the same way you would your area at your job. Try to make sure you have everything set up in one area, where you can work most efficiently.
It can get crazy trying to maintain an effective workday, especially if you have kids at home.
Try to set your equipment up to maximize your space. Ask your supervisor or HR department what equipment and resources you have available to you for working remotely.
The fastest way to destroy your efficiency is to wind up with a headache, a backache, or sore knees from a poorly adjusted workspace.
Ergonomics is a familiar system to your company–they are required to educate and help you reach maximum efficiency.
Ask your supervisor for recommendations on desk height, chair adjustment and keyboard and monitor positioning for a healthy posture and balance during your workday.
It sounds simple but it makes a huge difference.
How To Stay Professional While Working Remotely From Home 2: Routine
Get Up At The Same Time
Your body remembers your workday routine. It also knows the “It’s Saturday routine.” You want to keep your brain focused and in “workday mode.”
Get up at the same time you would when going to the office. You’ll have extra time now since you won’t be commuting, so take time to do some stretches or exercises to prepare for the day.
If you insist on sleeping in, make sure you still get up before it’s time to clock in so that you’re very much awake in time for your workday.
Get Dressed for The Day
This one is not going to be popular because it’s absolutely no fun (maybe even less fun than still getting up early).
However–you need to remember something crucial. Your supervisors are still supervising. You’ll still get a review.
The employees that maintain their professionalism and high work ethic will stand out.
Eat A Healthy and Productive Breakfast
It’s easy to let go of all routines when you’re working from home. It takes a new kind of discipline that most of us just haven’t needed to exercise.
Keeping focused is especially important, so feeding your brain is more crucial than ever.
Whether it’s a healthy shake, a smoothie, a protein-packed snack with your coffee, or a full-on spread, eat something to get you going.
How To Stay Professional While Working Remotely From Home 3: Motivation
Encouraging and Inspirational
We don’t think twice about putting motivational quotes or photos in our office, so do the same at home.
Aim to make your home workspace professional, inspirational, and serene. A photo of a beautiful landscape that speaks to you, a motivational quote that boosts your zeal, or a picture of your family to remind you of the “why” will go a long way.
Personally, I do well with my desk near a window. Being able to lift my eyes and see natural light and something scenic outside refreshes me instantly.
If you don’t have a window nearby, consider hanging a beautiful picture.
Live plants and greenery are refreshing as well.
Favorite Work Aids
Keep your environment happy and positive. Pin up a funny comic, or get your favorite coffee mug.
Other fun things include:
- Photos of fun, happy memories
- Silly pens or sayings
- Awards or mementos of past accomplishments
It’s okay to need some encouragement and it’s healthy to bring some happy positivity to your workspace.
How To Stay Professional During Meetings While Working Remotely From Home
There have been enough “zoom fails” to last a lifetime. They’re funny, but they can be job-threatening. That’s not so funny.
Here are some tips and things to think about before joining a video meeting.
1: Look Professional
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about and seen people show up on a video meeting in pajamas or hoodies.
We all know we’re probably working in super casual clothes, but when it comes time to join a meeting, you want to change.
Remember, how you conduct yourself while working remotely tells your superiors a lot about you and your work ethic.
2: Check Your Background
Make sure your environment looks presentable behind you.
Check for embarrassing items, piles of laundry, or anything else you wouldn’t want your supervisor or fellow employees to see.
It’s not being fake or superficial. It’s about maintaining a level of professionalism that speaks highly of your working character.
3: Watch What You Eat During A Meeting
It’s way too easy to be in a meeting and start munching on a snack, forgetting to mute yourself.
That gets really annoying to your coworkers and the people having to listen to you crunch.
If you have to snack during a meeting, mute yourself. Pour your snacks into a bowl rather than crinkling the plastic bag or paper.
4: Stay Professional–You’re Still On the Clock
You’re still an employee on the clock, so expectations of conduct still apply. Policies regarding jokes, sexual harassment, and conduct between employees are still in place.
Take care to act the same way with your coworkers and supervisors as you would if you were physically in the workplace.
5: Maintain Your Integrity
How you act while working remotely from home says a lot about your work ethic. Don’t fall for the idea that just because you’re home, all expectations are off.
You are sending messages about you and how you do business to the people you’re working with, one way or the other.
What do you want people to understand about you?
You want to show that you can be trusted to be an exemplary employee, even amidst unusual circumstances.
That shows leadership qualities that will grab the attention of your employers.
A Few Extra Tips For Working Remotely From Home
- Stay hydrated
- Take breaks
- Stand up and walk around, do some stretches
- Play soft music that doesn’t distract but helps you stay focused
- Be encouraging to your fellow coworkers. They’re having to adjust, too
- Take your lunch break away from your workspace, away from your computer
- Go outside for some fresh air
- Don’t let go of personal care and grooming. Your person still deserves to be maintained
- Find ways to connect with others. Being completely isolated is a fast track to feeling depressed
- Do something nice for someone regularly. Giving of yourself boosts your sense of gratitude, value and positivity
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