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Your Complete Guide to Remote Work

Your Complete Guide to Remote Work

Remote working has become a popular trend in the workplace in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Remote working is becoming more popular due to the increasing use of digital communication tools and the demand for flexible work arrangements.

Remote work has many benefits, including greater flexibility and reduced commute time. However, there are downsides such as social isolation and difficulty seperating work and personal life.

LifeHack is a distributed team that includes members from Canada, the United States and Hong Kong. With years of experience working remotely, I’d like to share with you how to work productively and maintain good work performance while working remotely.

This article can help you if remote work is something that interests you or if it’s already something you’re interested in.

The Most Dangerous Parts of Working Remotely

Remote work presents unique challenges. Here are some of these most challenging and difficult aspects of working remotely.

Management of Interruptions and Distractions

Working remotely can bring up a lot of distractions. This includes family members, pets, household chores, and personal obligations. These distractions can cause chaos in workflows and productivity, leading to missed deadlines and increased stress.

Motivational Issues

Traditional office workers may get feedback from their supervisors and colleagues, which can be a motivating factor in helping them achieve their goals. It can be difficult to get this kind of feedback and recognition in remote settings, which can negatively impact motivation and engagement.

Remote workers might also struggle with self-discipline or self-motivation. Remote workers may be tempted to procrastinate and lose focus without the routines and structure of an office environment. Remote workers might need to be more proactive in their time management and priority setting in order to stay motivated.

Maintaining a Work-Life Balance can be difficult

When you are working in the same location, it can be hard to keep your personal and professional life separate. Remote workers may find themselves working longer hours, having difficulty disconnecting from work, and feeling as if they are always “on call.” In fact, 22% of remote workers find it difficult to unplug after work.[1]

Working outside of your normal hours in order to make room for team members from other time zones can result in burnout and lower productivity.

How to deal with different time zones

Remote workers can face significant challenges when trying to address different time zones, especially multi-time zone teams.

When team members are scattered across the globe, it can be difficult to organize meetings and collaborate effectively. It can be difficult to balance work and life, as mentioned above.

Communication and Collaboration Challenges

Digital communication tools are a great way to keep in touch with team members even if they aren’t in the same location.

When communication is unclear, delayed, ineffective, or not timely, miscommunications can occur. This can cause team discord and reduce productivity.

Social Isolation

Remote workers are often more isolated than office workers, and may not have the same social interactions with their coworkers. A study by Next Web found that more than half of remote workers suffer from recurring loneliness.[2]This lack of face-to-face interaction can lead to feelings of disconnection, and isolation, all of which can be harmful to one’s mental health and well-being.

How to work remotely

Since my team began working remotely in 2020, I’ve learned a few tricks for staying productive. Whether you’re a seasoned remote worker or just getting started, the following Time Mastery Framework-based tips can help you make the most of your remote work experience.

1. Establish regular goals

Remote work without the structure and support of an office can make it difficult to stay focused and keep momentum. Setting goals regularly can help you stay focused and on track to achieving your goals.

You can make a roadmap for your work by defining clear goals and objectives. This will help you focus your efforts on the most important tasks. This will help you to avoid distractions and make sure that your goals are being achieved.

Additionally, breaking down large projects into smaller goals and setting clear success metrics will allow you to track your progress over time and assess your performance. This will allow you to feel progress and accomplishment while also allowing you to adjust your approach as required.

Find out more about setting goals in How to Set Goals and Why is It Important?

Establish regular goals

Take action

Read What is goal setting and why is it important? Learn how to set a goal. 
Reduce your goals into smaller milestones and tasks.

2. Design a Workspace that is Ideal

Remote work can make it more difficult to maintain the same routines and support that you would receive in an office setting. If you create the ideal environment for your work, it will allow you to be productive and support your work.

You can create a work environment that encourages productivity and focus. The flow state (also known as. being “in the zone”) if you create an environment that minimizes distractions and allows for focus.

A part of creating a great work environment is also setting up the equipment and tools necessary to support remote work. This could include reliable internet access, high-speed internet, and other software and technology that allows remote work. By investing in the right equipment and tools, you can make sure your work is done efficiently and effectively.

Design a Workspace that is Ideal

Take Action

Establish a calm, organized, well-lit environment that is quiet without distractions.
Install the tools and equipment necessary, including high-speed internet access and dependable computers.

3. Make a routine

One of the key benefits of having a routine is that you can establish predictability and control. Regular patterns of behavior can help you to control your life, increase control over your work, and reduce stress.

For instance, by establishing regular work hours, you can signal to your brain that it’s time to focus on work and create a sense of routine that promotes focus. You can also take regular breaks throughout your day to maintain energy.

You can prioritize your well-being by setting regular work hours and establishing clear boundaries between personal and professional life. This will help you avoid burnout. This may include setting boundaries for communication with clients and colleagues, as well engaging in self-care activities that promote wellbeing.

These routine examples can be used as inspiration to help you design your own.

Make a routine

Take Action

Set regular work hours and define boundaries between personal and professional life.
Take regular breaks throughout your day.
Refer to These are some of the more common examples Create your own.

4. Prioritize tasks by energy first, then by time

Energy fluctuates and sometimes requires rest. Some tasks require more mental and physical energy than others. It is not enough to just do mundane tasks, such as file organization or data entry. You also need to have the energy and motivation to write a proposal or conduct a live training session.

Your attention is required to focus on energy-intensive tasks. As a result, it makes no difference how well you manage your time if you can’t focus.

You can stay productive by prioritizing energy-intensive tasks. It is possible to make a list with the activities and tasks you want to accomplish in the coming week. A week is a good length for planning. It allows you to balance your goals while still being able to complete them.

Assign two values to each of your tasks:

  1. Energy Rating — A number representing how much energy this action gives you or takes away. For example, a +3 for something that’s really refreshing, or a -5 for a super energy draining activity.
  2. Time Cost — How much time you think it will actually take in terms of hours.

To prioritize your actual activities, use the Superstructure Method, It’s a quick and easy way to divide actions into three priority categories:

  • You must have – Items that are absolutely necessary for completion.
  • Should There Be? – Items that are useful but not critical to achieving your goal.
  • These are great to have – Items that are optional, meaning there are no negative consequences if they’re not included. Good-to-haves have only optional benefits.

superstructure method

The goal of your plan now is to hit all of the Must Haves and Should Haves first, while also making sure you don’t run out of energy at the end of the day. The plan will help you create your schedule.

Prioritize tasks by Energy First

Take action

Write down the tasks and activities that you would like to accomplish in the next week.
Assign Energy Rating Time Cost Each task should be assigned a priority based on the energy required.
You can categorize the tasks in 3 groups. You must have, Should There Be?And Good-to-Haves.
Make sure you finish all of the Must Haves and Should Haves first, and that you don’t run out of energy at the end of the day.

5. Use Asynchronous Communication

Asynchronous communication is a communication method that does not require all parties to be present or engaged at the same moment. It can be a powerful tool to promote productivity, collaboration, work-life balance, and work-life balance within a remote workplace.

Asynchronous communication does not require that everyone be present or engaged at once. It allows you to set your own work schedules and focus on deep work without interruptions or distractions. It also facilitates collaboration and teamwork across time zones and schedules.

Asynchronous communication allows you to have greater control over your work and schedules due to its flexibility and autonomy. This encourages work-life balance, allowing you prioritize your personal needs while still meeting your work obligations.

It is easy to establish asynchronous communication between colleagues and clients using tools like email, instant messaging or project management software.

Asynchronous Communication

Take Action

Use tools such as project management software, instant messaging, or email to get started.

6. Project Management Tools from Leverage

Remote workers have many benefits from using project management tools. These tools offer a central platform that allows team members to communicate, collaborate, and track the progress of projects.

  • Clear and well-organized communication – Project management tools allow you to create tasks, assign them to team members, and set deadlines. This helps everyone to understand their responsibilities and what is expected.
  • Transparency for projects – Team members can see which tasks have been completed, which are in progress, and which are scheduled. This will help avoid miscommunications and keep everyone on one page.
  • All project information can be stored on a single platform – Remote workers can easily store and share files, leave comments, and ask questions using project management tools. This will help team members stay organized, reduce email chains, and ensure everyone has the latest information.

Basecamp is used at LifeHack to track progress on tasks and projects, announce team members, and check in. Basecamp can be used to keep everyone on the team updated on project progress and plans.

Project Management Tools from Leverage

Take Action

You can choose project management tools that meet your needs.
Select a tool that facilitates clear communication between the team, transparency about projects and progress, as well as the storage of project information in an organized manner.

7. Clear Communication Protocols

You must inform coworkers who work remotely about your availability and preferred channels. This will reduce miscommunications and delays, and help ensure everyone is on the same page.

Another option is to create a shared schedule or scheduling tool that helps coordinate meetings and deadlines across different time zones. Calendly is a popular tool used by LifeHack members to simplify meeting scheduling.

Protocols of Communication

Take Action

Make sure to communicate your availability and preferred channels.
You can use a shared schedule or scheduling tool to organize meetings and set deadlines.

8. Find Your Community

Remote work is a great way to connect with others and feel supported.

Social connections can be made using digital tools. Feel more connected to your coworkers through regular video calls, instant messaging and virtual team building exercises.

Social interaction and support can be provided by joining online communities or forums relevant to your industry. NomadList, Digital Nomads World, Remote Work Community and Digital Nomads World facilitate connections between virtual nomads.

You can also make use of local networking events and co-working spaces. These events allow you to connect with remote workers, make new connections, and build relationships.

Find Your Community

Take Action

To connect with colleagues, use digital tools like regular video calls and instant messaging.
Join forums and online communities that are related to your profession or industry.
Take advantage of local networking events and co-working spaces.

Bottom Line

Remote work is becoming more popular, but remote workers may have difficulties staying motivated, managing their time effectively, and maintaining a work-life balance.

You can overcome these problems by setting regular goals, creating an ideal working environment, using asynchronous communications, leveraging project management tools and establishing communication protocols.

You can keep your productivity up and perform well while still enjoying the remote working experience.

Credit for the featured photo: Persnickety Prints via unsplash.com

Refer to

[1] Remote Job: Surprising Statistics About Remote Work
[2] The Next Web: A Study on How Many Remote Workers are Actually Alone?

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Lifehack published the article How to Work Remotely: Your Complete Guide.

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