Remote work is growing in popularity, and more and more companies are adopting the trend. Working remotely is not only comfortable but it also provides flexible hours, more ability to focus, and opens opportunities for people to find interesting work regardless of their location.

Are you a remote work newbie getting ready to work remotely? You might be wondering just where to begin. After all, this gig IS going to be different from the office atmosphere!

Working in pajamas at strange hours, with your only human interaction for the day being chat messages and video calls; remote working can be challenging and incredibly freeing at the same time.

I have been there, and here are a few things you can keep in mind:

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Whether you’ve just landed your dream job or see this new role as a starting point, it’s critical that you take a step back to look at the big picture. Where does this position fit into your professional goals?

If rising up the remote work ladder is important to you, start planning—and working—toward a leadership role today.

CHOOSE WISELY

Your ideal workspace might be the local coffee shop, your terrace or it could be a co-working space. Identify what works best for you.

No matter your preference, take time to map out where you might accomplish your best work, provided there’s Wi-Fi. Your location is of utmost importance,as it measures your flexibility of work.

KNOW WHAT IS EXPECTED OF YOU!

Make sure you understand what is expected of you. Take the initiative rather than just waiting for your boss to return that call, or respond to that WhatsApp message. It’s always better to err on the side of being too specific since you’re working remotely; some things may be interpreted differently than you intended. By being more specific, you can avoid miscommunication.

MEET IN PERSON, AT REGULAR INTERVALS

Even though you can be very effective in working remotely, it is important to meet the team in person every now and then. If remote workers are in the minority, meeting in the office is usually the best option. If you have a fully remote team, an offsite retreat is a great solution.

 

HAVE A ROUTINE, YET BE FLEXIBLE

A great perk of remote work is your flexibility. This means that if evenings or weekends work better for you, you can take advantage of that. However, it’s helpful to have a routine and work at set times. That will also make it much easier for your colleagues to collaborate with you.

DESIGNATE A SPACE AS YOUR ‘WORKSPACE’

The work-only area can be as big as a room or as small as a desk. This will be where you do work and where you store your work items. When you get into the habit of using this space, you will begin to associate the space with work, and vice versa, which will help you get into the proper mindset more quickly.

DRESS FOR WORK

Wearing proper clothing actually helps put you in a professional mindset. Plus, depending on your role, you may be expected to video chat with your colleagues and boss at any moment of your workday. It does not look good if you have to decline their call in order to change clothes. At the end of the day, change back into your casual clothes, so that you switch back to the off-work mindset.

At the end of the day, working remotely can improve your productivity, but only if you still treat it as work and still hold yourself accountable. The physical absence of a hovering boss is not an excuse to slack off.