Working Remotely: Tips & Tricks

March 23, 2020 - 3 minute read

Working on a computer

Hello, my name is Ali Fordonski and I graduated from Concordia University Irvine in May 2014 and majored in Business Marketing. I currently work for Salesforce, based in San Francisco, CA. I am a full-time remote employee and my team is scattered around the globe! Making the transition to working from home full time can be daunting because you no longer have coworkers, a physical office building and plenty of distractions calling your name (I’m looking at you laundry and Netflix!). I have been able to find great success in working from home by transitioning my mindset and my physical workspace! Here are 10 tips that have helped me be successful while working from home!

  1. Create a morning routine: Just because you’re not heading out the door to beat traffic doesn’t mean you should sleep in and head right to your computer upon waking up. Create a morning schedule that works for you to get your mind ready for the day ahead. Commit to waking up 2 hours earlier than your work start time, spend time in prayer/meditation, work out, cook breakfast and most importantly, change from pajamas into a normal outfit for the day.
  2. Move your body: Schedule your daily workout like a meeting on your calendar. It can be tempting to sit and work without taking breaks. Your body (and mind) needs movement and the endorphins will help you come back to work with more creativity, focus, and energy!
  3. Create a dedicated working space: This is a big one and something that helps you stay away from working on the couch, or even worse - your bed! Find a desk or table surface (I personally use my kitchen table) and set up your laptop, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I have a basket next to me with pens, notebook, white-out, and chapstick so my office supplies are within easy reach. At the end of the day, I put my equipment in the basket and put it away for the night. Having an established working space helps you stay focused.
  4. Eat a meal away from your desk: It is so easy to sit and eat your eggs while scrolling email or work on that project with your turkey sandwich spilling crumbs into your keyboard. Commit to eating your meals away from your work area. There’s a ton of research on mindful eating and it’s important to step away, eat your meal and come back to working.
  5. Block out time for focused tasks: To keep yourself on track throughout the day, block out time on your calendar to devote focus to that project you’ve been putting off or the deadline that’s approaching. Mute email and chat notifications during this time and be all in on your task. It’s okay to create boundaries and not be readily available. Think of this as your virtual version of shutting your office door.
  6. Create time for distraction: Create blocks of time in your schedule for distractions! Whether it's a walk outside, calling a family member or friend, or throwing in a load of laundry. Intentionally schedule time to take mental breaks throughout the day and engage in activities that aren’t work-related. Knowing I have that time intentionally scheduled helps me stay focused when it matters.
  7. Use Video Chat for meetings: At my company, all meetings are held on Google Hangouts. It is common practice to have your webcam on during meetings and it helps with connectivity and understanding your coworkers’ body language, tone, and anticipating when someone is going to speak so you’re not talking over each other.
  8. Communicate more: Effective communication is super important when you are a remote employee. Utilize your company’s chat system and video calls to have virtual coffee dates, build relationships with coworkers and get conversations away from email.
  9. Get a change of scenery: Find a couple of blocks of time per week to go work at a local coffee shop, library, or other workspace. The change in scenery will help break up your week and provide fresh motivation and creativity with new surroundings.
  10. Make it your own: There are so many blogs and articles about how to be successful working from home and you will find the most success by being authentic to your own work style and what works best for you! It takes some trial and error to figure out your work from home rhythm so show yourself grace and compassion and don’t be afraid to mix it up!

I’d love to hear your work from home tips as well! Please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

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