I suck at working remotely, but I’m getting better with these tips

Remote working is part of working at Brightec. By design, the whole team works at least 1 day a week remotely. There is a load of great reasons for remote working that are well documented elsewhere. But it’s not easy for everyone.

Being brutally honest, I naturally totally suck at remote working. I’m naturally wired to do my best work around other people and being out of the office I find a struggle.

Remember those people in uni/college/school who you knew were ‘revising’ as their room was the cleanest it had ever been? Or, they were suddenly eating well and working out a load. Yer, that was me.

I can pretty much find anything a priority over the work I’m actually meant to be doing. And although it’s frustrating! It seems I’m not alone. I often talk to people who tell me that they too really struggle when working from home or anywhere that isn’t their office.

Of course, I also know a bunch of people who are amazing at remote working. And it can be depressing to see them doing their best work in an environment where I’m struggling to get anything done. But, of course, that does give me an opportunity to learn from them.

So if, like me, you really struggle with remote working, then below are a few things I’m finding are really working. I’m not there yet, so this is a work in progress!

Vary your environment

This is talked about a lot and I’ve read it a bunch of times. But, it wasn’t until Hannah from Buffer reminded me of it that I felt it was that important. Seeing people like her being awesomely productive while working fully remote is pretty inspiring, so I’ll copy what I can. Planning your day with where you are working is key to getting the most out of your time. I only have 1 day to plan so 2 cafes and the sofa is about it, but the deliberate act of changing scene has been beneficial.

Pomodoro

The Pomodoro technique is a super simple way of breaking down your work into short chunks with regular breaks. I just write down what I want to achieve in each interval and try not to stop until the next break. The act of having regular breaks and short stints has helped me curb my talent for being easily distracted.

Tomato One is a great little (free) mac app for implementing your Pomodoro technique.

One Screen

Contentious I know.

I won’t lie, this took some getting used to. The idea is that you only use one screen to minimise distractions. I’m sure it won’t work for everyone, but it’s helped me to maintain focus. I’d highly recommend switching to only one screen.

Read about it here: https://hackernoon.com/why-i-stopped-using-multiple-monitors-bfd87efa2e5b


I hope these 3 little tips are as helpful for you as much as they have been for me. If you think others will benefit, click the ❤️️ below so other people will see this here on Medium.