Working remotely is gaining global popularity, even more so now with the Corona Virus outbreak. This is a concept that Nigerian entrepreneurs would be all too familiar with.

A few of the attractive benefits include the flexibility to work in a way that suits you, as well as the banishment of the dreaded daily commute in traffic.

We have put together a few useful tips to help you make remote working work for you.

Create a Work Space

A good place to start is by thinking about how you work best. Everyone’s work style and personality is different. Some of us need a quiet space with no distractions while others do their best work with loud music in the background.

Your work space should suit your work needs. If you are a fashion designer, for instance, you will need a clear surface with enough space to sketch or actually make your designs. If you spend your time working at a computer then your work space should suit this purpose.

Set Regular Working Hours & Stick To Them

Although you are not working from your office and even if you work for yourself, it’s helpful to manage your time by setting your working hours. The flexibility of remote working comes with a greater responsibility to take control of your time.

Most people fall into one of the following categories or ‘Chronotypes’:

  • Morning larks: Also known as ‘early birds’, these people prefer to get up early and go to bed early. Around 10% of people fall into this category.
  • Night owls: At the other extreme, these people like to get up late and go to bed late, usually after midnight. Around 20% of us are night owls.
  • In-between: The vast majority of people fit somewhere in-between these two ends of the spectrum.

Create a work schedule around your most productive times of the day. Every individual has a ‘body clock’ which determines their most productive times for work. You can work with rather than against your body clock for better productivity. 

Take Breaks

It’s easy to forget the ‘off’ switch when you work remotely. Every hour can easily be spent grinding away without taking a break. Taking regular breaks from work helps to recharge your batteries and increases problem solving abilities, improving your overall well-being and work satisfaction. Here are a few tips:

  • Take short 5 to 15 minute breaks every hour or so with a longer break – at least 30 minutes – every 2 to 4 hours, depending on your tasks for the day.
  • Take a 15 minute power nap when you start to experience fatigue or a slump in your productivity. 
  • Work from a different location occasionally for a change of environment.

Manage Distractions

Working at home comes with its fair share of distractions. Family members, TV and social media are ever present and we have to find ways to work around them. Here are a  few helpful ways to manage distractions:

  • Deactivate email alerts and only check your emails at pre-scheduled times.
  • Communicate with colleagues, family members and friends when you can be reached.
  • Put your phone on silent and do not respond to calls or messages while working.
  • Use distractions as rewards.

Use Technology

Technology enables working from anywhere, not just from home. There are a range of tools available to improve communication (Slack, Zoom), productivity (Trello) and file sharing (GSuite). Advancements in technology mean that people can be productive from anywhere in the world, so take full advantage of them!

Dress The Part

Working from home comes with the freedom to choose your attire. There will be the temptation to roll out of bed and straight to your workstation.

Having a shower and getting dressed helps to create the right mindset for serious work. There is no need to wear a suit (unless you choose to do so), however, getting ready for the work day by putting on casual yet comfortable clothing is a good way to ensure that you start the day right.