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Wellness

How To Have Happy People Around You When You Work Remotely

When you’re working remotely you have to manage your time and your energy, and the two are not always in sync. This is the first of a series of posts that will focus on tips that will help you manage the two and ensure that you’re getting to work.  And there are plenty more tips for working on the go with Remote Working you’d be surprised at.

In this post, I want to share a few tips that I’m finding useful when dealing with the demands of working remotely. I will go over how to ensure that you have your priorities in check; which is difficult when you spend your days in different time zones but your nights at the office; how to ensure that you’re getting your work done; and how to make the work-life balance as easy and positive as possible. This post is not intended for remote employees. Also, it won’t be complete. I know that.

There are two main ways that I get my work done when I’m remote, and both methods are important.

Planning and Priorities

As I mentioned earlier in the post, I’m a big proponent of setting big priorities and having a clear plan for when you’ll be available: at what time, for how long, and how you’ll manage the time when you have a choice.  I get the most time at the weekends, but I also try to take the work home when I can.

A lot of these thoughts are in a document that I use called Project Management by the Numbers by  Michael Hartl  (the same author that has a fantastic article on  Work and Life Balance ). You can read up on it right here . It’s a good reference for getting a realistic outline of what you need to complete or what is possible.

I know that what I need to do or what my priorities are will probably change between now and then, so it’s helpful to have an agreed plan when you are in a constant state of flux.

A few common questions are:

– Do I meet my deadlines?

– Is there enough time in the day?

– How much does this job cost me every month?

– Will my family miss me if I’m working from home?

– I don’t think I’m going to get a new job in the next 6 months so I have to make it worth my while to stay when I already have a job?

– I don’t have a new computer, so I’ll have to do this over the weekend

In these situations, it’s a good idea to have a contingency plan: if I can’t do this, then I’ll wait a month or some other amount of time. It’s easier to put in the effort when you have a concrete understanding where you are and, if you do manage to find work when you’re in a bad spot, you’ll know what to expect or plan out how everything will go. 

One time when I had a lot of issues was when I worked a 12 hour night shift that night  and the following day  and I was on deadline.  I had to stay with my team when I couldn’t get home, but that’s the kind of pain you do have to learn to deal with.

Set up your calendar:

There are a few other tools that you can use when you’re working remotely:

Inbox 

Trello

One thing I’ve learned is that when there is a lot of email, and everyone has different priorities, it can take a lot of time to make sure everyone gets the things they need. You can use these tools to create lists of things that you need to do and be sure to prioritize them. This can also work as a way to organize the task list that you set up on a physical calendar .

You could also use your project management tool like  Asana  or  ScrumBuddy  to make a list of tasks and then go through each item to make sure that you know exactly who to talk to for each task.