Working remotely has been a growing trend for several years with the abundance of new communication channels. Quite a few very educated people have written many well-researched and professional articles about How to Work Remotely and Successfully.
But here’s the thing. We’re not what you might call hyper-professional office commuters. We work from our couches most days, and sometimes don’t even bother to wear make-up. Here are a few fun tips for working remotely—the everyday way.
One. Don’t Limit Distractions
Limiting distractions keeps you from being your best self. Our minds were designed to do busy well.
Busy means keeping 107 tabs open on your browser and flipping back and forth all day long, so make sure you do that well. Being able to devote attention to one thing for longer than 15 minutes takes too much focus, and drains your energy.
Distractions keep you on your toes, keep your mind firing on all cylinders. So always answer text messages as they come in, and never let emails go unanswered for longer than 30 minutes.
A coffee or a quick snack also keeps your mind hyper focused, so keep that Keurig well stocked with lots of variety! Bonus points for working remotely in a shared household, the chaos will drive your distractions higher therefore creating more room for brain multi-management skills.
Two. Don’t Over-Communicate
I can not stress this one enough. Over-communication is the biggest reason work relationships go south within three months.
Working remotely is an introverts dream job.
There’s no reason to talk face to face all day long.
Bonus Tip: Have Team Meetings on Snapchat
In the long history of our company, we have discovered that the best communication happens on SnapChat.
After we got started, choosing the perfect filter to complement our witty comments seemed like a great use of work hours. Any deadline discussion suddenly became the perfect excuse to use the “Broccoli Head” filter. Passing on organizational requests seemed like the best time for a “No-Dentures Granny” filter.
Getting on SnapChat and discovering new filters upon “arriving at the office” became the best way to start a work day. It was definitely a little easier to get my “boss on” with the “Puppy” Filter than with my own face.
Holding Team Meetings on SnapChat has done more for our remote team than I can ever tell you. Team morale is up by 500% just in the second quarter, and we expect to see a 1000% increase by the fourth quarter. We attribute this dramatic increase to frequent use of the “Oh Deer: Filter” and will be protesting SnapChat if they ever decide to discontinue it.
Checking in with your team via the “Flower Crown” Filter keeps them from asking annoying questions like, “So how late were you up last night?”
Another benefit of SnapChat is that it forces your team members to get their thoughts into ten seconds or less. After all, if they can’t say what they need to say in ten seconds or less is it really important enough to share with anyone?
Three. Don’t Stay Alert (or Active)
Don’t fall into the trap of a treadmill desk. No one can think clearly while trying to accomplish a 20% incline.
My best light bulb inspirations have come while lying inert under a blanket, or relaxing with a glass of wine.
An inactive body certainly doesn’t mean inactive brain, people.
Remember the first tip? Brains were designed to do busy well. So save that mountain of energy to fuel your brain, and give your body a break.Reaching for your coffee cup might be the best exercise you can give yourself, and that’s ok.Click To Tweet
Four. Don’t Be Consistent
Inspiration never comes on schedule so don’t try to force it. Consistency means routine, and that’s something that never works out well for anyone, right?
Don’t even think about keeping your work laptop trapped in one room. Taking a laptop hostage won’t do anything for your productivity on any project. Delivering consistent results in an inconsistent world is the kind of oxymoron that will take you farther in this life than you may have thought.
Getting creative with your work space means changing it up as often as needed. Sometimes that needs to happen every hour, and that’s also ok.
Moms that work remotely have an advantage here, as there’s no need for them to put effort into changing their workspace. With a six year old and a five year old running around it happens in my own home with no extra effort from me.
Five. Don’t Keep Regular Business Hours
Sticking to a schedule is for those who have to punch a time clock at a physical office every day. You are not that person. What’s the point of working from home if you can’t sleep in when you feel like it? As long as you get your hours in and your deadlines met (boo) you should be able to take advantage of your remote situation and keep to your own creative schedule.
Send all of your emails to your team and your clients at 11 PM. It puts them and you at an advantage when they are able to process and answer while they are in their best frame of mind.
Critiques on projects are always best received via text at 2 AM, trust me. I may have gotten the most authentic and honest responses of my career at those times.
Now go out and conquer the world—aka work remotely from anywhere—with your favorite snapchat filter.
Share these tips with your favorite coworker. I promise you’re both going to love working remotely just a little bit more.
Disclaimer: The post was not written to be taken literally. Bringing humor to our working-remotely-relationship maintains a healthy and productive online working environment that encourages mutual respect, promotes open communication, and keeps us in a good mood most of the time.