Even though The Office is hilarious, no matter how many times you watch it, the office-life and the 9 to 5 will never be just as fun. Working remotely has been on the rise since a while now, but why?
According to Buffer, the top reasons why people are choosing to work remotely is to have a flexible schedule, more family time, ability to travel and to increase productivity. Increase productivity outside of the office? Yep, you read that right. A Stanford study actually proved that people are 13% more productive working remotely. Also, remote workers took fewer sick days off.
So, why aren’t we doing it more? Well… it’s not as easy as it sounds.
Not all jobs can be done remotely and not all employers are inclined to let their employees work remotely. And even if you decide to start remote working, there are many things you have to take into account, such as distractions, family, work-life balance and more.
But not to worry, this is a detailed guide with not 20, 50 or 90, but with 101 tips to start working remotely!
Start remote working
If you’re one of the lucky ones and you already have a remote job, then you can skip to the next topic! If you’re interested in switching careers and working remotely, then you want to keep reading!
1 Be certain
Before going on this amazing path, be certain you want to work remotely! Make a list with a couple of pros and cons and think it through if remote working is really for you or not.
2 Determine what motivates you
It takes a certain amount of love for your job and commitment to work remotely because distractions will be everywhere.
3 Talk to your employer
If you’re satisfied working at your current employment site and you feel that you’re able to deliver the same or better quality by remote working, then talk to your employer! The Muse has a useful worksheet to prepare you step-by-step on how to persuade your boss. Good luck!
Did you decide to fully work remotely? Then our next tip would be to not go looking for remote work on your everyday job search engines such as Indeed or Monster. If you do that, you’ll soon realize that it’s not as easy to find as other location-dependent jobs. By just googling remote job sites, you’ll find tons of sites that only offer remote work.
5 The best remote jobs website
6 Put yourself available
7 Ask remote companies questions
You found a company you’re interested in, make sure they treat remote workers right! Do your research and ask the right questions. Get inspired by these Q&A.
8 Become an entrepreneur
If you don’t find the right place to work or you just want to be your own boss consider becoming an entrepreneur. Here are a few ideas on how to make money, work remotely and travel as an entrepreneur.
9 Make your passion into a profession
The best-case scenario is that you work with your passion. 6 tips on how to make money doing what you love.
10 Get the tools you need
Did you find remote work? Awesome! Now, invest in the hardware and software that you need to deliver quality work.
Child-proof remote working
Are you working remotely with your kid(s) around? Here are another 10 tips to help you work efficiently without letting your kid(s) down.
It’s vital to let your partner know, beforehand, when you can and cannot help. Make plans together, so that everyone has the time and attention they need.
12 Set guidelines
By having guidelines for yourself and your family, everyone can experience the benefit of having you at home.
13 Rotate toys
By changing the toys every so often, you’ll keep the kids interested. If you don’t want to buy new ones, check secondhand stores and marketplaces.
14 Use down-times
While your children are napping or asleep, take advantage and get some work done uninterrupted or even schedule a meeting.
15 Prepare a bottle before meetings
If you have a newborn or toddler, have a bottle ready just in case your baby wakes up in the middle of your meeting.
16 Dedicated home office
In case no one else is around, have a dedicated well-lit office area where you can keep an eye on your kids and work efficiently.
17 TV Time
Schedule a TV time, especially when you most need it. Also, nowadays there are many educational and entertaining content for kids on Youtube. Here are the 21 best educational YouTube channels for kids.
18 Hire a baby-sitter
If you need extra help, don’t hesitate to ask for it. Hire a baby-sitter. Click here to find 6 of the best babysitting sites and apps.
19 Enjoy the little moments
Remote work can be flexible, so don’t miss out on all the precious moments that parenthood provides. Enjoy your work and your family.
20 Ask around
Ask other parents who work remotely for any other advice. Here are some more tips from remote workers with kids from Buffer.
There’s already distractions working in an office, imagine working at home, near a beach or in the alps! Staying productive working remotely can be a struggle! Learn how to minimize the struggle and enhance your productivity.
21 Write it down
Make a checklist and prioritize your objectives. This helps to not lose focus.
22 Manage your time
The Pomodoro technique is about working for a while and then taking a little break and then working again and so on. This might help you to keep your efficiency on the top while working. Try it and you will see if it fits for you!
By learning more about your energy, you’re able to schedule your objectives around it. That way you can do your highest priorities during your highest energy and get great results fast.
24 Sleep better
Not getting enough hours of sleep can be detrimental to your productivity. This bedtime calculator helps you wake up more refreshed by calculating when you’re supposed to fall asleep.
25 Limit notifications
While our phones are our best friend, they can also be distracting. Mute unimportant chats and apps that are distracting you from getting things done. Or better yet, learn how to disconnect.
26 Learn to say no
Don’t grant all favors and don’t put too much on your plate. Know your limits so you don’t overwork yourself.
27 Dedicated office space
If possible, have a dedicated office space that’s quiet and far from distractions. Here are some dedicated home office ideas that will inspire your productivity.
28 Healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle is proven to increase your energy and therefore your productivity. Mark’s Sisson lays it out for you here.
29 Coffee = your bestie
Can’t seem to concentrate? Get yourself some coffee! That’ll do the trick. Not a coffee lover? Green tea should help as well.
30 Netflix and don’t
Replace Netflix with every other video streaming service and just don’t. Don’t watch one episode in between breaks. One episode becomes 3 seasons real quick!
While working remotely you’ll notice that you’ll need more applications to enhance your productivity, to be more organized, and to communicate and collaborate better with others.
These are the must-have software for any successful remote worker:
Both tools combine audio, text and video chat features into one compact package. Click here for a detailed comparison.
Trello is a visual project management tool that is extremely easy to use.
Asana and Monday.com are also project management tools. Although not as simple as Trello, it does have more advanced features. Want to have a comparison? Click here.
These are smart to-do lists but for more simplicity, remote workers can also use it as a project management tool.
36 G Suite
G Suite is Google’s business tool that includes Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drive for cloud storage, and many more. And if you don’t want to purchase it, you can use Google Drive with Sheets, Docs and Forms for free. Just start here. It’s perfect for simultaneous collaborations.
Toggl is a tool that lets you track your time. It’s good for hourly workers or also helpful if you’re trying to increase productivity. The results let analyze your time for future optimization.
Is simple yet extremely helpful software that tells you where and when your remote team is instead of googling “What time is it in Jakarta?”.
Now you have so many tools but realize that they don’t integrate or work well together. Not to worry! Zapier allows you to integrate your web applications.
Shift is a “productivity game-changer”. It integrates your emails with Facebook, Whatsapp, Messenger, Trello, Slack and many more into ONE app. Perfect for when you have a million different tabs and windows open.
Traveling + remote working
Now that you’re remote working, you can travel more! The wonders of technology allow you to travel full-time and also work full-time! This is also known as a Digital Nomad. The following tips help you to become one.
41 Start with a plan
First things first, grab your bucket-list that you’ve had ever since you watched that movie and start planning! Make sure you do some research first, though.
42 Book your ticket
Since you’re going to be traveling a lot, it’s best you find the cheapest tickets, unless you’re a millionaire, then disregard this tip. Websites such as Cheaptickets or Skyscanner compare the rates of many airlines.
43 Choose the best accommodation
There are many affordable options available for digital nomads. We all know Airbnb and Hostels. But some other affordable, lesser-known, options are co-living spaces that have coworking areas, couch surfing, and house sitting.
44 Make sure the WIFI is on point
Working online means that wherever you stay, there has to be a solid WIFI connection. Make sure to check for reviews for wherever you’re staying.
Make a list of the essential tech you need to travel with and make sure all your tech work. So that you won’t find yourself at a beautiful tropical island in Thailand with a broken lens and no backup,
46 Pack appropriately
If you’re going to be constantly moving pack for the destination climate and only take what you need. You’re the one who’s going to be dragging your luggage or backpack around, so don’t make it too heavy. Here’s a packing list for digital nomads.
47 Make a schedule
Make sure you schedule and prioritize your work. Remember to take into account the difference in time-zones if you’re dealing with clients or colleagues from far away.
48 Stay committed and follow your schedule
Don’t get too distracted by the beautiful and oh-so-inviting beaches. Otherwise, you’ll fall behind on your work and that can affect your cash flow.
49 Enjoy your surroundings
Make sure you add “having fun” in your schedule! Explore your surroundings, get to know the community and the locals, and enjoy the food!
50 Join a Digital Nomad Community
Join a like-minded community that can provide you with more tips and perhaps even meet up with.
You have the software, you’re about to travel, now you’re missing the must-have gadgets!
This device blocks out distractions on your laptop and lets you focus and be more productive.
52 Foldable laptop stands
Especially useful since you’re constantly working on your laptop. The ParcSlope for Macbook, for example, lifts your laptop or iPad at the perfect height for your eyesight while still maintaining a perfect angle for typing.
53 Wireless hard drive
Always have extra storage on hand! The WD My Passport Wireless Pro hard drive is perfect for every remote worker. It’s lightweight, comes with an integrated SD port, connects to the Adobe Creative Cloud and many more.
54 Noise-canceling headphones
If you’re going to be staying at a hostel, co-living space, co-working or working at a cafe, you’ll need noise-canceling headphones for sure! Techradar lists the 12 best ones of the year.
55 High-capacity power bank
Imagine taking a break from remote working and taking a hike to some breath-taking mountains and your phone dies. Sucks right? Get yourself a powerful power bank! Click here to find the 5 best high-capacity power banks.
Just because you’re not a photographer doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a good camera while you’re digital nomad-ing. Nomads Nation lists the pros and cons of 11 of the best cameras for remote workers. Check it out.
57 Mobile hotspot
We all know how a crappy wifi connection brings out the worst in us. Avoid that type of negativity and get yourself a mobile hotspot. The SkyRoam Solis provides you hotspot in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Instead of constantly buying a specific travel adapter each time you land in a new country, just buy a universal one. You’ll save some space in your luggage and money.
59 Travel extension cords
If you’re going to work at a co-working area, you’re not going to be the only one who has many devices to charge all at once. Amazon has a selection of lightweight travel extension cords.
Make sure you don’t have to pay extra fees for going over the maximum allowed luggage weight.
Remote working as a team
Whether you are in a leading position or not, in a small team or big, these tips will help you work better remotely as a team. You’ll realize that most tips are about communication, but good communication is the key, which can make or break a remote team performing effectively and efficiently.
61 Clear Communication
Firstly, establish how you’re going to communicate, meaning via what channel. Tell your team when is the best time to reach you, especially if you’re in different time-zones and discuss with your boss what you expect and what is expected from you.
62 Work on your writing skills
You’re probably thinking that anyone who’s able to work remotely also has good writing skills. You’d be surprised though. If you’re just starting to work remotely, you will realize that the usual conversations you have at location-dependent workplaces, such as giving or asking any feedback about tasks, is not the same as writing it out. That is why it is important that your writing is proficient enough to be able to communicate clearly via email or other communication apps.
63 Weekly team hangouts
It is difficult to know the rest of the team if you’ve never met each other and these weekly video hangouts help the team to know each other and at the same time, build the company culture.
It is hard to keep an eye and supervise the rest of your team. So the weekly video hangouts can aid with the supervision because you talk about tasks that were done, how it went and future tasks. So you hold everyone accountable for their tasks. Extra tip: this can also be done by having the team posting in a communication app, for example, a Slack channel.
65 Weekly 1 on 1s
If you’re in a leading position, Weekly 1on1s help build trust between you and your teammate. Although if you’re scaling, your team is too big or you’re just too busy, then maybe it’s time to appoint another team leader that will report to you instead of having everyone reporting to you. The Long-Distance Leader book explains everything you need to know about leading a remote team.
66 Provide and ask for feedback
It is easier to give or ask for feedback in-person than doing it in writing. Don’t hesitate and just do it. Giving and receiving constructive feedback helps the team as a whole.
67 In-person meetups
The whole team should do in-person meetups every once in a while. It’s important for bonding the team and building company culture. But it is also important if no one has met each other yet.
68 Take advantage of communication tech
Choose the best communication software for your team, where you can chat, share attachments, have project management and many more. Click here for the 14 best collaboration software.
69 Automate what can be automated
Since you’re working remotely, you as a team need to see what part of your processes you can automate. It will decrease the amount of time spent on repetitive tasks. A rule of thumb: If you’re going to do a task more than 2 times, automate it. One of Zapier‘s core values: “Don’t be a robot, build the robot.”
70 Adapt your surroundings
If you miss the social interaction or the hustle and bustle, try working at co-working spaces to get the feel of an office.
You can’t supervise everyone constantly. You have to trust each other and trust that your team will do what’s best for the team and company.
Remote working in warm and cold climates
Working in warm or cold climates? Here are some things to think about!
72 Choose wisely
While you want to go to a warmer or colder climate, check first the month you’re going. You don’t want to go somewhere that’s too humid or too cold for you.
73 Take appropriate clothing
Before traveling, check the weather and the real feel. If you’re leaving a tropical climate to a cold one, take note that your body may not acclimate to the weather quickly and vice versa. So, pack accordingly.
74 Jet lag
Switching from climates probably means different time-zones. Take this into account when scheduling your meetings or work hours. And if you can’t sleep at night, here’s how to kill jet lag.
75 Enjoy the hot…
In warm or tropical weather, make time to soak in the sun, go to the beach or take a hike.
76 …and enjoy the cold.
It might be tempting to stay inside curled up near the fireplace and work yourself tired. But try to enjoy the cold weather too: have hot cocoa, go skiing, and take beautiful pictures of white snow.
77 Moisturize and Vitamin D
In winter, your skin tends to get ashy or dry. Remember to moisturize. And since there isn’t much sunlight, up your vitamin D!
In the summer or tropical weather, use sunblock! Sun can be very harmful to your skin. Avoid those wrinkles and protect your skin as much as you can.
Don´t know where to go? Get inspiration from the choices of the other Digital Nomads.
- Koh Phangan, Thailand
- The Oaxacan Coast, Mexico
- Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala
- Bansko, Bulgaria
- Revelstoke, British Columbia
- South Lake Tahoe, California
Get more ideas!
Remote working and adapting to a foreign country
Going to a totally different country can be quite scary and frustrating. Stay calm and read on.
82 Forget what you know
You’ve probably read a bunch of reviews of where you’re going to travel and decided that you’re not going to eat at a particular restaurant because a disgruntled Yelp reviewer woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day. Forget what you read and travel with an open mind!
83 Get out of your comfort zone…
You’ve probably heard this many times before. But that’s because great things can happen when you get out of your comfort zone.
84 …but don’t overdo it.
Andrew Molinsky says in his book that you need to assess your own cultural code and that of the foreign country you’re in. You really don’t want to create too much discomfort for yourself that will negatively impact your travel experiences.
85 Blend into the culture
You’re more likely to make genuine connections if you blend into the culture. Genuine connections are quite important since traveling abroad for an extended time can get lonely. Making connections may enrich your experience of the world, according to David Rothbart-Found Magazine.
86 Learn the language
Showing to locals that you know a bit of their language can go a long way. It shows that you’re genuinely interested in their culture. Use Duolingo to get started!
87 Join a group and activity
Join groups with other like-minded Digital Nomads and join a local activity to get to know the locals!
88 Bring ca$h
Not all countries make use of debit cards let alone credit cards. As soon as you land, take out some cash.
89 Figure out public transport or vehicle rental
Assuming that you’re going to stay an extended period of time, figure out where your nearest bus or metro station is and get to know the lines. And if you’re renting a vehicle, get to know the roads to the town or supermarkets.
90 Get to know your neighborhood
Walk around and get to know your surroundings to see where the necessity spots are such as the grocery store, markets, laundry, shopping street, ATM, pharmacy and hospital. Read more tips here.
91 Slow down. Don’t do many things at once
The first few days can get quite hectic and leave you exhausted. Slow down and take it all in one day at a time.
One of the reasons, if not, the reason, for working remotely is to achieve a work-life balance. Here’s how:
92 Plan and prioritize
Plan your to-do list, which includes your work tasks and your personal tasks according to Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle.
93 Delegate to your teammates
Especially if you’re in a leading position, don’t take on too much. Delegate what you can. This will improve your work-life balance and show trust in your teammates.
94 Work ahead
If you work an hour more today you can go to the beach an hour earlier tomorrow but remember, don’t overwork yourself either. Also, try not to put things off till the last minute.
95 Put limits
Since you’re not constrained to office-hours, you may tend to work more than the allotted time that you set for yourself. Don’t. You’ll end up overworking yourself.
96 Take a break
Have a coffee, call your mother, take a short stroll, do a 5-minute meditation. It doesn’t matter. After your break, you’ll continue with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
97 Take advantage of tech applications
Make use of software to track your time to be more efficient, use applications that help with communication and collaboration with other remote teammates. Check out the Software section.
98 Step out
Don’t just work and no play. Plan some time to work on your relationships. Meet up with your pals and gals, have a beer, wine or some plain old sparkling water! Go watch a movie with your loved one, have dinner. Whatever you do, just go have some fun!
99 Exercise and eat healthy
Don’t strive to be skinny! Strive to be healthy! Don’t starve yourself, eat that pizza and enjoy that Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough, but with moderation. And make sure to exercise! A healthy lifestyle is proven to improve your energy and your life.
100 Go on vacation
Just because you’re not working at an office doesn’t mean you shouldn’t treat yourself to a vacation! Get away from it all, in the end, you deserve it.
101 Join a Work-Life Balance challenge
Learn more about how you can destress and declutter your life and achieve the ultimate 3: Health, wealth and relationship with a 10-day challenge.
Did you get through it all?
Congratulations on reaching the end! Working remotely doesn’t sound that easy anymore, does it? There are many elements that must be taken into account before and while working remotely. Honestly, it can be a lot to think about, but luckily these 101 tips will help you get started! Whether you are a parent, you want to travel, you’re working alone or in a team, or you just want to work from the comfort of your home, these tips will jumpstart your career to remote working.
Do you need more tips or support? Or do you have any tips to share with us?
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