Being your own manager is not always easy. Whether you’re working from home permanently or just for the time being, remote work comes with its own set of rewards and challenges. Here are a few tips for maximizing the rewards of remote work in a rural area while minimizing its challenges.
Have a good internet connection.
There is nothing more frustrating than getting sabotaged by a spotty internet connection when you are trying to get work done. While it is not always easy to find a fast and reliable internet connection in rural areas, a good connection is the key to sustainable work from home in both the short and long run. A good internet connection like fixed wireless internet decreases frustration and increases productivity, and makes you look more professional in the eyes of bosses, coworkers, and clients.
Start your workday the same way every day.
When you work in an office, your workday begins when you step through the door each morning. When you work from home, you do not always have that clear separation between home life and work. To jumpstart your workday, carve out a morning routine that signals to your brain “now it’s time to work.” The routine does not have to be complicated – it can be as simple as making a coffee and sitting down in front of your laptop. By setting a routine, any routine, you can use Pavlovian conditioning to increase your concentration and reduce procrastination.
You have control over your day. How do you want it to look? There is probably a reason you do not live in a city skyrise surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people, so be sure to take breaks to get outside and enjoy your surroundings. According to blogger Gregory Ciotti, it’s better not to schedule these breaks throughout your day. Instead, monitor your energy level and take spontaneous breaks to relax and recharge when you feel your energy level dropping.
Keep in touch with your coworkers.
When you cut out water cooler gossip with coworkers, it is easier to be productive. Unfortunately, remote work also makes it easier to lose touch with coworkers, which can negatively affect your ability to work as a team. Keep up your relationships with your coworkers (or form new friendships with remote coworkers you have never met in person) through work messaging apps like Slack. Be sure to have conversations about something other than work from time to time.
Leave something unfinished at the end of the day.
People tend to be more task oriented and less time oriented when they work from home. While you may be tempted to end your workday when you finish the project you are working on, there are a couple advantages to signing off for the day in the middle of a task. First, you will not end up working overtime to finish a project, which is a habit that can lead to burnout in the long run. Second, it’s easier to start working the next day if you’ve already taken a chunk out of the task at hand – and when you start off your workday by putting the finishing touches on an incomplete task, it can motivate you for the rest of the day.