Remote work seems great at first, but this kind of arrangement comes with its own challenges. This isn’t an easy transition to make, which can cause quite a few hiccups along the way.
With that in mind, here are six common mistakes remote workers make, as well as how to avoid them moving forward.
1) Working from your bed
This tip is an absolute no-no, and yet people still do it. Working from your bed may sound tempting, but there are a whole host of disadvantages. Not only is it bad for your back, but this separation from where you work and relax can lead you to either over- or under-working. You should be as far away from your bed as possible, and even going to work at a desk in your bedroom can work wonders.
2) Forgetting to communicate
Speaking of over-working, burnout is an all-too-common symptom of remote work. This holds true for all remote workers, but especially those such as designers and project managers who are constantly working towards a deadline. To that end, UX Collective cites communication as a crucial skill to keep everyone on-point. While there are bound to be days when everyone needs to work overtime, fluid communication ensures that everyone continues to work as a team.
3) Not using specialized tools
Telecommuting tools are one in a million, so you need an app or software that improves your own workflow. This is why HP suggests educators should use screencasting software such as Loom to conduct sessions. Your regular video conferencing software doesn’t cut it: you need an app that can integrate files easily, has robust storage, and has a chat function for students’ questions. Of course, these tools aren’t limited to educators. Anyone that has a job that entails presenting decks or managing teams can benefit from screencasting, and it’s a great way to keep communication fluid throughout.
4) Working at odd hours of the day
Remote work gives you the freedom to structure your day as you like, but there’s still something to be said for having a routine. Most companies will require their employees to be online at certain hours, but if your company doesn’t (or if you’re solo entrepreneur) then it’s in your best interest to restrict your work to specific hours. From there, you can decide which hours suit you best; you don’t have to keep the traditional 9-to-5 if that doesn’t work for you.
5) Leaving data unsecured
Forbes argues that while cloud storage has grown in popularity among businesses, additional steps need to be taken to secure your data. Take legal professionals as an example. They’re undoubtedly dealing with lots of files all at once, and having even just one corrupted or stolen file can put their clients’ privacy under jeopardy and tarnish the firm’s reputation. While changing passwords frequently is a good step, you should also install multi-factor authentication and keep both internal and external backups.
6) Letting your desktop and inbox clutter up
As our post on the 7 Common Blogging Mistakes shows, email is crucial for staying connected while working remotely. That being said, neglecting to clean up your inbox can give you a headache every time you log on — and it goes without saying just how annoying this can be. Save some time every day to clean your email inbox, and your desktop while you’re at it. Think of this as the digital equivalent of cleaning your desk; it can be an annoying task, but a clean workplace can lead to a cleaner mindset.
Remote work requires you to juggle your personal and professional life all at once, which definitely isn’t easy. But keeping these common mistakes in mind can help you navigate this new change.