One of the major perks of being a digital nomad is working remotely. You can work when you want, where you want, and you can even change your schedule from day today.
But doing remote work comes with its own set of challenges, especially if you’ve been used to doing office work in the past. Many nomads work from home — wherever home may be at the moment — and need to figure out how to make the work from home experience right for them. Others will regularly hit up coffee shops or coworkers spaces, but those require a little adjusting, too.
Here are some working from home tips to own your remote work experience, whether you’re working from home or using a coworking space.
Make a workspace.
That is a designated space where you can sit and do work. Ideally, this won’t be your bed or couch, since those areas should be reserved for relaxing. If the place where you’re staying has an office set up, great. If not, a dining table works just fine.
Once you have a workspace, keep it clean.
Clutter can kill productivity. Try to keep your workspace free of piles of papers — they’ll only get in your way distract you.
Get dressed before work.
Sure, it’s kind of fun to think about working in your PJs, but getting ready before work just like you would if you were going to an office is important. It can help tip your brain off that it’s time to work, and keep you in work mode. Plus, when you’re ready to take a break, you can easily run out the door.
Make a schedule for yourself and stick to it.
One of the biggest complaints people have about working from home is that they find it hard to actually force themselves to work. Designating certain times of the day as work hours for yourself makes it much more likely that you’ll actually sit down and hammer things out during that time. By the way, you don’t have to sit and work for one large period of time during the day. If you know you prefer to start working first thing in the morning, take a solid break, and then get back to it later than evening, that’s OK.
Let other people know about your schedule.
If you have a roommate or two, make it clear to them that you’ll be working during certain hours. So, you won’t be available to do fun things like exploring the city or hitting up the beach during that time. But afterward? Totally.
Figure out your biggest distractions — and get rid of them
Working remotely means there’s no one there to keep you on task, so set some ground rules for yourself. If you know you get distracted by email, only allow yourself to check it in set intervals, like every 30 minutes or so. Turning off push notifications for your computer or phone can help, too. If you don’t use social media for work, try to stay off it during your “office hours.” Avoiding all of these distractions can help you power through work faster—and ultimately have more time to relax.
Invest in noise-cancelling headphones
Noise is always a potential problem if you have roommates or prefer to work in a co-working space or café. Having noise-calling headphones handy can help block all that clutter out, so you can focus on what you need to do.
Make time for socializing, too
Working remotely can be isolating and a little lonely. So, do your best to balance it out by having regular meet-ups with friends after work or even video chatting with people. Staying in touch with others can help balance all that out.
Just do you
Everyone works differently, and you know what you do and don’t need to have a productive workday. Prefer to get up before the sun to hammer things out and then be off by noon? That’s 100% fine. Feel like you’re the most productive when you work late at night? Do it. As you spend more time working remotely, you’ll learn more about what does and doesn’t work for you. So, just do it. You’ll be more productive and have more time for other things once you do.