By Georgina Cannie, Community Manager at The Community Roundtable
Or…How to Commute From Your Bed to Your Couch!
Good news community managers – The Community Careers and Compensation research conducted by TheCR found that nearly 45% of all polled community professionals work remotely. Not only does this mean less commuting in the industry, it also means the discipline has the flexibility to hire the best talent, regardless of geographic location.
But what about once you have the gig of your dreams and you are a remote worker? How do you make the arrangement work for you? Here are my best tips on how to successfully commute from your bed to the couch:
These babies are the common tips you will find in a speedy Google search. However, they are still worth noting and will help you set up for success.
- Have A Set Working Space. ….Or Don’t.
I see this tip all the time: “Have a specific place in your home where you go to work”. While this can be very effective for some (because it teaches your brain what to expect when you are in the specific space) I find it can also be draining. Sometimes I need to mix it up and sit somewhere different to get a new wave of inspiration or motivation.
- Turn Off After Hours
This sage wisdom is another one to take with a grain of salt. All those work apps on your phone? It’s probably not the best idea to obsess over them at the bar. However, if you have a big upcoming project or want to leave work early on Monday, there is nothing wrong with working on a Sunday night.
- Get Dressed.
This tip is also about training your brain what to expect when you put it in a specific routine. That said, this is probably the most common tip about working from home. And while yes, you should get up and get dressed daily, I have a few additions –
- First, dressing means shoes! Put on your favorite shoes. It helps, I promise.
- Second, take a look in the mirror. Stray pen mark on your face? Crazy hair? There is nothing worse than being invited to a surprise video call and looking the walking dead.
- Finally, if you put together a professional outfit for yourself on a Monday, do not by any means wear it repeatedly on Tuesday and Wednesday. The rationale that “No one saw it yesterday so it doesn’t count” is not valid. You know that you have been in the same clothes all week.
These are some of the tidbits I have collected along the way that make my work life easier and more successful.
- GO OUT:
Seriously. Leave your home. Pick a coffee shop, or a bookstore, the library, a co-working space – whatever suits you. The change of pace is nice and also limits any distractions you have at your house (AKA, that growing pile of laundry that needs to be folded).
- Invest In Headphones:
My favorite are Bose earbuds. These little guys will serve you well. Not only will they improve your audio quality on any calls you join, they will help block out your roommate, spouse or that annoying guy in the coffee shop when you are working quietly.
- Embrace Casual Fridays:
Wanna work in your bed under the covers all day long? Feeling like maybe you should skip wearing pants today? Awesome. Do it on a Friday. I always allow myself to skip my routine and break the rules on Friday. This way, you reap the socially-perceived perks of working from home without sacrificing your regularly scheduled productivity.
- Consider Video Calls
Preferably on days when you do have pants on. Video calls can work wonders for you in a number of ways – they help cut down on endless email chains, allow you to understand a co-worker’s tone of voice, and help remind everyone involved that you work with real people … not disembodied screens.
- Allow Idle Chit Chat
You know all those personal conversations co-workers bond over between meetings and around the office coffee pot? You don’t get the same opportunity to have those. So when idle chat does pop up, let it breathe for a few extra minutes before rushing on to work topics. It might feel unproductive but don’t be fooled, it does wonders for team building and solidarity.
The biggest tip? You do you. This what works for me – but I’d love to hear what works for you.
Do you work from home? Please share any other tips you have picked up along the way!