We will be seeing an unprecedented number of employees working remotely from now on, and for who knows how long? Even though working remotely is nothing new, it will be for many of the workforce. At first it will be a novelty, trust me I thought it was when I first started working from home, but it will soon become difficult if we don’t show discipline.

Here are my top 8 tips to make it work, and for you to work effectively and productively.

1. Set your alarm for the same time you would if you were driving or catching public transport.  Instead of getting in the car though, make your coffee, read the news. Do everything you normally would before sitting down at your desk in the office.

2. Get dressed for work. Remember the old saying “Casual dress, casual attitude”. With the relaxed nature of corporate attire these days, I don’t think that applies in every scenario, but by dressing for work (ties optional!!) gets your head in the game and focused on your day to day responsibilities.

3. Start at the same time.  Just because you are at home and ‘out of sight’ from your team or manager, the best thing you can do is stick to your routine. Sure, a little bit of flexibility is ok, but routine is key!

4. Have regular breaks. It can be very easy to get into the zone, but breaks are needed. Get up, walk around the block…or around your back yard if we are completely locked down…and revitalise the mind. Nothing better than some fresh air

5. Avoid distractions like your phone. Again, being out of sight of your team or manager doesn’t translate to checking the Gram every 5 minutes. Trust me, I learnt the hard way but after seeing my screen time report one week, I quickly added up how much lost time (& $$) that cost me and now only do so in my planned breaks.

6. Set boundaries with your kids, partner or housemates. Yes you are at home, and that might be a rare occasion especially for your kids. But you are simply working from a different location, you can’t just fix them a drink, or take them to the park when they want. Don’t ignore them, but let them know your boundaries. They will quickly learn. Refer to point 4 and do it in your break!

7. Keep in touch. We are so lucky to have a myriad of communication tools at our disposal. Zoom, Teams, Slack, Messenger…the list goes on. If you lead a team, make regular video and phone calls to your team. Don’t let the rhythm of your leadership style change, just change the medium to which you use. Face to face is becoming especially difficult, so click the facetime button on your phone and say hello!

8. Keep the balance & don’t over work.  Maybe don’t show this one to your boss…but the struggle is real. It is so easy to sit there and keep going because you don’t have a train to catch or drive an hour to get home. But, by sticking to your routine and rhythm, there should be no need keep working past your normal 8 or so hours!

For more tips and advice – head to www.nextgenhr.com.au/blog