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Remote Work Best Practices

Working remotely has become the norm and that is unlikely to change in the near future. In this article we will explore how to create competitive advantages in how you work remotely.

Remote Work Does Not Equal Less Work

A lot of people equate remote work to less work. As always if your goal is to work less then this is probably not the place for you. However, if your goal is to succeed in your career then working hard is a prerequisite.

Therefore, one of the first things you need to remember is you are attempting to influence others’ perception of you. You want them to come away from a virtual meeting with you thinking “man this guy is killing it.”

💡 Pro Tip: Try to get to your meetings early so you can socialize a little with others before the call starts.

The Home “Office”

First, and we are begging you, have something similar to a real office setup. If possible don’t work out of your bedroom or your kitchen.

It simply creates the wrong perception. It makes you appear as if you are working when you have free time from other household duties. “Oh I guess I will take this meeting since I am done folding laundry or washing dishes.”

If you do need to work out of a common household space, then use a room divider as your background.

Second, once you have your home “office” established make sure your environment is conducive to actually getting work done. Ask yourself these questions:

- Does your home office limit distractions?

- Does your home office make you efficient?

- Does your home office convey a sense of professionalism to your colleagues?

💡 Pro Tip: Everyone says they don’t mind the background noises from your puppy or from the children, but in reality people will unconsciously sigh and think less of the other persons’ commitment to the conversation.

Finally, treat your home office like an actual office. Try to establish physical barriers, like doors or room dividers, from work and home life as much as possible.

Show Your Face

This is simple: BE ON CAMERA DURING MEETINGS. Here are a few simple reasons:

- Being on camera shows you are paying attention

- Being on camera shows you are committed to the conversation

- Being on camera establishes a deeper form of communication as you can see body language and facial expressions

However, more importantly it supports the perception you are seeking to create that you are reliable and plugged into getting stuff done. Even if you are working in Costa Rica, show your face.

💡 Pro Tip: Review your Zoom, Teams, and WebEx settings when you first set up your computer. Know how to change your name, mute yourself, mute others, remove a participant, and change your camera settings to limit distractions.

A final tip here is to use a real background. Try to avoid using the greenscreens. We all are suspicious of where you are working when you have the Deathstar in the background.

Look The Part

Just because you are working from home, or the Caribbean, doesn’t mean you should dress like you are going to the gym or just woke up.

We are not saying that you need a full suit, but perceptions are established by the clothes you wear. Get yourself nice business casual attire and realize you are being paid to perform a function. Working is a privilege not a right.

The reality here is the same as everything else. People are going to judge you, consciously and subconsciously, based on how you present yourself.

Tools of The Trade

You may not think office workers have trade tools, but you do. Your computer, your audio-visual equipment, and your other office items are your tools and like any good tradesman you should have the best tools to get the job done.

Here are a few of our favorite tools of the trade:

Gel wrist rest pads: Link to Product

Keyboard incline stand: Link to Product

💡 Pro Tip: Make sure to get the fastest internet speed you can get in your local area. Video conferencing, VPNs, and SharePoint sites use a lot of data. You don’t want to have glitches during your calls.

As a side note we are huge fans of large desk spaces that allow you to have multiple monitors. We like the three monitor setup. Try setting up one of your monitors vertically and setting the monitor to portrait view. Use this monitor to view your Outlook or email application. The portrait view helps you read emails without having to open the actual email and is a more efficient way to use your monitors.

Mental and Physical Health

When working from home we can forget that we need to take care of our physical and mental needs.

Check out Dr. Andrew Huberman’s podcasts on improving various aspects of your life:

Remember that you need sunlight early in the morning, you need to get your body activated before working, and you need to get up and move around during the day.

Final Thoughts

Remember that working from home is a luxury and that perceptions still matter when you are working from home.

Use every opportunity to demonstrate to others that you are reliable and trustworthy as you seek to accelerate your career.

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