Working from home: tips on how to nail the remote lifestyle

As a freelance journalist and online editor by profession, Rhia Chohan is no stranger to working from home. Having done it for over five years, she’s learned to get this remote thing down to a tee. Here are her tips for nailing that digital nomad lifestyle:

Structure your day

When you tell people you work remotely, they assume you’re in your pyjamas with a bowl of ice cream, typing away your escapades in some Carrie Bradshaw fashion. This couldn’t be further from the truth for me. I stick to conventional 8-5 working hours and give myself an hour’s break in the afternoon. You may think it all sounds very disciplined, but after a while it just feels like a natural way to work. Having your day spill into the evenings when everyone else is done and dusted is no fun. A great online tool I use to structure and monitor my productivity is Asana. It means I’m not having to pack up scribbled bits of paper at the end of the day.

Do something before you clock in

Make up for that commute, which you don’t have to travel on, and use the time to do something for yourself. Whether it’s a bit of baking, reading or even a little work out, it will stop the day feeling like one very long work one. Having a roll-up yoga mat on hand is perfect for spontaneous lunch break stretches.

Set up your own little fold-away office

Define your working space so that it doesn’t merge in with your home life. That means not working in bed! Find a bright spot in your home to set up shop and you’ll find it works wonders for productivity. There’s no need to invest in any expensive desk furniture. I have a cheap and cheerful bistro table and chair – the kind cafés use – which looks out onto the garden. A comfy cushion added and I’m ready to go. What’s great, is that it all gets folded and put away at the end of the working day so I have my living space back. The bright area also functions as a nifty little photo studio.

Hotdesk

It’s good for creativity and inspiration to get out of the home office routine. Pick one or two days a week to work in an alternative, refreshing space. All you need is a power point and wifi connection. A couple of my favourite spots for this in Manchester are Grindsmith and the revamped Central Library.

Get out to industry-related events

Remote working doesn’t mean being out of the loop. I was lucky enough to attend the Lions Festival of Creativity a few times in Cannes, and found it so useful for new insights, opportunities and networking. There are always industry-related talks, events or dedicated weeks going on so check out your nearest using apps like Eventbrite. And remember the power of conversation and those handy little tools, Skype and Google Hangouts.

Do you work from home? I’d be interested in learning about your tips over on the forum.

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WRITTEN BY:
Rhia Chohan

Rhia is a digital-savvy, social media enthusiast. This Mancunian loves baking, cake decorating, home...

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