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Essential Guidelines for Effective Remote Working: Tips for Employees

The way we work has changed drastically in recent years. Advances in technology have facilitated remote working, allowing employees to work from wherever they choose, whether it’s their home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. Remote working offers a range of benefits for both employees and employers, including increased flexibility, reduced overheads, and improved work-life balance.

But remote working can also present challenges, such as the lack of supervision or the potential for distractions. To make remote working effective, it’s essential that employees adopt certain guidelines and practices to ensure success. Here are some essential guidelines for effective remote working.

Create an ideal workspace

One of the biggest challenges of remote working is staying productive when you don’t have a structured office environment. It’s important to create a dedicated workspace that separates your work life from your personal life. Designate a specific area where you’ll work, such as a spare room or a corner of your living room.

Make sure your workspace is comfortable, organised, and free from distractions. Invest in a quality chair and desk, and ensure the lighting is good. Keep your workspace organised by decluttering regularly, and have everything you need at hand.

Establish clear boundaries

When you work remotely, it can be tempting to start working as soon as you wake up and continue working late into the evening. Establishing clear boundaries between your work and personal life is crucial in ensuring an optimal work-life balance. Set clear start and finish times, and stick to them.

Make sure your family and friends know your work hours and when you’re not available. Consider using an app like Trello or Asana to organise your work schedule and deadlines. And don’t feel guilty about taking breaks – taking a quick walk or doing some exercise can help you stay energised and productive.

Communicate regularly

Good communication is one of the keys to remote working success. It’s important to keep in touch with your colleagues and manager regularly. Schedule regular check-in meetings with your manager and team members to discuss your progress and any challenges you’re experiencing.

Use communication tools like Slack, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams to stay connected with your colleagues. Make sure you have a reliable internet connection and invest in a good quality headset to ensure clear audio during video calls.

Avoid distractions

When working remotely, it’s easy to get distracted by household chores, social media, or online shopping. To stay productive, it’s essential to avoid distractions. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete during your workday and prioritise them.

Use tools like the Pomodoro technique, where you work for a set period, such as 25 minutes, and then take a break. During the work period, focus solely on your work, avoiding social media, emails, or phone calls.

Stay accountable

When working remotely, it’s easy to fall into the trap of procrastination. It’s important to stay accountable and motivated to ensure you meet your deadlines and complete your tasks on time. You can stay accountable by sharing your progress with your manager or team members regularly.

Consider setting daily, weekly, or monthly goals to help you stay on track. Use an app like RescueTime to track your screen time and productivity. This will help you see where you’re spending too much time on non-work activities and make adjustments as needed.

Take advantage of technology

Modern technology has made remote working possible and has also made it easier to collaborate and communicate with colleagues even when working from a remote location. Take advantage of the various tools available to you to make remote working more efficient and effective.

For instance, you can use cloud-based applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Trello to share documents and to collaborate on projects with your colleagues in real-time. Use apps like Slack, Skype, Zoom or Microsoft Teams to stay connected with your colleagues and share your progress or any updates.

Set realistic boundaries

When working remotely, it can be tempting to allocate additional time beyond the set hours to ensure that you finish all the work. However, this will not only lead to you feeling overwhelmed but could also lead to burnout. As much as you need to be productive and deliver quality work, set realistic boundaries and only work within the set hours.

Avoid overworking because, in the long term, it will lead to a decreased quality of life, which may eventually lead to decreased productivity.

Take care of your mental and physical health

Remote work can have both benefits, including flexibility, and pitfalls, such as social isolation, that can negatively affect your well-being. It’s essential that you take care of your mental and physical health when working remotely.

Take breaks away from the screen and consider investing in standing desks or exercise equipment. Stay hydrated and take time to cook healthy meals or take short walks. Also, create social connections outside of work, develop consistent sleep patterns, and make time for hobbies that you enjoy.

Have a backup plan

When working remotely, network or internet connection issues, a power outage, or computer malfunctions are common challenges that can disrupt workflow. Always have backup plans in place to mitigate the risks of unexpected challenges.

Have a backup generator or alternative source of power, ensure you have access to a mobile hotspot for internet connectivity, and have a second computer or working device nearby. Also, prepare for potential data and security breaches by setting up a data backup and using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or password protection.

Seek Feedback

Additional insights or feedback from your colleagues, supervisors or clients can immensely add value to your work. Always be open to constructive feedback and be willing to learn.

Ask for feedback that can help you improve your productivity and performance, and use it to make adjustments that will help you achieve your goal. A receptive attitude towards feedback also shows your commitment to improving your work quality and delivers desirable results.


Conclusively, remote work is not only beneficial to employees but also employers. Remote work has led to lower overhead costs, increased productivity, and improved work-life balance. However, to effectively work remotely, employees need to adhere to a robust and well-defined set of guidelines to achieve an optimal working experience. The above guidelines are essential for effective remote work and can be applied irrespective of the type of job, position, or industry.

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