My first attempt at working remotely was long before it was familiar. I set up my desk in my home office and started to work on the business that I had just founded. It’s been more than 12 years since the company was founded. From book designers to editors to illustrators, I have employed contractors all over the country. If you are skeptical about remote work, my experience can serve as proof that it is possible to succeed in business without ever having to step foot inside a central office
Here are three of the most important lessons I have learned while working remotely for more than a decade.
You can use technology to your advantage.
Instead of purchasing a large office, I have spent considerable time and money online building my company’s infrastructure using systems like Salesforce. I can access the same information online for all my remote workers (including myself), and they are available to me.
Online meetings can also be used. You can also use Zoom to schedule regular phone calls through an online scheduler. Slack allows for instant messaging between team members. The community was implemented earlier in the year. It allows us to connect with clients and potential clients through text messaging instantly. Our service contracts are now digitally signed online, eliminating the need to print them.
If you sell physical products, it is more challenging to allow many of your employees to work remotely. However, remote work makes sense for most service-based organizations. Today, lawyers, therapists, doctors, and other professionals can see clients online with great success. All these interactions are powered by technology.
Invest in a comfortable home-office setup.
You should pay particular attention to ergonomics when working remotely. You should invest in a high-quality office chair that offers back support. This is a must-have item that will not disappoint. As someone who has experienced many back problems throughout my life, I can assure you that my supportive and comfortable chair in my home office was the best investment I made.
Monitors are another thing to consider. Mayo Clinic states that the monitor should be about an arm’s distance away from your eyes, and the top of your screen should be level with your eyes. Your wrists should be straightened, and your hands should reach the elbow when using your keyboard and mouse. Adjusting the height of your chair can often achieve this balance.
Set clear boundaries for your household members.
If members of your household are at home during business hours, you should let them know. You will not be available for work unless you are on a lunch break or in an actual emergency. Your entire household should have a friendly conversation. Let them know that if your office doors are closed, it is because you are not available. You can let them text you if they have any questions. If you don’t reply, then you are either talking to a client or buried in emails. After you take a break, you’ll text your household member.
Some people can find it challenging to accept boundaries. They may feel rejected and disregarded. It is essential to communicate with them in advance and use a respectful tone. You must also be consistent with your boundaries in order not to send mixed signals.