3 Secrets to Working from Anywhere

3 Secrets to Working from Anywhere

You’ve heard about those people who work from the beach, who go skiing on their lunch breaks, who buy a van and travel the country while working remotely.  You envy them.  You admire them. You give them permission to be themselves and work from anywhere.  So .. why not you?

You’re working from home, and it proved to you that you don’t need to work in an office building.  But guess what?  You can prove one more thing to yourself next.  You can actually be effective outside of your home too.  Here’s how to work from anywhere.

There are 3 essential tools that will allow you to work from anywhere: a workday ritual, a remote kit, and a daily reminder.  Let’s take them one by one.

Secret #1: The Workday Ritual

When you started working from home, it was essential to create a daily ritual for yourself.  You decided what time to wake up, what to have for breakfast each morning, which meetings were “cameras on/off”, and how to call it a day and turn off your computer for the day.  You defended your personal time by sharing your work hours with your team, and you added daily away messages on Slack and other collaboration tools to help colleagues respect your personal time.

Now, you’ll use the same principles to create your workday ritual!

  1. Choose hours when you are clearly “away from the computer.”  Communicate and protect those hours firmly.  You will need to give yourself predictable personal time to be an effectively remote worker who can work from anywhere.
  2. Decide how you will start your workday, regardless of your location.  Your brain still needs a signal that it’s time to work.  Choose a ritual that you can do anywhere, like 15 minutes with a hot beverage, reading your favorite online newspaper, or journaling. You will need a ritual that you can do anywhere, so there are no excuses to skip it.
  3. Decide how you will end your workday too!  Choose an end-of-day ritual that is location agnostic - you can do it anywhere regardless of where you are working that day.  Perhaps it simply means checking your calendar for tomorrow and closing your laptop.

The workday ritual used to be driving to an office.  It’s changed.  Now, we have the freedom to create our own workday ritual. And you know what?  Remote workers find freedom in rituals!

Secret #2: The Remote Kit

Working from anywhere might scare you a little.  You may have some anxious questions:

Here’s the secret!  Your solutions to your anxious questions … are your remote kit!  

What should go in your kit?

If you’re worried about finding wifi, your remote kit needs to include a wireless hotspot.

If you’re worried about a noisy location, invest in quality noise-canceling headphones.

If you’re worried about a busy background, use a virtual background or buy a popup one.

If you’re worried about unpredictable lighting, buy a portable lighting kit.

Every kit is unique because our needs are unique.  Buy what you need to address your concerns, and take your remote kit with you.

Secret #3: The Daily Reminder

You need a reminder that you are valuable, not your location. You can be effective anywhere.  Write it somewhere so you can see it every single day until you internalize the message.  

“They hired me, not my location.”

“I’m effective anywhere I go.”

“I’m prepared, I’m talented, and I’m free to work from anywhere.”

Write your own daily reminder: __________________________.

What’s Blocking You?

If you can’t visualize yourself working from anywhere yet, identify your blocker:  

Interruptions - If you are worried that you will be interrupted by work, then your blocker is a weak workday ritual.  Take a couple of weeks to clearly communicate and defend your schedule because your daily personal time will give you the freedom you need to work from anywhere. 

Unpredictable work conditions - If you’re concerned you won’t have what you need at each location, then your remote kit is incomplete.  Spend some time buying what you need to put your mind at ease.  To work from anywhere means you’re prepared for anything.

Imposter syndrome - “Other people can work from anywhere, but I can’t.” If you continue to tell yourself that you are limited … you are limiting yourself with a negative daily reminder.  Replace that with a positive daily reminder that, “Anyone can work from anywhere if they’re prepared.”

Identify your blocker, and choose the right solution to unblock yourself.  Ready to go remote? Let’s look at what you need to get started in a remote career that gives you the freedom to work anywhere.

Get Started

Yes, you can work from anywhere.  You admire people who do, and they probably make it look easy.  But everyone needs to prepare for flexible work.  Before your can confidently start working from anywhere, you need to check these off your list:

Working remotely is a learned lifestyle, and like anything, it takes preparation and a change in mindset.  To be an effective remote worker, you’ll need to set yourself up for success first.

Ready to start living a fully remote lifestyle? Browse our remote job postings and join the community to never miss a 100% remote job opportunity!

Working from home - Starter Kit

Working from home - Starter Kit 

Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. 

Some people want to. Some people are forced to.

Before you begin, remember one thing. Practice makes perfect. Keep practicing, and you'll be a master of remote work!

Yes, it might be frustrating at first. We love our old habits. New habits can be a challenge. So be patient and mindful about your experience. Talk openly with your colleagues and teammates. They are in the same "home office challenge" situation like you.

Here is a list of basics to help you prepare for working from home!

1. Design your home office space 

Feeling distracted at home? That's understandable! Dishes, laundry, family members and neighbors can all be distractions.

SOLUTION
So first thing first, create a dedicated "office space" in your home. Pick a quiet spot in the house. It can be a creative corner or (ideally) a room. Stay close to fresh air and natural light. Dedicate it only to work use. Add a desk, suitable chair, plants and a few personal items. The office should spark joy when you see it.

2. Separate the personal from professional 

Keep your personal life separate from your work life!

HOW? Get in one mindset. Work mindset or personal mindset. When you're "in work mode," decide only to focus on work-related tasks. When you're not in work mode, focus only on personal tasks.

TECH SOLUTION
Create 2 separate accounts in your browser. One for corporate and one for personal use. Keep your social media accounts in your private account. You don't want to get distracted by friends and other matters.

3. Set rules with your family or roommates

How do you set rules with your family or roommates? It sounds scary, but it's actually simple!

SOLUTION
Make basic rules. These rules tell them when you are available and not available. Here's some examples. If you have your headset on, you are not open to talk. When the door is open, they can come in, when the door is closed, they should not. And talk to the kids, so they understand. When the door is closed, they should do their homework, or play with toys. 

4. Collaborate with colleagues ... better

Yes, we all have the tools to collaborate. Internet and mobile-first tools are everywhere! However, there's a better way to collaborate.

BETTER HOW? Remember, collaborating from home is more about writing than talking. Only schedule meetings for unique situations or emergencies. Have fewer meetings!

TECH SOLUTIONS
Instead of meetings, use more files and wikis. Use tools like Google Drive, Notion.io, or Confluence. First, introduce your idea in writing. Share it with your colleagues. Give them time to read it. They can access the shared files and add ideas.  

5. Chat! Chat! Chat!

Are you already using a group chat solution for work?

TECH SOLUTIONS
Messengers such as Slack, Discord, and Twist help organize the business topics into channels. You can choose which team members have access to each channel. That way, the channels are always relevant. Channels can be divided by purpose, department or project.

Is the purpose to just chat? Create a #random channel. This will be your "water cooler" space. Is the purpose to inform the whole team? Create a #general channel is for key announcements and important news.

REMOTE IT WORLD TIP!
A mobile phone can be useful for client-facing roles. Use it for client communication, and use chat for company communication. 

6. Do daily check-ins

You just need a daily 30 minute call to foster collaboration.

HOW? Set the agenda in advance. Follow it each day. Use the 3-question technique from Scrum methodology. Invite every member to answer for themselves. What did you do yesterday? What you are going to do today? Do you need any help?

Keep each other accountable, even in a flat company structure. Support and help each other.  Have a task management system in place. That will help everyone see the progress and status of projects.

7. Meetings are the "dessert "

When you have a video meeting, it should be an amazing experience. Like dessert!

You don't want poor audio or video quality, right? So let's pick some great solutions.

TECH SOLUTIONS
Zoom is a popular choice. It has great audio and video quality for unlimited attendees. GoogleMeet also works just fine. Skype can be an option too because it is a familiar platform.

8. Connect with other people 

Stay social. Stay alive. Stay happy!

Luckily, we can use the computer for social fun too, not just for work. 

In a normal work situation, go out as much as possible. Join a sport. Or find a hobby! You can choose cooking classes, hiking, or photography clubs. Just find something that will bring that social element into your life. 

Alternatively, you can sign up for Remo.co online events and meet extraordinary people while staying home.

9. Keep your inner motivation high

There are 2 types of motivation: internal and external.

The problem? External motivation is temporary! Your salary, benefits and perks will not motivate you forever.

SOLUTION
Think about your internal motivation. What moves you personally? What are your core values? They usually don’t change much, if at all. Do you passionately care about people and their experience? Do you put family first and feel motivated to support them? Find your internal motivation. Recognize it and remember it. It will keep you motivated.

10. Don’t overwork yourself

Sometimes it "hurts" to stop working. Many remote workers feel the need to work, work, work all of the time. Why? They may be passionate about the work. However, more often, they may feel pushed. Remote work is often focused on results and deliverables. So, if they stop working, they feel unproductive. This is "overworking yourself." It's not healthy or productive.

Maybe you work 12 hours every day for a week, but you didn't finish the job. Your boss doesn't see that! They only see the results. It will look like you didn't work at all. It's better to work smarter, not harder.

HOW? Don't forget to set realistic expectations! Work with your supervisor to set realistic goals and deadlines, so you're not overworking yourself.

TECH SOLUTIONS
Provide regular updates on Jira, Trello, or Asana to ensure visibility and transparency.

11. Find your peak productivity times

We all have 24 hours each day. Do you feel that some days are super productive and others not?

SOLUTION
Try to keep your energy levels balanced daily. Follow a routine and a proper diet. Drink a lot of water! If you are more productive in the mornings, schedule more important projects for the beginning of the day. If you are a night owl, mornings might be more suitable for checking emails, updates and meetings. 

Now you are ready to work from home! Want to add your thoughts and tips? Get in touch! We are curious to hear about your experience and your story. 

Yours remotely,

Yanny 

Founder of Remote IT World