Tips for Remote Work

By Paul Spencer

Productive and impactful remote work is possible through the implementation of a few tips. While they may require a little discipline, adherence to these essential tips will pay off in the end.

When it comes to working remotely, you might be a seasoned veteran or new to the game. Either way, it can be a challenge to maintain production and impact while doing so. Here are some tips that all remote workers can reflect on to improve effectiveness while working remotely.

Clean and Clear Area

  • Creating a space to work that replicates an office setting if that is what you are accustomed to. Do you have a door? How do you take a phone call? How often do you check your email? If good habits existed in an office environment, transfer those to the remote environment too.
  • Ensure that communication expectations are clean and clear. Does your team know when they need to be on with you, how agendas will be sent, who monitors the chat bar, or how to ask questions during a meeting? There are no right answers to these questions, but it helps to meet your team and clients' expectations if these are communicated ahead of time.
  • For any spouses, roommates, or children, clear boundaries are a must. Distractions come in many shapes and sizes when working remotely, but this is a non-negotiable.

Prepare for the Day

  • Set the alarm, get up, shower, get ready for the day ... just like a regular day. Work is still work.
  • While it is easy to embrace the "Business on the top, party on the bottom" attitude, the clothes you wear can impact our energy levels.
  • A consistent schedule is essential to be effective. Start the day on time and meet all your needs before starting the day. Some people have discovered that scheduling an 8:00 a.m. meeting builds in a natural "start of the day."

Communicate Well

  • Set realistic expectations about productivity for yourself and your team. Communicate these proactively. Being proactive here can prevent misunderstandings down the line if deadlines are met, or projects go long.
  • Be sure to ask your employer if you need anything. A wireless microphone, larger monitor, wireless keyboard, or faster computer can result in better work experience. Remember that remote workers create cost-saving on utilities and office space for the employer, so asking for some home office supplies isn't out of line.
  • How can managers make sure they know how things are going with their team in a remote environment? Feedback must be approached differently in a remote interaction. Creating a system of reporting out or scheduling individual conferences can help immensely.
  • Everything takes a little bit longer, unless it doesn't. The increase of time that comes with getting logged in, setting up with technology, and sharing screens are usually less efficient than in person. But meetings will be shorter because of the lack of crosstalk and small talk, which exists in a face-to-face meeting. Individuals who tend to share something or ask a question may not feel as comfortable doing so. Even though we know that things go better when done with others, experience has shown that sometimes that it doesn't flow as well. Again, remote workers must be proactive in creating solid communication patterns with one another.


  • Getting out of the office and going for a walk is essential for both mental health and productivity. Shorter breaks are important too. Our staff was trained in "desktop yoga" a few years back. Doing some neck, shoulder, and arm exercises and stretches multiple times a day feels good and helps blood flow.
  • And make sure you take breaks with discipline. It may sound a little crazy to say, "Make sure you take a break." But when working remotely, it is absolutely necessary. For some people, all sense of time has a different feel when working remotely. Meetings that should be over quickly many times are not (due to conflicts, technology, and various other obstacles). Allowing your mind to regroup and refocus in between virtual meetings is critical to maintaining a clear mind and focus.
  • Snacking can be hard to control, so have a plan for regular meals and limit snacks. Since your office may be right next door to the kitchen, this can be a challenge. Having a rule like "fruits and vegetables only" can be hard to maintain, but help to structure remote work in a healthy way.

Winding Down

  • Just as you would in a regular office, clear off your remote desk at the end of every day. This behavior pattern helps to maintain order and a sense of closure at the end of the day.
  • Make a to-do list for the next day. Just as there needs to be a scheduled start time to the day, there must be a scheduled end time. Listing the "pending projects" to follow up on tomorrow frees up time for enjoying an evening outside of the office.

Productive and impactful remote work is possible by putting a few of these tips into action. Adherence to these essential tips will pay off for the remote worker in the end.


Download this free guide that spells out how the Harmonics Way principles apply to remote work. [Download PDF]