6 Uncommon Ways To Be A Good Remote Worker 

“With freedom comes great responsibility.” This classic adage shows remote working gives people freedom. But they are also responsible for themselves.

Working From Anywhere
 Min read
May 12, 2023

Title: 6 Uncommon Ways To Be A Good Remote Worker  

“With freedom comes great responsibility.” This classic adage shows remote working gives people freedom. But they are also responsible for themselves.

The temptation to slip into the warm blanket during a snowy day can get the best out of anyone. It can be easy to spend hours brewing a new recipe in the kitchen instead of working on a project.

So, remote workers need to be able to manage their own schedules and activities. This could take a bit of trial and error, but we have compiled six best tips on how to be a good remote worker.

In this article, you will learn:

  • How to get things done faster by entering the deep work zone
  • Why decluttered workspace can boost productivity
  • The difference between good and not-so-good breaks
  • Ways to bring joy into life  
  • Why connecting with people can keep loneliness at bay
  • How to imbue meaning into work

6 Work-From-Home Tips For Success

Tip 1: Create A Deep Work Zone

Have you ever been so immersed in what you are doing, when time stands still and work stops feeling like work?

That is deep work, the ability to focus without distraction on a brain-demanding task. This term is coined by Cal Newport, an associate professor at Georgetown University.  

Those who practice deep work will gain an edge in the competitive world. They can solve complex problems quicker, and possess unparalleled focus. Best of all, the huge satisfaction that comes out of completing a complex task is amazing.

If you want to get complex tasks done in half the time, the deep work zone may be for you.

The ideal deep work zone is different for each person, but there are some general tips to help you get started.

6 tips for creating a deep work zone:

  • Declutter the workspace before work. A clean and tidy workspace can reduce distractions.
  • Do one task at a time. Multitasking is the enemy of deep work.  
  • Block a time to do that task. Schedule it on your calendar.
  • Silent the devices and put them out of sight and reach (except the laptop you are using)
  • Silent all notifications on the laptop. To get into the deep work zone, be sure to remove all distractions.  

Experiment with the workspace and environment that can get you into deep focus. Then replicate that every day, and you can enter your deep work zone —at will.  

Tip 2: Declutter The Workspace

The remote workspace you are in can influence your brain, emotions, and behaviors. Cluttered space can cause a number of negative effects like stress, anxiety, inability to focus, unhealthy eating choices, and low quality of sleep.  

Most people think they are not bothered by visual clutters, but they can drain mental energy. People may also procrastinate when they feel overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” on the table.

A decluttered workspace can boost concentration and mood. It also saves your precious time looking for a paper-cutter hidden under the piles of paper.

So, how do you declutter?

Start with designating a dedicated workspace. Identify the most important things you need (keep it below 10) and arrange them within your reach. Store unnecessary items in drawers or cabinets.  

Also, try to establish regular ‘spring cleaning’ days for your workspace and house. A decluttered house helps with concentration too.

Tip 3: Take Restorative Breaks

Frequent regular breaks can help support your well-being. Yet, there are good and not-so-good breaks.  

While good breaks can leave people feeling re-energized and refreshed, not-so-good breaks tend to leave them feeling drained and depleted.

Activities like checking the phone may reduce boredom for a few minutes but it also teaches the brain to seek out blips of pleasure whenever boredom creeps in. This way, the brain is trained to check the phone again and again, without a chance to rest.  

This is why Dr. Gazzaley, a neuroscientist, suggests taking good breaks. They can reduce mental fatigue, maintain focus for longer periods, and boost brain abilities.  

Examples of restorative breaks for the mind are:

  • Expose to nature. Walk around the block or the park. Notice a small plant and its details. Look at pictures and videos of nature (they work too).  
  • Let the mind wander. Daydream or doodle.  
  • Do a 20-20-20 eye break. Every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Do a 7-minute workout. Some pushups, squats, or planks are good. Or take a walk around the neighborhood.

Tip 4: Do What Brings You Joy

Happiness is the new productivity,’ says by Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley. And it’s true; happier workers are 13% more productive.  

When people are happy, it is easier to get into a deep work state. And you already know the potent benefits of being in the deep work zone (refer to tip 1).

But how do you induce joy into life?

You do not have to pack and travel a few weeks to experience immense joy. Or buy an expensive watch or handbag.  

Simple things you can do to bring more joy into your remote work are:

  • Practice gratitude. What are you grateful for the past week, month or year? List 3 to 5 and relive the immense joy you had.
  • Share successes with someone else or on social media.
  • Expose to nature.  
  • Work on your passion project.
  • Dance by the rhythm.
  • Connect with people you care about.

Tip 5: Connect With People Who Matter

It can feel lonely after working from home for an extended period. No more face-to-face interactions. Staring at the same screen all day. And no one to talk to.  

Loneliness, when it becomes persistent, can lower work performance and self-confidence. In some cases, loneliness can also contribute to depression.  

A tried and true way for good remote workers to keep loneliness at bay is to connect with people who matter to you. And have meaningful conversations with them.

‘Connect’ includes physical and virtual connection as well.  

Turn on the video and see each other’s faces. Organize parties and celebrations together online. Practice gratitude in a group and share your thoughts (refer to tip 4).

Out of work, connect with your family and friends. Organize a meetup or Facetime. Play board games together. Have a one-on-one chat with a close friend. Hug someone you love.  

Tip 6: Imbue Your Work With Meaning

People who have found meaning at work show up differently. They are 1.4 times more engaged and  1.7 times more satisfied with their job. They also wake up feeling more motivated and energized.

This is because humans have an inherent need for meaning and purpose. Meaning is what motivates people to work on their tasks even if they do not feel like it. It is what drives them to overdeliver. It is what keeps them going despite failures.  

Meaning at work is different for each remote worker. One common theme about meaning is that it is created by aligning your values, passions, and strengths with work.

But how to do it?

First, it is important to identify three pillars: your own core values, passions, and strengths. Ask yourself the following questions to find out.

Identifying your core values:

  • What do I stand for?
  • How do I want to be remembered?
  • When do I feel the most alive? And why?

Identifying your passions:

  • What am I interested in?
  • What am I curious about?
  • What do I enjoy doing?

Identifying your strengths:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I like about myself?
  • What do others say about me? (you may need to ask your colleagues, family and friends)

Then, look for an intersection between the three pillars. And align what you do to that intersection.  

Final Thoughts

Becoming a good remote worker is a journey of experimentation and self-discovery. As you progress, you will encounter ways that help and those that do not.  

The key here is to keep experimenting until you have found the ideal remote workspace that supports your well-being and productivity. Such workspace can even motivate you to get out of bed early and start typing.  

You can try these 6 ways to help you be a good remote worker:

  • Create a deep work zone
  • Declutter the workspace
  • Take restorative breaks
  • Do what brings you joy
  • Connect with people who matter
  • Imbue work with meaning

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