Daily Rules for Working Remotely
I love the Cave offices. Working with our team in Fort Lauderdale and Toronto is not only productive, it’s enjoyable. The more fun I’m having, the harder I work, so it’s always great to be in the same physical location as my teammates.
Recently though, I’ve had to learn how to work remotely, spending nearly half of my time in my hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. While keeping my productivity up was a challenge at first, after a few months my routine has taken shape and I’m producing as much as ever. Here’s are 5 daily rules I follow to keep my output up while working remotely.
[su_heading size=”18″]1. I Keep East Coast Hours[/su_heading]
Everyone on my team works east-coast hours, and our clients in all timezones have grown accustomed to this. If you’re working remotely for any sort of extended period, I’d highly recommend sticking to your normal hours. Our clients know that I’ll be at my computer and reachable from 9am-6pm EST, and that’s what matters. The only real change is mental – it’s a little darker out when I start answering emails now. On the east-coast, I do my creative work before 9am, while on the west coast I keep the creative work set aside for after 3pm. It’s a small change and it keeps me on track.
[su_heading size=”18″]2. I’m Always Reachable[/su_heading]
First of all, let me say this: if you’re going to be working remotely in an international capacity, T-Mobile is fantastic. For under $100/month you’ll get free international calling back to the USA, along with data and texting. If you’re like me though, you didn’t know about T-Mobile’s options and you mistakenly joined AT&T. The international plans are horrible, so my solution has been Skype. I pay for data while in Canada and bought a Skype direct number so that my clients can reach me directly at all times – the plan even came with a Florida area code. I spend about $30/month and couldn’t be happier about it.
[su_heading size=”18″]3. I’m Always Connected With My Team[/su_heading]
Since switching from Hipchat to Slack, it would be odd to see 30 minutes go by without our team interacting. Hipchat was great, but it didn’t have all of the little extra features that Slack does. Now we can send a full array of animated GIFs in our conversations, keep up to date with newsletter subscribers, see who’s doing what in Trello, and even read tweets directed at our @CaveSocial account. Without Slack, I definitely wouldn’t be having as much fun working remotely. In a weird way, some of the software’s more ridiculous features keep me focused.
[su_heading size=”18″]4. I Lay Out My Day[/su_heading]
Every morning, the first work-related task involves my to do list. I use Todoist to layout at least six things I’d like to get accomplished, ordering them from the most important task to the least. This way, even if I only get around to four of my six tasks, the big/scary ones will get finished. I use this formula in the office as well, but I really see its value while working remotely.
[su_heading size=”18″]5. I Use a Passport[/su_heading]
No, not that kind. I use a Western Digital Passport to backup all of my computers so that I can easily transition from my desktop to my laptop on the road. For about $60 I can keep all of my programs and files in one wallet sized hard drive while keeping my solid state drive laptop free from any local storage. It helps me save the one thing that all entrepreneurs can’t get enough of: time.
How do you stay productive when you’re on the road? Sound off in the comments section below.
Need more advice on how to work remotely? Take a look at these 5 tools our team uses to stay productive.
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