Working Hard or Hardly Working? Tips and Tricks for Effective Remote Work

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 A lot of people fantasise about working from the comfort of their own home – and what’s not to like? Your commute is completely eliminated, you can work in your own space and you can wear whatever you like. Sounds like a dream, right? Maybe not. Looking below the surface, working from home is a double-edged sword. Of course, you have the benefit of staying home, but this can make remaining focused and getting your work done more challenging. There are plenty of distractions going on around you, even if you don’t have children, pets or partners running around everywhere. Moreover, the isolation can quickly become a major strain for those who enjoy the social aspect of going into work.

After over a month of working from home, it is safe to say that it may not be as easy as we initially thought. So, we have picked the brains of a few key stakeholders in the industry and at Income Access, to get their insight on how to keep focused on the job and stay sane while continuing to work remotely.James Brotherton – GroupJames Brotherton, the Director of Sales, North America at Group has recently relocated from Ireland to the company’s new US headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina and is currently working remotely. Now, he shares a few things he has focused on in order to make his double transition smoother.

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  • Stick to a daily routine. The closer it mirrors your normal workday routine, the better. James likes to fit in some kind of exercise before work; anything from a quick walk around the block to a longer run. Just getting some fresh air before his workday is how James starts the day off right.
  • Set up your space. Having your work space set up in a way that promotes productivity is conducive to a good working environment. James recommends a well-lit and airy space with comfortable office furniture that is free from distraction.
  • Understand the merits of video calls. James has made a conscious effort to switch the majority of his meetings with both colleagues and external clients to video calls instead of just audio. This can give your day a little more human interaction, which is vital at a time when that is in short supply.
  • Make the effort. It’s important to dress smartly for video calls, be logged on ready to go at your shift start time and, above all, try to treat the scenario as if it were a normal day at your workplace, without cutting any corners.

Randy Ovaskainen – Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc.Randy is the Senior Director, Digital Services at Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc. (CIE) and has recently escaped to his cottage for a change of scenery. Randy, too, has provided us with a few tips on how he is staying productive during this time.

  • Remember to take breaks. It’s important not to burn yourself out. Let’s face it, regular office hours don’t exist anymore, so, no matter what your new “schedule” is like, Randy emphasises the importance of taking breaks. A short 15 minutes away from your computer can work wonders on your productivity.
  • Embrace over-communication. At Caesars, Randy and his team have daily calls to provide everyone with updates on what’s going on. Some days they will even just banter for a few minutes which has been noted by many is the highlight of their day. It is also encouraged at CIE to personally reach out to colleagues from time to time to see how they’re doing.
  • Know when to sign off. Randy recommends not staying online all day and distancing yourself from email, social media and any kind of news for that matter. Other than John Krasinski, there’s not much good news being propagated by the media right now.

Tara Wilson – Income Access, A Paysafe CompanyOur very own Senior Vice President and General Manager at Income Access, Tara Wilson has also weighed in on the situation and has outlined a few pointers on how she likes to go about her day in order to remain happy and get things done.

  • Set a daily schedule. Tara likes to write out an agenda for each day of the upcoming week on what she wants to accomplish, and she said it feels great checking off all the items as she gets through the week.
  • Change up your wardrobe. Although she doesn’t necessarily agree with wearing your typical work attire, Tara stresses the importance of working in different clothes than what you went to bed in the night before.
  • Be sure to check in. Tara opts to have daily video chats with every single one of her direct reports and weekly one-on-ones. Because it’s so much harder to get that “water cooler” talk in that we are all accustomed to, seeing each other each day and spending time with each other for 30 minutes a week, is a great way to keep connected.
  • Take time for yourself. Whether it be playing outside in the yard with her dogs or taking them out for walks, Tara makes sure she saves time to do things for herself. Even small things have proven to be enough to keep Tara’s spirits up.

No matter who you ask, a few things have proven to be key in achieving increased productivity and satisfaction at work during this uncertain time. So, remember: Make some space for yourself, sit up straight, put on your pants and never underestimate the value of a little “you time”.

You can also check out a list of the 20 biggest remote work from home companies!