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How to Organize your Routine When Working from Home

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Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. The flexibility and comfort of working from home is fantastic, but the lack of routine and the loneliness can leave you feeling quite strained.

Sticking to a routine and keeping motivated are both important to ensure successful remote working.

Organizing your daily routine will help when working remotely – and what better way to keep on top of you day-to-day life than with online organizational tools to keep you in check?

We’ve rounded up some of the top remote working tools that can help you in everything from smooth communications with your team to making seamless presentations.

Keep up your schedule

When working in an office, your morning commute would help to wake you up and feel ready for work by the time you sit at your desk. But when you’re at home, the transition from your pillow to your computer can feel especially jarring.

Believe it or not, one way to work from home productively is to dive into your to-do list as soon as you wake up. Get started on a project first thing to ensure you make progress on it throughout the day and don’t let the morning sluggishness chip away at your motivation.

Make it harder to mess around on social media

Social media platforms are created to make it easy for you to open and browse them quickly – but at work, this can be detrimental to your productivity if you’re feeling a bit bored.

To counteract the ease at which you usually hop onto social media during working hours, remove them from your browser shortcuts and log out of all of your accounts. You could even think about working in a private or “Incognito” browser window – ensuring you stay signed out of all your accounts and web searches. This is guaranteed to reduce the temptation of taking too many social breaks during the day.

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Upgrade your online communication

When working within a company, communication is key. As you’re unable to walk by your coworkers’ desk for a quick chat, you need to utilize online tools to keep in touch during the working day.

Email chains can get messy and it’s not unheard of to miss an email when your inbox is inundated. So, an app designed for ongoing conversations with multiple people is imperative while working from home.

Some team communication tools include Google Hangouts Chat, Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Slack, to give one example, even allows for integration with other tools like Google Calendar and Jira – a huge benefit while working away from the IT department – as well as video calling and file sharing.

If you need to outline policies, take meeting notes, or write a blog to share with your team, Confluence is a great internal communication and collaboration tool. You can use it as a project or as an employee handbook – this helps you to share team ideas and get work done all in one open and shared workspace for coworkers across the globe.

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Plan out what you’re doing ahead of time

There are a number of online tools available to help you keep on top of your workload (and enabling you to easily share your schedule with coworkers) while working from home.

AirTable is great for project tracking, storing data, recording notes and more. Similarly, Trello works a treat if you need to see progress, at-a-glance status updates, and all relevant resources related to a project or team’s work – think of Trello as your virtual office. The information is updated in real-time and is available 24/7 (as is AirTable), so team members view the status of any request, project or meeting agenda at their leisure. 

Work when you're at your most productive

You’re not going to sprint through your work from morning until night – your motivation will naturally spike and fall throughout the day. But it’s important for you to know when the ebbs and flows are when working remotely, so you can plan your schedule around them.

Save your harder tasks for when you know you’ll be in the right headspace and use slower points in the day to smash the easier, logistical tasks out of the park. These small acts of success can help you build momentum for the larger, more difficult projects waiting for you.

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Noise cancellation for your comfort

Emailing and contacting coworkers, clients and customers is all well and good, but you’ll need to make the odd phone call from time to time.

Krisp is a simple noise-canceling app, so if you’re going to take calls from a non-soundproofed room, this app will help you tremendously.

Whether it’s an important conference call with partners, a video call with teammates, or a quick call to a client, Krisp supports microphones, headphones, and speakers, making it the app your remote team needs.

Easy and secure remote access

Sharing your screen with a colleague is incredibly helpful when you need to get a complex task done – but if their machine is set up differently (or they aren’t as tech savvy as you), this could take an age. This is why TeamViewer can be a lifesaver, allowing you to access each other’s computers remotely and securely.

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Niamh Ollerton, Deputy Head of Content at QS
Written by Niamh Ollerton

Niamh is Deputy Head of Content at QS (TopMBA.com; topuniversities.com), creating and editing content for an international student audience. Having gained her journalism qualification at the Press Association, London and since written for different international publications, she's now enjoying telling the stories of students, alumni, faculty, entrepreneurs and organizations from across the globe.  

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