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The new workspace: A guide to remote work

Updated: Apr 1

Photo by Windows on Unsplash

The Covid-19 Pandemic drastically changed the world as we knew it. The never-before-seen global shutdowns that resulted created lasting ripples that have and will continue to impact every aspect of life—the workplace, included. For the first time in history, nearly 22 million Americans worked from home or remotely, regardless of job title or organization. Now, on the other side of the Covid-19 Pandemic, remote and hybrid work remain the new norm for workplaces all over the world.

Remote work and the ability to work from home has become a large part of the global, and certainly national, workforce. In fact, about a third of all U.S. workers who are able to work from home do so, according to recent Pew research. Remote and hybrid models of work seem to be here to stay. 

Your guide to the remote workplace

With the modern workplace having shifted in large part  from the corporate office to the home office, it can be difficult to navigate the workplace landscape. For those new to the workforce, or who will be entering the workforce in the not-so-distant future, we’ve compiled the following tips to guide you through the remote and hybrid workplace.

Practice professionalism

Professionalism should be practiced both in and out of the traditional workplace. With many office workers  having shifted to the home office or remote office locations, it’s important to stay professional across every medium—that includes phone or zoom calls, emails, or messages.

 When interviewing or attending a meeting via Zoom, remember to keep the same professionalism you would if you were present in person. Dress correctly and professionally, maintain eye contact when speaking by looking into your device’s camera, and opt for a distraction-free environment. Nothing is more unprofessional than appearing distracted or using other devices during a Zoom. 

The key to practicing professionalism via email, phone, or messaging is to keep in mind two factors: time and tone. Try to keep phone calls, emails, and messages within standard business hours, when possible. This shows respect for others’ time and work/life boundaries. However, if a matter is pressing and must be addressed pre- or post-office hours, be sure to keep contact within reasonable hours and explain why the matter is urgent.

Expect remote hiring practices 

Online applications, interviews, and orientations have been on the rise for quite some time. In fact, 93% of employers plan to continue conducting job interviews remotely. Given this fact, you can expect a mostly virtual job search experience. 

If you want to nail remote job interviews, start with a clean and distraction-free environment. Distractions have been identified by Harvard Business Review as one of the top reasons interviewees fail to secure jobs during a remote interview, with a whopping 72% of rejected applicants appearing to be distracted during the process. If you truly want to secure a job through a remote interview, come prepared with a clean appearance and a resolution to remain focused on the interview. Also, keep in mind our tips for practicing remote professionalism. 

Build a regular working routine

Working from home and remotely come with numerous advantages, one of which is the ability to work on your own schedule. However, time management plays a massive role in ensuring you complete your work and stay ahead of the curve. By crafting and adhering to an energy-efficient work routine, you’ll stay on top of deadlines and avoid the last-minute or overnight crunch. 

Be sure to make regular breaks and brief refreshers part of your work routine to help you maintain energy efficiency and keep your mind at its peak. For more on energy efficiency, be sure to check out our guide, “Energy Awareness in the workplace”.

Create and sustain work-life boundaries

A recent Pew Research poll discovered that 71% of remote workers believe working from home has bettered their work/life balance. Being able to work remotely offers more flexibility to your work life and allows you to align your day to your lifestyle and livelihood goals. In order to reap the benefits of remote work, however, you must set clear boundaries between your work and your personal life.

Creating boundaries can ensure you meet your work goals, while also allowing time for family, hobbies, and personal interests. Setting time boundaries, such as firm work hours and days, can aid in sustaining work/life harmony. Give yourself set work hours every day, and try to complete work within that frame. Be sure to make these boundaries or time frames known to those you work with by only answering emails or calls during work hours (unless a matter is absolutely urgent). By prioritizing your time and energy, you’ll create a more balanced work and personal life. 

If you’re looking to create a more harmonious work/life balance, try taking a moment to pinpoint and reflect on your true priorities with our free and downloadable Lifestyle and Livelihood Goals worksheet.

Socialize with your colleagues

Recent polls conducted by the Pew Research Center concluded that 53% of remote workers polled feel that working from home hurts their relationship with coworkers. Though this feeling is understandable given the limited in-person interaction that takes place between remote coworkers, working remotely doesn’t necessarily have to mean isolation. Whether by scheduling in-person work meetings, weekly zoom catch-ups, or simply social get-togethers, investing time to build relationships with your coworkers can help stave off feelings of disconnectedness. Think of your coworkers as teammates, without whom your job would be much harder—if not impossible. 

While some companies are trying to rebuild the traditional office setting in the post-pandemic world, the remote workplace is still very much a part of the workplace experience— and knowing how to manage it is crucial to your success. 

To stay afloat in the ever-changing tide of the modern workplace, it helps to be adaptable and arm yourself with the latest insights and tips on crafting careers in the modern age. For more help navigating the workplace, be sure to check out our new Bridging the Gap blog series. 

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