Working virtually (somehow?!) isn’t for everyone, and just like with most things, it often takes some initial adjustments for those who find themselves with the opportunity to work from home.
That being said, there are SO many benefits to working from home (as many of us discovered for the first time throughout the pandemic), and there are many, many people that do find that working remotely is the perfect fit for them.
All of my Dailies Family coworkers, myself included, consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to do what we love from the comfort of our own homes. It allows us to work with the best of the best, regardless of the distance or location!
We love our teachers that also get the opportunity to work virtually with us. I’m extra grateful that I get to work closely with so many of them throughout the hiring, onboarding, and teaching process.
Read below for some tips for teachers, anyone transitioning to working from home or wanting to work remotely more efficiently, or even parents that “work from home” in the sense they support their child’s learning from home. We know, just as much as you do, that supporting your child’s education from home can definitely be considered work too!
I am by no means an expert, but I do have that type-A personality that thrives in a work from home environment, so here are some tips that work for me:
- When is your natural fresh-minded/most productive time of day? For me, it’s morning- so even though I’m sometimes tempted to take advantage of the flexibility of working from home by reading a chapter of my book in bed first thing in the morning, and I try to justify it by saying that I used to spend triple that time sitting in traffic, I (most of the time!) make myself get up and knock out my to-do list first thing in the morning when my brain is most focused.
- Make a list! I LIVE by lists. I have multiple for each day, each week, each month, in my notebook and in my planner, etc.! It calms me to cross tasks and items off my list and to plan ahead for what’s upcoming.
- Have flexibility in addition to your plan. Sometimes I get super excited and passionate about a certain task that I had originally planned for another day that week. As long as I’m still being productive and am excited to work, I allow myself to have flexibility and to switch things around on my aforementioned lists.
- Set up an environment you’re excited about. When I transitioned to working from home, my husband finished/built a desk for me so I had plenty of space to work. I got excited about decorating my office in a way that makes it pleasant to work in it each day. I love making it cozy and homey, so I make sure I have a blanket, slippers on, lots of natural light, and maybe even music on in the background.
- Set yourself up for success. This means different things to different people. But for me, it often means that I silence my phone or at least commit to answering texts later, walk my dogs at intentional times so that they’re quiet when I’m expected to work, have a glass of water nearby so I don’t need to get up, and so much more.
- Still keep a “workday” structure– One benefit to working remotely is that sometimes you have an event planned or you’re just not feeling up to working, but you know you can catch up on work that evening or on the weekend instead. I’ve definitely done that on occasion, but it helps me to feel consistent with the rest of the working world and to just keep that natural mindset of primarily completing my work during certain hours.
- Have a designated work space so you can leave work for the day. The upside and downside of working from home is that it is just so easy to pop right back into the office to answer an email, or to do just one more thing, or to make yourself available whenever, but clear boundaries need to be set to prevent burn-out and to still have a healthy work-life balance. After all, we ALL have hobbies, families or friends, and other obligations. And Dailies values that!
- Set a day (or chunk of a day) without meetings to crank out independent work without interruption. I think only a former teacher would refer to some types of work as “independent work”, but I think you know what I mean by that! We all know it can be hard to focus and bring a task to completion when we have to keep stopping ourselves to think or chat about other aspects of a job.
- On the flipside, schedule meetings at a time that motivates you. Of course there are a lot of other factors that come into play when scheduling meetings with others, but can you try to sometimes schedule meetings at a time that will force you to get up and moving or at a time that will provide focus and structure to your day? Sometimes a late afternoon meeting is just the push I NEED to make myself continue with my workday. After all, when it affects other people and when I’ve committed to something already, there’s no way around it!
- Set rewards for yourself. We all have those days where we just aren’t as motivated as most other days. When that happens, I try to set rewards for myself. Maybe if I complete 5 items on my list, I can then read a chapter of my book. Think of it as a short “brain-break!”
- Complete your hardest tasks first? Many people give this piece of advice, and I can understand the reasoning behind it, but sometimes I am more productive if I can cross off a bunch of shorter/”easier” items first and then I feel less overwhelmed by what I have left to do. I feel more confident about tackling the “hard” task if I know that’s the only thing left on my plate.
So, what do you think? Do you already apply many of these tips and tricks? Do any of them stand out to you that you think you could (or should!) try out?
If just reading this blogpost gets you giddy about the possibility of working remotely, don’t hesitate to go to https://dailiespods.com/teach/ to submit an application to become a teacher with us.
We’d love to have you join us and our mission of assuring academic success for all!