Some people adapt to virtual working like they were born to it and others, frankly, struggle with it at first.
The good news is that there are best practices for adapting to virtual working and they’re easy to implement in your life.
Make Sure To Schedule Your Work AND Your Breaks
Sadly, it’s “working from home” and not a vacation.
One thing new virtual workers find really hard to manage is their work-life balance and that’s because they don’t know when work ends and life begins.
You may not be commuting anymore but you won’t feel better about that if you eat breakfast glued to your laptop waiting for emails from head office.
And if you’re not finishing the day at a normal time, you can spend the whole night constantly checking your phone for messages from your boss.
Don’t go there. It’s a terrible way to work.
Instead agree a schedule with your boss, of time when you will be online and productive and when you will switch off.
Then communicate that schedule and keep to it.
Your sanity depends on it.
We’ve addressed this in our “what’s the biggest challenge for remote working” piece but communication is a big deal.
You can’t rely on the office grapevine and your natural charisma to carry the day anymore.
You need to learn to put everything in writing, so that it can be properly understood by those who read it, and via the right channels (Slack, email, or even video call) at the right time.
When you get this right, your productivity will soar and your teammates and your boss will love you.
Embrace Your Family Time
While you definitely need to define some boundaries with the people who are at home with you while you work, you also need to appreciate those people.
Most parents would kill to be able to have lunch with their kids every day or to take them for a walk or to read them a story, instead of commuting.
You should be spending more time with your family when you work virtually and not less.
By diarizing time with your family and trying to keep your frustrations to a minimum when a kid accidentally interrupts a Zoom call (it really isn’t a big deal, it happens to everyone in this age of remote working), you can really thrive at home.
Stay On Top Of Your Career
Just because you’re not in the office, it doesn’t mean that your career is over and you’re stuck in your current role for the rest of your life.
If you learn to manage your career virtually, you can keep ascending the ladder without ever leaving your bedroom, if you want to.
Check in with your boss, work out what’s important to them, have regular update sessions and keep asking for feedback, schedule your annual performance review and make it clear to them what you’re hoping for in the future.
You need to be much more proactive about career management when working remotely but if you are? There’s no stopping you.
Upgrade Your Skills
Your career won’t take off, however, unless you are growing as a person and growing your skill set and the good news?
In a virtual environment, you are sitting in front of, literally, endless learning opportunities.
Now, of course, if you need to do a certification for work and it costs a fortune, your employer should cover this but if you want to pick up some remote management skills to give yourself a career advantage, for example?
There’s nothing employers love more than employees that take charge of their own development.
Get Together With Colleagues “Have A Virtual Happy Hour”
And our final tip is this, don’t lose touch with your team.
We know, you’re not chatting every day with them any more but you need to make time to check in with them, have fun with them and yes, even gossip with them.
We like to run a virtual happy hour on the last working hour on Fridays for this and it involves a mass Zoom call and everyone making their favorite cocktail (no alcohol required) and just socializing together.
If that doesn’t work for your team, try some of these virtual team building exercises, they’re super useful too.
Final Thoughts On Adapting To Virtual Working
Anyone can adapt to virtual working successfully as long as they take the right steps to do so. These tips should have you heading in the right direction in no time. Good luck with it!