Having spent many years working in studios, where producers and supervisors kept a very close eye on me, like how long I stepped away from my desk or leaving early because I had a crisis at home, whatever the case may be, in one way or another we have all been there and more often than not the situation seldom had a positive outcome, it certainly left me feeling micromanaged and boxed in!
On the flip side, I have also had the pleasure of spending years working remotely in my own environment. The two main questions you ask yourself daily is “will I make deadline” and “am I performing to the best of my ability”. Remote working comes with its own share of challenges. The main one is finding the balance of life away from the office and not becoming a workaholic or entrenched in a constant battle to stay motivated and focussed.
How do I do it.
The key to creating a happy and balanced work environment is to be self motivated, driven and diligent. Set up a daily routine that works for you much like you would when going in to an office. Don’t skip your morning shower or decide to work in your pj’s all day. You need to look and feel good. Set the alarm, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and get to work!
Set up boundaries to avoid interruption. It’s imperative that whoever you live with respects and understands that each day is just like any other work day. This will allow you to maximise your focus, productivity and stay committed to your work hours. Use a calendar or scheduling app and set realistic goals for each day and define your workspace.
The psychological challenge is often the hardest to overcome, especially in the first few months. The feeling of being isolated is especially common when you are used to working in a traditional environment. For some the walls can start closing in, as a result of limited human or peer to peer interaction and contact.
Here are some tips to help.
- Daily morning video meetings help you interact with your team and discuss any work topic.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help, after all you are a team.
- Always have a schedule and project management system in place so you don’t feel lost or unsure.
- Take ownership of your projects, be confident and complete them to the best of your ability.
- Set up lunch meetings with team mates on a monthly basis to interact, summarise and forecast. (If possible)
With change, you must embrace the challenges that come with it and take them head on. You will find there are tremendous benefits to working remotely, if you stay focused and committed.
Artists and creatives can spend much more time on projects. Directors and producers can spend less time on the couch watching artists.
Your goal is to remove all the barriers, navigate the challenges and find a path that works for you.