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8 Remote Work Habits That You Should Develop

Updated: Jul 27

While there are many things that aren’t great about in-office work, the one really good thing is that it provides structure.

8 Remote Work Habits That Actually Help

It is a space that is dedicated to work and work alone. The moment you enter, you’re in the thick of it.

You’re surrounded by people who are all working, there’s a boss close by who monitors your work, and there’s an aura of professionalism all around.

At home, you’re literally a few feet away from your bed. Your family wants to talk. That dog is just begging you for some attention. And who’s to ask if you spend an hour on Instagram?

The fact is, it’s not all that easy to work from home (and we're saying this as a remote work job board).

Weirdly, it’s all the good things about working from home that make it difficult to work from home.

So, how do you get things done?

What are some practical remote work habits that work?

That’s what this article is about. We’ll go over ten practical, easy-to-implement remote work tips that can actually help you.

Practical remote work habits:

Discipline and accountability:

There’s no easy way around this — you have to have some discipline and you have to hold yourself accountable.

It’s not about being accountable to your boss or your supervisor — it’s about being accountable to yourself.

Now, you already know this, most probably. But how do you develop discipline and accountability?

Here are a few things you can do:

  • Set Clear Goals: It all starts with clear, defined goals. Know your responsibilities. Each day, make a to-do list and stick to it. Break down large tasks into smaller, manageable ones to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

  • Prioritize Tasks: Not all tasks are created equal. Learn to prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. You can use the Eisenhower Box technique, which divides tasks into four categories: urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and not urgent or important.

  • Create a Work Schedule: Establish a consistent work schedule and stick to it. Include breaks, and try to work during your most productive hours. And remember, when the workday ends, step away from your workstation.

  • Eliminate Distractions: Identify potential distractions and eliminate them. This could mean turning off social media notifications during work hours or setting a rule not to do household chores while working.

  • Regular Updates and Check-Ins: Keep your team and manager in the loop about your work progress. This not only keeps you accountable but also fosters transparency and trust within the team.

  • Practice Mindfulness: Stay focused on the task at hand. Mindfulness can significantly improve your concentration and productivity. There are various apps and techniques available to help you practice mindfulness.

Have a routine:

Having a routine is one of the most underrated remote work skills. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to slip into a more lax routine or, dare we say it, forego a routine altogether.

Not having a routine is a sure way to completely mess up at work.

A well-structured routine can enhance your focus, reduce procrastination, and help you make the most of your work hours.

With a set routine, you know exactly when to work, when to take a break, and when to call it a day. It's like having a roadmap to a productive day.

Here’s how you set up a routine:

  • Mirror Your Office Routine: Start by trying to replicate your in-office routine as much as possible. Wake up at the usual time, get ready, and start work as you would if you were heading into the office.

  • Define Your Work Hours: Clearly define when you'll work and when you won't. If you're most productive in the mornings, that's when you should schedule your most challenging tasks. Your routine should align with your natural rhythm.

  • Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule: A good night's sleep is the unsung hero of productivity. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.

  • Use Tools to Help: Use productivity tools like Google Calendar, Asana, or Trello to structure your day, track your tasks, and keep you on schedule.

Keep in mind that the goal of a routine is to help your day run smoother, not to make you feel restricted. Your routine should work for you, not against you. And finally, be patient with yourself. It takes time to adjust to a new routine.

Designate a specific workspace:

Working from a couch or even from your bed is appealing, of course. And there’s nothing wrong with that, if you do it once in a while. Making it a habit isn’t great.

A dedicated workspace can make a world of difference. It helps you mentally shift from home mode to work mode, increasing focus and reducing the likelihood of distractions.

It provides a clear separation between your professional and personal life, something which can be a challenge when both exist within the same four walls.

But it's not just about separating work and play. An effective workspace can increase your productivity, improve your posture, and reduce work-related stress

Here are a few tips to create a great remote workspace:

  • Find Your Spot: Choose a location that's quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions. This could be a spare room, a quiet corner, or even a transformed closet space.

  • Invest in a Good Chair and Desk: Comfort is key. Invest in an ergonomic chair and a desk of appropriate height to avoid physical strain. Remember, your workspace should promote good posture and comfort.

  • Organize Your Space: Keep your workspace clean and clutter-free. An organized space can promote clear thinking and improve focus.

  • Make It Personal: Your workspace should inspire and motivate you. Personalize it with photos, plants, inspirational quotes, or anything else that sparks joy and creativity.

  • Proper Lighting: Good lighting is essential, both for your productivity and your eye health. Natural light is the best, but if that’s not possible, ensure you have adequate artificial lighting.

  • Keep It Tech-Ready: Make sure your workspace is equipped with all necessary technology - a reliable internet connection, power outlets, computer equipment, etc. Having everything at hand saves time and reduces interruptions.

  • Noise Control: If you live in a noisy environment, consider investing in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones or using a white noise app to drown out distractions.

Develop a clear boundary:

Let's talk boundaries – when you’re working remotely, it's all too easy for work to seep into your personal time and vice versa.

The result?

You might find yourself answering work emails at the dinner table or doing laundry during your work hours. Neither of which is great, of course.

Having a routine partly addresses this issue. However, it’s also important that your colleagues and bosses know that you have a schedule.

Here’s how you can ensure that you’re not disturbed outside work hours:

  • Communicate Your Work Schedule: Politely share your work hours with your team and superiors. If there are any changes to this schedule, keep everyone updated so they understand when you're available.

  • Use Status Indicators: Make use of status indicators on work platforms (like Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.) to signal when you are available, busy, or done for the day.

  • Set Expectations for Response Times: Make it clear that responses to communications received outside of your work hours will be addressed during your next working period.

  • Establish 'Do Not Disturb' Periods: Politely inform your colleagues and bosses of specific times during your workday when you need to focus on critical tasks and would prefer not to be interrupted unless absolutely necessary.

Get tech-savvy:

When it comes to remote work, being tech-savvy is super important. And we’re not just talking about work tools. Of course, being familiar with work-related software is an advantage. But if you want to be really successful, branch out a bit.

Why, you ask?

Because there are so many tools out there that can genuinely help you. Yes, some of them are quite gimmicky but there are a lot of tools that actually help.

Unsurprisingly, there are more tools today than ever before. Software can help manage your tasks, keep track of your time, provide you with some entertainment, help you choose great products, and even help you with your mental health.

But how do you make it a habit to stay tech-savvy?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Be open to technology: Given that we’re in an age of over information and digital addiction, you might feel like all this tech is actually a bane. While there’s some truth to it, try and be open to tech.

  • Read and watch about tech: There are a lot of great resources that you can read to know and learn more about the latest useful tech. If you prefer YouTube to blogs, follow channels like MKBHD and Linus Tech Tips to keep yourself abreast.

  • Try tech: Literally thousands of apps are completely free to use. So, when you have some time, try using a few apps. App stores usually have categories. Browse through these categories and see what catches your eye. You might just find a hidden gem!

  • Google it out: Whenever you have an issue, Google it. Go down some rabbit holes, and discover forums that haven’t been redesigned since the 90s. Nothing teaches you more than spending some time actually trying to find answers and explanations.

Stay active

Remote work is very much a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, you can go days without even stepping out of your house. While that might please the introverts among you, it’s not really good for your health.

Staying active is not only important for your body but also important for your mental health.

Exercise is known to reduce stress, improve mood, enhance focus, and boost energy levels - all things that can greatly improve your work performance. Similarly, eating nutritious food can keep your energy levels stable, prevent afternoon slumps, and keep your brain sharp.

Here are a few tips to stay active when working remotely:

  • Schedule Exercise: Just like you schedule your work, schedule time for physical activity. It can be a morning yoga session, a midday walk, or an evening workout.

  • Take Active Breaks: Instead of scrolling through social media during your breaks, get up and move. Stretch, walk around the house, do a quick workout - the key is to get your blood pumping.

  • Mindful Eating: Instead of eating at your desk, take a proper lunch break. Prepare healthy meals and snacks to avoid reaching for junk food when you're in a hurry or stressed.

  • Hydrate: Keep a water bottle at your desk to remind you to stay hydrated throughout the day.

  • Mind-Body Practices: Incorporate mindfulness practices like meditation or deep breathing into your routine. Apps like Headspace or Calm can guide you through short mindfulness practices.

  • Stand Up: Consider a standing desk or make a habit of standing up every hour. Prolonged sitting can lead to various health issues.

  • Eyes Exercise: Follow the 20-20-20 rule to avoid eye strain - every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Pay close attention to your mental health:

The Society For Human Resource Management explicitly states that fully remote work and hybrid work are associated with an increased likelihood of depression symptoms and anxiety.

It’s a genuine problem.

The reason this problem exists is because of the sudden nature in which remote work was adopted around the world. People went to offices till one day and suddenly they weren’t anymore.

So, there’s not enough information and education about how to keep yourself mentally healthy when working remotely.

Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to combat these issues:

  • Start a Meditation Practice: Consider using guided meditation apps like Headspace or Calm. Even just a few minutes a day can make a big difference.

  • Mindful Movement: Engage in mindful physical activities like yoga, Tai Chi, or even mindful walking. These practices not only help manage stress but also keep you active.

  • Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings, and reflect on them. This can provide clarity, reduce stress, and help you stay connected with your emotions.

  • Connect with Nature: If possible, spend some time outside every day. Nature can be a powerful stress reliever and a great place to practice mindfulness.

  • Breathing Techniques: Practice deep breathing or other breathing techniques like box breathing or 4-7-8 breathing to reduce stress and enhance focus.

  • Stay Connected: Loneliness can lead to stress. Stay connected with your colleagues, friends, and family. Virtual coffee breaks or just a quick chat can make a big difference.

  • Professional Help: If you're feeling overwhelmed by stress, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Many therapists and counselors provide online sessions.

Suggested: Practical mental health tips for remote workers

Don’t ignore upskilling:

When you’re working in an office, you know exactly where everyone’s skill level is at. You know how they’re trying to improve themselves, what courses or certifications they’re doing, or if they’re just learning a new work-related skill.

When you’re working remotely, however, it’s not that easy.

The fact is that you have to upskill yourself, you have to improve yourself, and you have to keep yourself relevant and updated.

Thanks to how much tech has permeated into all industries, this is now a basic requirement.

Here are a few ways in which you can upskill yourself:

  • Identify Skills Gap: The first step in upskilling is to identify the areas where you need to grow. What skills are in demand in your field? What skills would help you perform better in your current role? What skills would help you advance in your career?

  • Online Learning: Take advantage of the abundance of online learning resources. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, and Khan Academy offer a wide range of courses on various subjects. You can learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your home.

  • Webinars and Workshops: Attend webinars, workshops, and online events in your field. They're a great way to learn new skills, stay updated on industry trends, and network with professionals in your field.

  • Learning at Work: Take on new responsibilities or projects at work that challenge you and allow you to learn new skills. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

  • Self-paced Learning: Books, podcasts, research papers, TED Talks - there are countless resources available for self-paced learning. Dedicate some time each day to learning.

  • Certification Programs: If you want to take your upskilling a notch higher, consider enrolling in certification programs. Many universities and organizations offer online certification programs that can enhance your credibility and expertise.

  • Practice and Apply: Learning a new skill is not enough; you need to apply it. Find ways to integrate your newly learned skills into your work.

Suggested: How to stay motivated when working remotely


None of the habits we’ve spoken about are going to work in a day. In fact, you won’t notice a difference with most of these habits even in a week.

It takes time and that can be frustrating.

Patience is key here. Don’t give up just because it doesn’t work on day one. Stick with it and you’ll notice that, gradually, it starts making a huge difference.

The right habits can genuinely help propel your career to great heights.

On that front, if you’re looking for remote jobs, check out Simple Job Listings. We only list verified, fully-remote jobs. Most of the jobs we list pay amazingly well and a significant number of jobs that we post simply aren’t listed anywhere else.

Visit Simple Job Listings and find amazing remote jobs. Good luck!

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