Remote Togetherness. It’s Possible.

By Melanie Vodnick, director of corporate real estate and veteran remote worker, ScottsMiracle-Gro
Apr 6, 2020 10:55 AM ET

Regardless of what the dictionary says, working “remote” does not need to be distant, isolated or unrelated. In today’s hyper-connected world, we have more tools than ever to enable remoted togetherness––the ability for us to stay connected while working remote.

I’ve been working remote with ScottsMiracle-Gro for the past two and a half years. Prior to that, I worked remote for almost 15 years with my previous employer. In both cases, I started at the world headquarters and then moved and began working from home.

It’s been a journey for me, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. Here are my top six tips for working remote. I use the acronym R-E-M-O-T-E.

R = Routine 

Establish a routine and make a determined effort to stick to it.

  • Set a start and stop time.
  • If you need a shower to feel human, get it done before you start your work day.
  • Schedule lunch, time to workout, a dog walk, etc.

E = Equip 

Equip yourself with the tools needed to be productive and healthy.

  • Establish a designated work space. It can be makeshift or traditional but make it yours.
  • Pay attention to ergonomics. A comfortable work space keeps you feeling your best.
  • Invest in a wireless headset, full size monitor and keyboard, and a good chair.

M = Move 

Change positions often.

  • Shift from sitting to standing.
  • Take micro brakes and stretch your neck and shoulders.
  • Walk around while on calls.

O = Organize 

Make a plan for your day.

  • Schedule calls and meetings and block out time for work.
  • Use Google Tasks for follow-ups and action items.
  • Take time and schedule breaks for lunch, a workout, dog walk, etc.

T = Time 

Take time to connect.

  • Ease into meetings and calls with some non-work chat. It’s a good time to catch up with colleagues before you dive into work.
  • Be intentional about staying in touch with coworkers. Reach out to team members regularly to check in.
  • Use technology. The video feature on Google Hangouts or Zoom goes a long way in making you feel connected.

E = Expectations 

Expect the unexpected.

  • Your child will cry, your dog will bark. 
  • Technology will fail.
  • Stay calm, take a deep breath and remember we’re all in the same situation. We’re in this together!

Melanie has been working remote with ScottsMiracle-Gro for the past two and a half years, and prior to that, she worked remote for almost 15 years with a previous employer.

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