If you move to another location as part of a new on-site job, you can often get paid vacation or even a relocation stipend. However, if you operate as a remote worker with no professional need to relocate but you’re doing it anyway, you likely will have no one but yourself to support you in said move.
If you’re a remote worker who is planning a move no matter the reason, here are a few tips to help you stay as productive as possible while you shift out of one space and into another.
Planning isn’t something that should be reserved for the move itself. It should also impact your work situation throughout the transition.
Planning is a critical step in ensuring that your work is minimally disrupted as you move out of one living space and into another. As you plan, take into consideration each part of your journey.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you think through each stage of a typical relocation:
– How long will my home be packed up before I move out?
– Will I need a functioning office right up until I move?
– Will I be on the road between my old and new homes for an extended period?
– When I arrive at my new home, will I be able to set up and work right away?
– What is my long-term remote work setup going to be?
By asking questions like these, you can sort through each step of your upcoming journey. This can help you prepare solutions and avoid problems along the way.
For example, if you know that you won’t be able to move into your new home right away, you’re going to want to look for a good cowork space or at least a local coffee shop where you can work for the interim period. If you know you’ll be driving across the country or something that could take multiple days, you may also want to consider where you can work along your route.
If you’re going to be without a home base for a while, you may need a wireless hotspot on your phone. Thinking these things through beforehand is a critical part of staying productive.
Stay in touch
Communication is a huge aspect of remote work — to the point where it’s better to overcommunicate than to ghost someone for days or weeks at a time. With that in mind, consider where you need to maintain communication with your employer and coworkers while you’re moving.
This process should start with your boss. Talk to your employer about any aspect of your upcoming move that will be a factor. This should include logistical considerations, such as times that you may be unavailable, as well as personal items, like how your salary, taxes, or benefits could be impacted by the change.
If you, yourself, are the boss, or at least a team leader, you’re going to want to approach things from a different angle. Consider where your team will need your guidance and when you can and cannot afford to be “off-line” during the move.
Try to schedule check-ins with your team while you’re moving so that you can rest assured that everything is operating well while your attention is elsewhere. Also, make sure that everyone has access to the tech, tools, data, and other resources that they need before you start your move.
Encourage them to reach out to you if they have problems, but let them know that you may not reply right away. Don’t be afraid to delegate responsibilities while you’re moving, either.
Minimize your office — at least temporarily
Another way to help you stay productive while you move is to consciously downsize your office. In other words, consider if you can shift your remote setup into a single briefcase or satchel for the next few weeks.
Can you do without your monster dual-monitor home office set up for a bit? If you really need two screens, consider getting a portable monitor to use with your laptop for a while.
Use a similar line of reasoning with all of your remote work tools. If you can manage to shift your entire office into a single receptacle, you can remain fully operational throughout the move — even while your main computer and other office items are currently enroute to your new home.
Prioritize your new home office
If you’re changing locations, it’s always a good idea to use this as an opportunity to improve your home office setup. Even if you like your current office, look for areas that you wish could be enhanced.
Perhaps you want to finally invest in a sit-and-stand desk. Maybe your current lighting is too low or unstable. What about air quality, temperature, mouse and keyboard, video chat backdrops, and so on?
Use the new move to spark fresh ideas for your next office design. Take quizzes, research on Pinterest, and look for ways that you can invest in your long-term productivity when you set yourself back up on the other end of your journey.
Staying Productive While on the Move
It can be difficult to stay productive as a remote worker. Work-life boundaries and balance can be difficult to maintain. When you toss something as disruptive as a move into the mix, it can completely upend your productivity for a while.
But, that doesn’t have to be the case. If you take the time to plan ahead, communicate well, temporarily minimize your office, and invest in your new office setup, you can genuinely end up more productive during and after your move than you were beforehand.