With 2020 coming to a close, everyone’s excited to ring in the new year. After all, this year hasn’t been one of the best, and many are keen to move on from it. It was filled with surprises that left many unprepared and caught off guard. For one, COVID-19 has adversely affected our lives and significantly changed the way things run all over the world, including how we work. 

While working remotely is not a new idea, this year, social distancing measures and shelter-in-place orders have made it almost impossible for people to work anywhere other than home. And with the end of the pandemic still nowhere in sight, trends show that we will continue to work remotely in 2021. That’s where these remote work resolutions come into play.

We want to help you set yourself up for success in the new year. So get ready to set some goals, because here are 10 remote work resolutions you can make for 2021:

remote work resolutions for 2021

1. Communicate more

Workplace communication can already be a challenge in a normal office environment, and even more so when employees work remotely. This is especially hard if you’re used to seeing and interacting with your colleagues every day. Working remotely can give you a sense of loneliness and isolation.

In 2021, make intentional attempts to regularly communicate aside from the daily check-ins. This will allow your colleagues to feel more comfortable with you. This is also one way to develop trust and connection with your colleagues despite the physical distance. 

2. Be more compassionate

The pandemic has created drastic changes in how we all work. Many are sharing a workspace with their family, learning to work while being interrupted by children, and juggling household chores in between work tasks. People are experiencing the stress of living through a pandemic. Many are afraid of getting infected with the virus and have followed social distancing measures. Even if people are at home, they are also dealing with feelings of isolation and economic uncertainty. 

Next year, make an intentional attempt to be more compassionate with your colleagues. Everyone feels vulnerable right now, so try to empathize and recognize that everyone is coping with the situation in the best way they can. The more compassionate you are with your colleagues, the better your relationship will be with them.

3. Celebrate big and small wins

Whenever you or your colleagues achieve a goal, big or small, celebrate the win. Finding joy in what you have achieved can give a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times. 

In 2020, many of your colleagues felt disconnected from other aspects of company life, so in 2021, practice publicly acknowledging people for doing a great job to boost team morale. When a person or team is being recognized, they will feel that their hard work is valued. The rest of the team may also feel supportive or motivated to strive for notable accomplishments as well. 

4. Participate in virtual team building activities

Even if many are working remotely from the comforts of their homes, everyone still needs a break from their regular day-to-day tasks. This will provide an opportunity for employees to bond in a less formal setting while having fun and escaping the boredom and loneliness of working from home. 

There is no shortage of remote team building activities that you can do with your team. These include playing online games, creating and hosting your own quiz, or even virtual team building show and tell. Whatever virtual team building activity you go with, actively participate in it to help boost the morale of your team.

5. Grab opportunities for growth

Doing the same thing every day can become boring, more so when you are stuck in front of your computer at home. One way to break from this is by taking on new responsibilities.

When opportunities to be problem-solvers and move into leadership roles come in 2021, grab them with no (or little) hesitation. This will not only be in establishing credibility for your resume but will also give you more pride in your work. You can also create opportunities for growth by asking for honest feedback from your boss and your colleagues.

6. Invest in Continued Learning Online

Learning is a life-long process and investment. If it feels like the technologies at work are advancing fast every day and the trends around you are changing quickly, it’s because they are. Keep up and adapt to these changes to remain relevant in your industry.

In 2020, invest in your continued learning. With more time on our hands than usual, use the extra time, learn something new, and stave off boredom. By staying knowledgeable and staying on top of the latest trends and technological developments, you will always have value to offer your colleagues and mentors.

7. Manage my time to be more productive

Creating efficient time management habits does not mean filling your day with more tasks, but instead limiting what you do to certain things to simplify your life. This remote work resolution is especially impactful because it can also pay off in other areas of your life too, not just work. 

In the coming year, take a good hard look at how you are spending your time and see what you can eliminate, or at least reduce, in your schedule. You can better manage your time by practicing time blocking, creating a list of tasks ahead of the day, week, or month. Also, you check social media less frequently. 

8. Invest Time in the New Networking

Establishing strong networks is critical if you want to advance in your career. Before 2020, coffee meetings and evening mixers were good opportunities to meet new people. But with everyone working remotely, digital platforms have opened new doors for networking and lifted geographic restrictions. 

In 2021, in case you have not yet done it, invest in new networking by leveraging your LinkedIn network to build industry knowledge and take note of the latest trends. You can thoughtfully send connection requests to people whose careers align with your goals.

9. Map Your Long-Term Goals

Where would you be in 1 year? 5 years? Goals are not set on stone, but knowing which direction you would like to be going toward your career goals can help guide your way.

In 2021, identify your goals and revisit them at regular intervals as you make progress and your direction matures. This will help you picture out where you are towards your career goals.

10. Rest more mindfully

Before 2020, the home was a place of rest and relaxation for many. These days, it is also doubling as a workplace for many. The line between work and rest has blurred that it is easy to find yourself working longer and harder than you did in an office. At the end of every week or every day, you find yourself more tired and burnt out than you did when you had to work in an office.

Use these remote work resolutions to take ownership of this upcoming year. Make deliberate attempts to ensure your mind and body are getting the rest they badly need. Establish boundaries in your schedule for work and rest by breaking your day into balanced chunks of productivity and downtime. Turn off your laptop punctually and ignore the temptation of working beyond office hours.

Conclusion

In 2020, you likely had a lot on your plate. You had too much to do, too many goals, too many unfinished projects, and too many uncertainties. 2020 taught us that many things are beyond our control. Setting resolutions is great way to move forward with a fresh mindset in 2021. So whatever kind of mood you are in right now, take time to set your remote work resolutions and help your new year become a better one.

This post was written by guest author, Mia Turlington. Mia is a freelance writer who covers a wide range of business topics, including remote work. Read more of Mia’s articles on her website here