9 Ways to Thrive as a Remote IT Healthcare Consultant

Carley Corletta
Dec 8, 2021
min read

Healthcare organizations are adapting to the remote environment quickly and have their eyes set on increasing their investments to begin rolling out more telehealth and virtual healthcare solutions. This shift, fueled in part by the recent pandemic, means that remote working positions will be much more widely available, accepted, and even encouraged in the industry.

For remote IT healthcare consultants, huge opportunities lie ahead, but there's also the potential for broader competition. In this article, we look at how you can adapt to this new remote environment and stand out from the crowd so you can seize the best opportunities available.

Here are our nine ways you can optimize your workday and thrive as a remote IT healthcare consultant:

1. Good Communication Is Key

While there are fewer in-person interactions as a remote worker, it doesn't mean that good communication skills are not still vital. To thrive as a remote IT healthcare consultant, you need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively, using all the main channels like instant messaging, email, calls, and video.

It's important to share how you feel, set clear expectations, and give regular updates on how things are going because your co-workers or clients won't be able to pick up on body language or see what's happening for themselves. Also, listen intently to teammates and clients and ask how they're doing.

Documentation is another critical communication tool in a remote setting. Creating documents that outline your plans, ideas, guidelines, and track progress help keep everyone up to date and can be referred to for quick clarification.

2. Optimize Your Work Environment

You'll want to set up your workspace so that it has everything you need to do your job professionally without any annoyance. For health IT consultants, this usually includes a stable internet connection, laptop/PC, smartphone, different software, dual monitors, webcam, mic, headphones, speakers, printer, etc. 

You can make a list of everything you need to do your job optimally and then test everything to ensure it's all working correctly. You don't want to be figuring things out while on a live call with a client or have unreliable equipment that could make you look unprofessional.

If possible, it also helps to keep your workspace separate from the rest of your home life, so the two don't become blurred. For example, you could utilize a spare bedroom as an office or dedicate one corner of a room solely for work. Setting up your workspace next to a window or in an area with lots of natural light can also improve job satisfaction and productivity.

Finally, as a remote worker, remember you don't have to work from home exclusively. So, it's also worth scouring your local area to find suitable coffee shops you can work from or co-working spaces. These can be a great option when you need a change of environment.

3. Stay Up to Date with Industry Developments

As a healthcare IT consultant, it pays to stay updated with the latest industry developments, such as new technologies, emerging trends, policy changes, regulations, and more. 

You can do this by staying in contact with people working on the frontline, such as hospital staff, healthcare providers, and vendors. You can also stay up to date by reading articles from respected healthcare publications and building a strong online network using social platforms like LinkedIn.

Fully immersing yourself in the world of healthcare IT will help you build knowledge and understand the industry's current needs, allowing you to operate with confidence and better serve your clients and teammates.

4. Don't Forget Self-Care

Self-care can encompass many things, but even getting the basics right, such as regularly exercising, sleeping well, and healthy eating, can drastically improve your mood and energy levels. 

Some other self-care rituals worth considering include meditation for better focus and mental clarity, exposure to sunlight each day to feel more alert, doing activities you enjoy, and limiting alcohol consumption.

All in all, prioritizing self-care ensures you stay mentally and physically healthy, boosts productivity, reduces the risk of burnout and needing time off work, and leads to better job satisfaction.

5. Create a Routine That Works for You

Working remotely as an IT healthcare consultant means you are not on-site, so you don't have set office working hours or the pressure of others being around while you work. The absence of these traditional workday structures means it's down to you to create a routine and follow it.

In the beginning, it's worth experimenting to find out what works best for you. However, the ultimate goal is to build a routine that you can consistently stick to, so it becomes habitual, as this will help you thrive, stay organized, and keep stress at bay.

Your weekly schedule doesn't have to be super-strict, but it should give you a clear idea of your typical working hours, time slots for meetings, morning and bedtime routines, sleeping hours, lunchtime, and exercise plans. In addition, don't forget to leave free time for relaxation, social activities, spontaneous events, and other things you enjoy. 

6. Focus on One Task at a Time

Multitasking can trick you into believing you're "busy" and "productive," but in reality, single-tasking allows you to accomplish much more. Multitasking can also make you feel stressed and overwhelmed, eventually leading to burnout.

You can avoid this by committing a minimum of 20 minutes to each task before moving on to something else. It's also important to remove distractions as best you can while working by closing social media, turning off notifications, and putting unneeded devices out of sight. 

Giving your full attention to each task will significantly improve your output, ability to concentrate, and the quality of your work while also being better for your well-being. It's a win-win.

7. Stay Connected and Maintain a Social Life

Some people who work remotely struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can affect their self-esteem and, ultimately, their performance. It happens because they are no longer surrounded by their colleagues while working, and there are fewer opportunities to go for lunch or drinks with them.

However, being a remote worker doesn't mean you have to have a limited social life. You can use co-working spaces, cafes, meetups, and networking events to meet other like-minded individuals in your area. You should also schedule time for social activities with friends and family.

As long as you're proactive and get out of the house often, you can still enjoy an active social life. But, of course, it's also important to bond with your colleagues from afar. You can do this through video calls and instant messaging by putting in the effort to have real conversations with your teammates that go beyond just work.

8. Follow Security Best Practices

It's essential for anyone in the health industry to follow security best practices, especially for remote IT healthcare consultants. That's because of the sensitive nature of patient healthcare information and the fact it's highly sought-after and valuable to cybercriminals.

Security breaches in a healthcare environment can be devastating. However, you can strengthen the security of your devices and accounts to protect sensitive data and your reputation by following these best practices:

  • Install anti-virus/anti-malware: This software is vital to keeping data secure. However, it's best to avoid freeware and instead invest in paid versions from reputable providers.
  • Use a VPN: A VPN adds another layer of security by encrypting your internet connection. It provides online anonymity and privacy and is especially useful when using Wi-Fi in cafes and co-working spaces. 
  • Use strong, unique passwords: Reusing variations of the same password is a security flaw. Instead, it's best to use strong, unique passwords and change them regularly. You can use a password manager to store and encrypt all of your passwords online.
  • Use multi-factor authentication: MFA adds additional layers of protection beyond a username and password when accessing a resource or account. It's a highly recommended way of increasing security and is widely used in the healthcare industry.
  • Keep drivers updated: Updates of drivers, programs, and operating systems are usually released to plug a security hole. Therefore, it's best to keep everything updated and delete any software you no longer use. 
  • Educate yourself: Taking an interest in cybersecurity, learning about the latest best practices, taking a cybersecurity course, and learning how to spot phishing attempts will all help increase your security and trustworthiness.

9. Limit Negative Media Consumption

In a world of click-bait titles, catchy thumbnails, and endless distractions, it can be all too easy to spend too much time consuming unnecessary information. Unfortunately, not only is this often just an addictive form of procrastination, but it can also be emotionally triggering and mentally draining.

Reading too many scary news stories and staying up to date with the latest dramas will distract you from the other more important things you could be doing. To thrive as a remote IT healthcare consultant, you'll want to limit the amount of time you spend consuming irrelevant media so that you can stay laser-focused and on top of your game.

If you struggle to reduce your negative media consumption, you can use programs like Freedom to block the distracting apps and websites affecting your productivity, well-being, and ability to focus.

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Carley Corletta
Carley Corletta
Talent Lead

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