Whether you are working remotely for the first time or have a certain level of experience in remote working, there is always scope for improvement. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your team stay productive, inspired, creative, and meet all the expectations that you have set for yourself in a new work setting.
Tips to Succeed While Working Remotely
1. Allocate a dedicated working space
First things first, allot a room or a quiet corner of your home for your remote working needs. Your workspace must be away from your daily life to avoid distractions. A dedicated workspace helps establish the boundaries between your personal and professional spheres. Keeping home and work detached can be a game-changer in remote working!
2. Create a routine and stick to it
Try to maintain regular work hours by setting a schedule and adhering to it. Have clear guidelines for when to begin work and when to call it a day. Although it is challenging to achieve a work-life balance while working remotely, you can enjoy the flexibility to begin the day early or work later than usual to accommodate different time zones or meet deadlines. Time tracking apps can help you stick to your schedule and find out when you are most or the least productive.
Communication is key to succeeding in any professional role and it becomes even more crucial for remote work. In the initial period of working remotely with a big group, there are many things to be clarified. Since there isn’t the facility of walking down a few cubicles of a physical office to interact with your colleagues, you must schedule a regular 1:1 meeting with your co-workers while working remotely. You must check-in with them to ensure you are on the same page, connect on common goals, daily tasks, and upcoming projects. Over-communication in remote work is essential until all the members find a group flow in addition to their personal flow.
4. Stay organized
Organizing your tasks for the day has several benefits. It gives you a sense of control without being overwhelmed at the end of the day. It helps you to declutter, reduce stress and stay productive. You can stay organized by:
- Setting daily and weekly goals.
- Planning your day before it begins.
- Estimating the reasonable time each task will likely take to complete.
- Scheduling discussions and meetings in advance.
- Note down tasks in notepad or calendar and have it in constant view.
5. Invest in reliable technology
The success of any remote job depends upon not only access to reliable WiFi but a host of other technologies too. The participants must be able to make video calls without interruption by using noise-canceling headphones, second screens, wireless keyboards, mouses and other devices. A few of the best tools that will be needed for working remotely are:
- Videoconferencing tools for collaboration with remote teams such as Skype, Google Hangouts Meet, and GoToMeeting.
- Chat tools for immediate communication such as Slack, Chanty, Teams, and Google Hangouts.
- Project Management tools like Trello, Quire, and Wrike help you stay organized and manage various project tasks.
- Time tracking tools like Clockify, Toggl, Time and Date, and RescueTime can help multi-task and manage deadlines effectively.
6. Set priorities
If you have a list of clearly defined priorities, you can manage your time well and make good progress towards your goals. Having well-defined priorities brings more clarity to decision-making, enhances productivity, and enforces fruitful communication with the stakeholders. If you pick the right items to knock out first, you can maintain the right momentum and stay motivated. Here are the ways you can establish priorities:
- Understand and define the goals.
- Determine which goals are of utmost importance.
- Assess the urgency, value, and importance of the tasks.
- Adapt and be flexible towards uncertainty and change.
7. Take breaks
In a physical workspace, there are many opportunities to take breaks under the guise of tea breaks, lunch breaks, or meetings. But in a remote working setup, you will need to take deliberate breaks which is not very easy. But scheduled breaks are imperative to stay motivated, creative, and focused. Here’s how you can incorporate breaks in your remote work schedule:
- Regularly block out time for lunch or have lunch outside.
- Go for quick walks, stand up and stretch during short breaks.
- Leverage break time to socially interact with colleagues and teammates.
8. Recognize the benefits of working remotely
While working remotely may be due to certain constraints, it is vital to understand the perks of remote working and embrace them. A few of them are:
- Saving time and energy spent commuting to the workplace.
- Get quality time to spend with family or pursue a hobby.
- Enjoy the freedom and the flexible work style that remote working offers.
The remote working trend is here to stay and will only evolve in the future with companies recognizing the savings in costs, time, and energy involved in traveling, and getting resources together. It is wise to make the best out of remote working by adopting the above approaches one by one until you master them all!