Tips for Successful Remote Working

Remote working

The trend of working from outside the office space is expected to grow further. Audio streaming and Media Services giant Spotify announced its “Work From Anywhere” model in February 2021. After a year, Spotify has experienced lower employee turnover rate and seen increased diverse representation. It has also expanded its presence in 40 plus US states and to Spain, the Netherlands, and Germany in Europe. Furthermore, companies like Atlassian, Dropbox, Reddit, and Microsoft have also announced the flexible option of working from anywhere for their employees. 

Remote work, which rose with the advent of the pandemic in 2020, is therefore pretty much here to stay.

One cannot deny, however, that face-to-face interactions are important for deliberating, analyzing, and building better relationships and team collaboration in general. 

Working in group settings is particularly difficult remotely and several studies have also concluded that collaborating in person can indeed foster greater creativity. Rabindra Ratan, at Michigan State University, has found that people working remotely have virtual-meeting fatigue, induced by constantly having to look at themselves on the screen.

Remote Work on the other hand can provide greater autonomy to the employees and also significantly cut down travel times, reduce absenteeism, reduce costs of the company, and also ensure punctuality. 

Working remotely also comes with several distractions and a unique set of challenges in terms of maintaining a work-life balance. The benefits, however, are plenty and by following some key suggestions, one may overcome the obstacles that they encounter while working remotely. 

Here are some key suggestions to be a good remote worker:

Some tips to be a good remote worker

Prepare yourself mentally

While we are not actually commuting to offices anymore, we can still do everything that we used to while preparing for it. From setting up an early morning alarm to preparing coffee and getting dressed in a more serious attire will instantly put you in the headspace of getting work done, as we automatically associate office with work.

Have a dedicated workspace

We often associate places with things and as such it is important to distinguish between professional and personal life. Creating a dedicated workspace, comprising the appropriate desk, lighting and other elements that make you feel more productive is imperative so that you can associate that space with work. It can be a small desk at your home or even a home office. Making spaces with the correct textures and colours will help in segregating work and life and avoiding spots that you associate with leisure.

Go for the “Do-Not-Disturb” Mode

While it can be tempting to check notifications on your phones or even pings from co-workers, make sure that you are upfront about your availability. You can use Lodago to synchronize your personal and work calendars to let your teammates know when you are accessible. Incidentally, this feature is also perfect for managing internal meeting requests and even external meetings with clients.

Figure out what environment works best for you

While some remote workers might feel the most comfortable working from their home office, it is not necessary for everyone to do so. With the flexibility of remote work, employees can actually experiment with coffee shops, libraries, or even co-working spaces and then figure out what environment works the best for them and makes them feel the most productive.

Plan Social Interactions

Just because you are working remotely does not mean that you cannot have a chat with your co-workers. With Lodago, you can easily book meetings with your co-workers by finding times that work for everyone in a few clicks and even start live chats and launch meetings instantly. Scheduling team meetings is therefore easy now. 

Easily finding times for internal and external client meetings with colleagues (welcome teamwork!)

Moreover, another option is to go out or invite friends, family or relatives over for socializing.

Have a to-do list and use a time-management tool

Having to-do lists in remote work is of utmost importance or it can take forever to finish tasks. Daily task lists with expectations of what you hope to accomplish for the day can help a lot when it comes to accountability, one of the most important aspects of remote work. Meanwhile, using time-management tools to schedule your day and allot time slots to your tasks will help you in managing your time better, thereby giving you the room to make time for other things.

Take short breaks

It can be jarring to sit in front of the computer screen for eight hours straight every day. It will lead to a loss of focus and clarity and as such taking short breaks to recharge your mind and also for reassessing your priorities for the day is important for increasing efficiency and getting more done when working remotely.

Communicate with the team regularly

Booking internal team meetings is all the more important in remote work to correctly update your team about your progress, the projects you have completed, and the goals that you are aiming to accomplish. Report your progress to your manager and update her about your milestones. 

Since you can no longer interact with your co-workers or managers face to face, it might be important to schedule internal weekly meetings to keep abreast of current projects and tasks.

Log off when it’s time to call it a day

While one of the advantages of remote work is its flexibility, it can also lead to stress if your phone keeps pinging with work notifications from morning to night. This problem is even more prevalent in teams who work in different time zones. You have to know when you are done and set up a time every day to “log off”. This can be challenging for beginners especially, so make sure that you stipulate your availability and working hours to the team.

Suggest your company to maintain a remote work policy

One of the most important aspects of remote work is maintaining clarity. Some uniform rules should be set by the company to make the workers feel like they are a part of the team. 

Some of these policies might include setting up working hours for the employees, assigning clear tasks to everyone, clearly communicating goals for the week, and setting a purpose for the various communication channels used.

Make time for health

Remote work can easily lead to a sedentary lifestyle and with constant meetings and deadlines, it is important to maintain your health to take on more challenges. 

From eating healthy, nutritious food to exercising regularly, having a good sleep cycle, and maintaining a fitness routine, there are many ways in which you can boost your productivity and remain more focused on tasks. 

Documentation-first culture

With the advent of remote work, the need for documentation has become more important than ever. Most documents are cloud-based now. With employees working in different time zones, it is important to make sure that every member of the team has access to the information they need. 

From documenting ideas jotted down during brainstorming sessions in online meetings to communicating guidelines to the employees, everything has to be correctly recorded so that the information can be readily accessed by any member of the team. All relevant information about a particular topic should be kept in a single place with careful control of the number of versions and updates created. Employees too, when working can jot down their progress, document their ideas, and clearly communicate their progress to the team. 

Invest in tech

Working from home can require some good investments when it comes to technology as this can boost the quality of work done significantly and also make the process simpler. Be it a good pair of headphones, wireless keyboards, a second screen, or even tools like Lodago’s online calendars to book internal and external meetings, there are plenty of tools to make your work easier and more smooth-sailing. You can also use project management software like Wrike and ProofHub to streamline processes in a project.

Tailor your communication style

When working remotely, it is necessary to take into account that isolation or distance can make your co-workers more sensitive, and hence daily interaction with them must be courteous and respectful. Everything must be communicated regularly, be it praise, information, criticism, or feedback. 

In conclusion, while it can be daunting to apply all these tips at once, the idea is to start with small changes so that remote work becomes a pleasurable experience. After all, by cutting down our travel times significantly, remote work gives us the time to connect with ourselves and our loved ones so much more. So, we understand if you miss the office, but working remotely comes with its own set of perks. 

Try out a few of these techniques and you might find yourself feeling more balanced and dynamic. As per the State of Remote Work Report 2021, conducted by Owl Labs, 90 percent of employees feel more productive when working from home and 84 percent of employees believe that working from home makes them happier and lets them live more balanced lives.

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