3/16/20 5:43 PM

Remote Working - Tips and Best Practices

Remote work has become increasingly more present in office environments across the country. In fact, 4.7 million Americans, 3.4% of the workforce, currently work from home at least half the week according to Global Workplace Analytics. Not to mention, Buffer reports that 44% of employees say part of their team works remotely full-time. In the last ten years, GetApp reports the amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010. 

At first, making the switch to working from home - and learning how to manage remote workers as a supervisor - can feel a bit jarring. There is a misconception that employees may be less motivated and less productive when first making the switch to remote work. However, recent studies have actually shown that 77% of remote employees say they're more productive when working from home (CoSo Cloud). Working remotely does not come without possible challenges though. Some remote employees feel more disconnected without having the physical day-to-day interactions with coworkers, or find it difficult to "shut-off" at the end of the day, increasing the chance of blending work and personal life. 

Here are a few simple tips you and your team can follow to ensure you're just as productive working remotely as you would be in a physical office: 

  1. 1. Start your day as if you were going into the office. Set your alarm, wear the same clothes you normally would, or even meal prep the same meals as if you were bringing your lunch to the office. This will help jump-start your day and transition your brain to work mode. 

  2. 2. Be vocal about the hours you will be online and available. You should be working the same hours from home as you would be if you were in the office. Make sure you've discussed these expectations with your manager and team members.

  3. 3. Test your technology. Make sure your equipment (phones, computers, VPN, video-conferencing tools) is working correctly, and notify your manager or IT department if any complications arise. 

  4. 4. Designate your work space. Ideally you want to pick an area that is quiet, clean and allows you to focus. This will help you transition to the right state of mind when you start your day. 

  5. 5. Provide structure and organization to your day. Set a schedule and specific goals for your day and week of the projects you will work on and tasks that you will accomplish. 

  6. 6. Take breaks. Be sure to take breaks and stretch your legs as you normally would if you were in the office to keep your brain from burning out. Go outside, take a quick walk, grab coffee - anything that gets you out of the work mindset for a short time.  

  7. 7. Communicate, communicate, communicate! Check in with your team members often and make sure you're all staying on top of your work. Pick a communication channel that works best for your team, whether that's Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc. As a manager, make sure you're hosting regular meetings with your team to keep everyone in the loop and on track.

An online office environment can provide a lot of benefits to both businesses and their employees. There is the opportunity to save money, and today's technology makes it more and more effortless to be effective online. Following these tips will help you and your team members stay efficient when working remotely. With the right amount of self-discipline, it's not hard to stay a productive and valuable member of your team. 

Topics: Best Practices

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