Remote Work: How to Do It Successfully?

Remote Work | Remote Work: How to Do It Successfully? | Telecommuting is not a new concept. People have been working from home or any other workspace that is not an office for ages as companies realized all the advantages of this approach to work. For example, saving on equipment and office space and accessing a wider talent pool are just some of the benefits that businesses experience. However, 2020 really brought remote work into focus. With various restrictions in place, many companies were forced to reconsider their business model and recognized the potential of having a flexible workplace. If you are also a business owner trying to navigate these unprecedented times or someone who has recently started working from home, keep on reading for some essential tips when it comes to tackling remote work successfully.

Find the right workspace

Seeing as how offices are usually designed with productivity and workflow in mind, it can be difficult to focus and get the job done on time when working remotely. That is why finding the optimal workspace is of the essence. Many first-time remote workers believe they can work from their sofa or bed while watching TV. However, this is not only unproductive but also very uncomfortable after a while. It would be best to have a separate room or area that can serve as a workspace. A bright and airy space that is separated from the usual hustle and bustle of a household is always recommended. Moreover, having an ergonomic chair and a height-adjustable desk so that a part of the workday can be spent standing can all help you or your employee create the ideal work conditions.

Set the work hours

Remote work can often entail collaborating with someone from across the world, which means that they are in a different time zone. This can sometimes make communication complicated. To make things easier for yourselves, you should introduce some form of office hours. With flexible work hours being one of the benefits of telecommuting, it would be pointless to introduce the 9-to-5 method. However, you can introduce availability hours instead. That way, the employer can easily contact the employees and make sure the project will be finished on time. Outside of these set hours, the workers shouldn’t feel obligated to instantly respond to their manager’s messages and inquiries while the manager needs to understand this. Of course, every company can customize this approach to work for them, which might include employees being available 24/7. 

Implement reliable communication channels

No matter your arrangement in terms of work hours, you and your team members need to have reliable communication channels. While you might be tempted to make email your main way of communicating, you should be aware of the fact that email is detrimental to productivity as research shows that more than 11 hours a week are spent on it. Instead, you can reserve email for only important memos and announcements and turn to instant messaging apps that are widely available nowadays. Slack, Skype, and Discord are just some of the many platforms you can choose from. For this to work, though, you have to make sure every employee is using the channel you’ve implemented. What is more, if you share a lot of files on a regular basis, you want a platform that will support your line of work. With that in mind, you might also want to look into project management tools like Basecamp and Asana as they will let you stay on top of everything and ensure no one is late.

Create a virtual experience

Some employees have a problem with remote work because they miss face-to-face meetings and chatting with their coworkers over coffee during breaks. However, telecommuting doesn’t have to mean they will never have a chance to talk to their colleagues and have a private meeting. Many platforms nowadays allow for video chats and it’s not unusual for coworkers to stay on a call during work hours to avoid constant messaging if they are collaborating on a project. Furthermore, using a web conference platform makes it easy to organize meetings, have lunch as a company, and even celebrate some major milestones. If working remotely is just a temporary solution for you and your company, staying in touch in this way will make you all feel like you haven’t missed a thing.

Maintain productivity

Finally, while all the above-listed tips play a role in maintaining productivity, there are some other things that remote workers and their managers can do to stay focused. For instance, getting quality tools and technology can help in getting everything done on time. If your internet connection is below average, you might have a hard time keeping up. Moreover, setting realistic expectations and encouraging self-care will also help you thrive while working from home.

Regardless of whether working from home is a permanent or a temporary situation, the aforementioned methods can help you be successful. From finding the right environment and setting work hours that suit everyone to making the most of the available technology and platforms, there are many practices that will make telecommuting a walk in the park.

Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several websites.