Remote working has in the recent past, revolutionized modern working. Organizations and individuals alike are rapidly joining the wagon in a bid to reap the benefits it promises. From saving on office overheads, increasing productivity, attaining a happy and satisfied team to achieving a better work-life balance, this modern way of working has a lot of upsides to offer.
With all these benefits, however, it is also very challenging. Managing distributed employees is not an easy task. On the other hand, working in isolation is not very rosy. Fortunately, here are 10 tips to help you navigate through the setup successfully.
1. Proper communication
Communication is the backbone of a healthy remote team. If done wrongly, it is easy for individuals to feel detached from the rest of the team. On the other hand, it becomes hard for managers to pass instructions across the team. Ensure that everyone has the communication tools agreed upon so that all members stay on the same page. In addition, ensure that any information that needs to reach your team gets them in good time. Correct any miscommunication as soon as it arises.
2. Share knowledge
For a remote team to stay innovative, knowledge sharing is crucial. While it is easier to share knowledge when working in close proximity, it becomes a different story when remote workers are involved. With everything happening virtually, it is important to ensure that remote teams are equipped with the right tools to share and receive knowledge seamlessly and efficiently. For instance, a tool like rar file is a convenient way to compress large files and share them without taking too much space. You will, however, require a rar opener to open a rar file when you receive one.
3. Give honest feedback
Employees’ engagement is crucial for any organization’s success. To foster this in a remote setting, ensure that you give honest feedback on employees’ work. Be open to questions and seek to clarify them as honestly as you can. Your employees will appreciate that you are willing to guide them through and help them learn.
4. Maintain the company culture
Working from separate locations might change the way you interact with each other, but you should not allow it to affect your company culture. As you go virtual, carry with you the little things that bring you together as an organization. This would mean celebrating each other’s pivotal moments, or having non-work related talks over lunch. Whatever it is that you do as a company, be sure to keep it alive.
5. Recognize outstanding work
Employee recognition comes naturally in an office setup since you frequently bump into each other at the workplace. If not careful, it is easy to sideline remote workers even after submitting outstanding work. Employees feel motivated and a part of the team when their work is recognized. Be sure not to forget this with your remote workers.
6. Have a schedule
Without the confinement of 9-5 traditional office hours, it is a challenge to separate work and life tasks. It is easy to take too much time on personal tasks, neglecting your work and eventually affecting your productivity.
To counter this, create a schedule and have some hours dedicated to work only. However, you need to ensure that you strictly follow it if you are to succeed.
7. Have a dedicated workspace
If you are working from home, have a dedicated workspace away from distractions. Alternatively, you can check in a coworking space, library, café or any other quiet place that will allow you work without interruptions. A dedicated workspace allows your mind to switch to work mode much easily.
8. Invest in proper furniture
Working from the couch or bed might seem comfortable for you. However, that is a recipe for neck, back, shoulders and eyes pain if done for a prolonged period of time. Invest in a proper desk and an ergonomic chair.
Pro tip: consider buying an adjustable table. It becomes easy to adjust it to a standing desk, which allows you to give your body a break from sitting down.
9. Take breaks
As said above, sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. Besides, working on a task for hours on end can drain your energy levels and limit your creativity. Take regular breaks between tasks to rest your mind and rejuvenate your body. A five minutes break can do wonders to your creativity.
10. Set realistic expectations
Be realistic on what you can do, including the hours that you can be available. Just because you aren’t confined in the traditional office hours, don’t assume that you’ll be available around the clock. It is also good to clarify the expectations and responsibilities of your role. Have clear guidelines on when and how to go about taking days off work before you start work.
Working from home is challenging for both employer and employees. It is easy for anyone to feel anxious, lonely or even frustrated when working in isolation. However, it is a rewarding experience if done properly. Be sure to incorporate the above tips for an easier time.