The trend of working remotely continues to grow. COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns have employers seeking safety for their employees. If you haven’t worked on a remote team, we’ve gathered some best practices for succeeding in the remote work world.
Global Workplace Analytics data shows that regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce.
Telecommuting in the U.S. has seen a 115% increase in the past decade. These stats indicate remote working is rising in popularity every year and is likely to continue growing.
In addition, many businesses are looking to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to follow Coronavirus protocols to care and protect employees. Some are even mandating working from home for employees.
If you find yourself working remotely soon, here are a few tips to keep you productive
- Start planning now – Be ready. Start planning now to ensure you have all the tools you need to get your job done outside of the office. Check your technology … do you need hardware, software, internet and office supplies to accomplish your assignments? What access to your company’s resources will you have remotely?Use the cloud. Upload important documents to a cloud storage service such as OneDrive, Dropbox or Google Drive. Uploading to the cloud allows you to log in from anywhere and always have access to important resources needed to accomplish your tasks.
- Create a dedicated work space – Working from home can blend the lines of work and personal life even more, which is why it’s important to carve out a designated work space. For some, that might mean a corner or table, while others it might mean an entire room or office. Any space with internet can work. Attempt to make it as distraction-free and organized! It should energize you. Having a comfortable chair and a door are ideal. Just like working in an office, remote working has plenty of interruptions. Sometimes that can be great, but it’s a good idea to let everyone know that if the door is shut, it’s work time. This is especially true if your position requires a lot of video meetings or phone calls.
- Communication is key – When you aren’t working in physical proximity to your team, it takes planning, creativity and intentional effort to stay connected. There’s no dropping by someone’s office or cubicle surfing to check the status of a project. Make use of free or inexpensive communications technology. Today, there are countless tools to utilize. Here are examples of a few: Hipchat, Slack, Trello, Asana. Basecamp, Expensify, Zoom and GoToMeeting. The important thing is to have a plan and tools in place, so you know how to communicate with your team.
- Organize your day – You are responsible for managing your work, schedule and work-life balance, same as in an office, but there are no accountability partners roving the halls. Successfully managing your time and projects takes planning and discipline. Having a plan helps you focus and avoid personal distractions that might occur in your home.
- Mind your style – Although remote work has many advantages, there’s also a few disadvantages. One of the most mentioned is missing social interaction. When working remotely, it is harder to interact and socialize with other people. Extroverted remote based professionals need to be aware and prepared to get their social fix. Consider co-working spaces, virtual social hours or coffee shops in order to avoid getting lonely. If working remotely sounds like a dream, make efforts to connect with your extrovert colleagues.
Remote working is likely to continue in popularity. ENJOY the many benefits. Stay calm, follow the CDC guidelines and keep on working.