Remote work can be hard as it is, while the isolation that comes from not leaving your home office can further make you feel disconnected. Let's try to pinpoint these challenges and lay down some tips that can help us all keep our productivity.
As working from home has lately become a reality for more and more people, businesses and employees have to face a whole new set of challenges. Remote work can be hard as it is, while the isolation that comes from not leaving your home office can further make you feel disconnected. In this post I’ll try to pinpoint the main remote work challenges and lay down three tips that can help us all keep our productivity.
Whatever you do, don’t work in your pajamas! It might be tempting to try being extra cozy, lying on your couch and placing the laptop on your lap, with a coffee and a bag of snacks on the side. However, the truth is this can easily make you lose focus and start feeling bad about yourself. Instead, wake up in the morning and maintain a healthy routine, eat a real breakfast, dress up, and invest in a real working space with a desk and a chair. Apart from the obvious benefit of avoiding neck strain (and generally feeling better about yourself), you’re also going to find out that it is easier to maintain a work schedule. Remember to avoid distractions and plan your day similarly to what you would have done in an office workspace, whether it includes delivering your tasks, answering to your emails, taking your breaks or anything else.
Working from home does not mean working alone. Isolating yourself from the rest of your team is not only bad for business but also bad for morale. After all, teamwork is what makes work more productive and more fun. Communicate with your team on a frequent basis and make sure that everyone is connected and focuses on the common goals. Be accessible and plan your meetings as you would do if meeting in person. And do not worry that much about productivity! Numerous studies have shown that working remotely can actually increase rather than decrease your performance. E.g., according to a survey by FlexJobs, approximately 2 out of 3 employees claim that they can be more productive in their home office compared to a traditional workplace. And this is even empirically proven; a two-year controlled study by Stanford illustrated a 20% productivity increase (that’s one full day’s work per week!) when working remotely.
One of the most important challenges of remote work is that of managing your work w.r.t. to your team. To do so, you have to invest in the best possible set of tools for your team. OK, granted, there are hundreds of tools out there, so finding the ones that fit you and your business may not be that easy. You can, however, at least begin with covering three of the most common needs: real-time communication, file storage/transfer, and project management. Concerning communication, your best bet is probably a video conferencing tool with screen sharing capabilities, like Zoom or Skype. File storage solutions are also vast, with Dropbox and Google Drive being some good options. Project management tools, on the other hand, may be a harder choice to make. If you only need a project management tool to add tasks and track progress, then there are several tools that could probably cover your needs. But if you want to truly manage remote work in an effective manner, then I suggest finding a tool that is focused on your line of business.
Effective scheduling, good communication and choice of tools can all be deciding factors when working remotely. At least, these are what I found to be the most important ones in my line of work. And a final note about tools: although I’m no expert in most businesses, when it comes to software development, I would suggest that you give a try to our product. The Cyclopt app has everything you will ever need for remote project management and is especially focused on software teams, making sure not only that your project is delivered on time but also that it has high quality.
So, that’s it; these are the tips I keep in mind for remote work, and these tips are actually what I myself follow. What do you think? Did I forget any important ones? Do you maybe have any other tips to suggest? Choose the medium of your choice, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and let us know how you approach remote work!
Till next time folks!