Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are continuing to operate remotely in an effort to reduce social contact and protect staff members. Alternatively, you may have started working from home as a freelancer. Remote working is a huge change in lifestyle that can take some getting used to; as such, you may still be finding out your own best practices for working from home. So, whether you have just started out freelancing or you are a manager of a remote working team, read on to discover five tips for successful remote working.
#1. Set up your workspace
One of the main benefits of working in an office is that it mentally sets you up for the working day – you know that when you are sat at your desk in front of your computer and surrounded by your colleagues, it is time to work. Your home, on the other hand, is the place in which you normally relax and have fun with your family. As such, it can be difficult to concentrate when working from home, particularly if you are working from the sofa, and you could be easily distracted by household chores and the lure of Netflix.
Set up space in your home in which you can concentrate on your work without any distractions. You could renovate a spare room, turning it into a home office; alternatively, if you lack the space for a designated home office, you can easily set up a small desk in a spare corner of your home.
#2. Work with colleagues using a collaboration platform
Remote working can be trickier if you have a team working under you or if you are working on a project with colleagues. While you can easily brainstorm ideas and quickly resolve queries, these soon become drawn-out processes when you are all working from different locations. A collaboration platform helps to make communication easier when working remotely, providing a secure real-time group chat interface and confidential file sharing facilities.
Slack, for instance, is one of the most popular collaboration platforms used by businesses globally, providing remote workforces with easier communications. However, this software is expensive and may not be appropriate for companies with strict security policies; as such, research Slack alternatives for other highly effective collaboration platform options.
#3. Check-in with your community
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a lot of lifestyle adjustments, and like working from home, that can take some getting used to. As these changes are new for everyone, it might take a bit of time and experimentation to find out what works best for you and your team.
Check-in with your colleagues on a regular basis and encourage them to talk through any difficulties that they are having with the situation, as well as any ideas for improvements to your company’s remote working routine. In this way, you can ensure that your staff members feel fully supported in these stressful times, as well as maximize your remote working productivity.
#4. Monitor productivity
As previously mentioned, there are a lot of household distractions when working from home. You might be tempted to multitask your work with household chores, putting a wash on while taking a conference call, for instance. Or, you might simply struggle to concentrate on work matters while in the comfort of your home. As a team leader, you might suspect that one of your colleagues is experiencing these difficulties, with a decline in their productivity.
If so, how can you make sure that your staff is all working when they should be? Productivity monitoring software does exactly that, providing you with clear statistics that not only show the productivity levels of individual employees but also display the amount of time spent on certain tasks like Zoom meetings. Armed with this information, you can work towards improving the productivity of your remote working procedures and staff.
#5. Know when to stop
The flipside of being easily distracted by household tasks when working from home is working at all hours of the day and night. It can be difficult to switch off when your home provides both your workspace and leisure space and consequently, you may struggle to find a work-life balance. Try to stick to a designated log-off time when you turn off your laptop and switch on your out-of-office on your emails, preventing you from responding to work emails on your phone when you should be relaxing in bed.
So there you have it: five tips for successful remote working. It might take a while to get used to, but after following the tips listed above, your transition to working remotely will be smoother, more productive, and successful. You and your colleagues will soon come to enjoy this flexible working style.