Disclaimer: Our own company Engagepulse has a remote team spanning 4 countries and counting.
While the benefits of working from home are well known among employees and employers alike, a remote work arrangement might not be ideal for a team that is easily distracted and needs a lot of guidance. At the same time, special circumstances might still compel a team which is not yet used to a remote work environment to switch on remote. What do employees need to keep in mind to keep it all together while sailing in unchartered waters? We share our tips for working remotely:
- Identify a workspace that is quiet and devoid of distractions. Try to keep it as close to an office work environment and avoid spaces that are near to a TV, bed, pet etc. .
- Avoid personal chores during work hours. You might initially think that you will juggle it, but you will sink into a disorganized chaos sooner than you realize.
- Invest in a strong internet connection and ask your company for help if required. Weak connectivity will lead to a lot of frustration and hamper your productivity. If you face frequent power cuts, get a power back up for your wifi router. Learn how to use your mobile phone hotspot and keep it paired with your computer for exigencies. Get a back up internet connection if you can.
- Eat in small packets and take small breaks. Get a stand up desk/work in a stand up position every now and then.
- This sounds like a no brainer but many of us miss this - ALWAYS use a headphone on calls. Background noise and poor audio is very annoying for everyone.
- Reward yourself with a change in work location/position every now and then if you can manage it - helps break the monotony.
- Do not miss out on the advantage that you get on starting work early in the day. If you delay your start, elements such as a prolonged breakfast and morning sluggishness can eat into your most productive hours of the day and you will end up chasing deadlines the whole week.
- Plan your day as if you are going to office. Your working hours and environment have become flexible but the quality expected from you at work remain the same!
- Avoid social media accounts during work hours and mute notifications during web calls. Play extra attention to what's on your screen while screening sharing.
- Maintain a healthy routine. If you cannot manage going to a gym, a brisk walk around the house, a couple of cycles on the staircase or a few hours of stand up work done routinely can help avoid lethargy and related health issues.
- Ensure that other members at home understand that you are fully accountable even if you are working from home. Communicate your working hours and ensure that no one disturbs you during working hours.
- As an outcome of working remotely, you might end up working extended hours repeatedly till the time you finally burn out. Guard yourself against this and ensure your organization and team is aware. Spend time talking to other humans outside of work. Guard yourself against digital fatigue - going on a Netflix binge after 10 hours of starting at a computer screen can bring you up to speed, but also lead to dry eyes.
At Engagepulse we started with a remote team ourselves and our platform can help you manage your remote team in a forced remote scenario like now and in the future. Drop us a note to learn more!