Top 8 Best Practices for Working Remotely
Working remotely can be a great experience for you and your team when done correctly. It gives employees the freedom to work from different locations, which can lead to increased productivity, creativity and happiness. But working remotely also presents unique challenges that need to be addressed in order for everyone on the team to function at their best. The following best practices will help you successfully manage remote workers:
1. Find a comfortable workspace
Being able to find a comfortable workspace is one of the most important parts of working remotely. You will be spending hours at a time in this space, so it needs to be somewhere that you can focus and get things done. You also want it to be quiet and private—no distractions or noise!
It's also important that your workspace has good lighting and temperature control (if possible). You should have enough light so that you don't strain yourself visually when reading or writing on paper documents. If it's too bright in your home office, put up curtains or blinds next to where you sit so that they block out excess light without blocking out other people's windows behind them as well. Make sure the temperature is somewhere between 18°C - 25°C (65 °F - 77 °F).
When working from home, make sure your workspace is organized so that papers don’t overlap each other when stacked up together. This will prevent confusion when trying to find something specific out of all those papers between times spent doing actual work! It would also help if there weren’t any dirty dishes lying around either—you don’t want coworkers thinking about how messy their boss might actually be!
2. Set clear working hours
Working remotely is a lot like being at an office where you are constantly bombarded with distractions and demands on your time. It's tempting to just stay up all night, but doing so will make it much harder for you to get work done efficiently later on down the road. You need some kind of delineation between work time and personal time, whether that means setting certain days as "work" days or using software that blocks certain sites during specified hours. It's also important not to let other people know when you're working—you don't want them making demands on your time because they assume (rightly) that they'll be able to reach you easily during those hours.
3. Choose the right communication tools.
There are a lot of options out there when it comes to choosing the right communication tools for your team. If you're working remotely, you should definitely consider using something like Slack or Discord instead of email or other tools that don't allow for real-time interaction. Keep in mind that just because everyone else is using one tool doesn't mean it's the best choice for your needs—you might find that another option would better suit what you need from an internal messaging platform.
When considering which remote work tool is best, consider these questions: Is it easy to understand? Is it reliable? Does it work on multiple platforms (like mobile)? Is there a mobile app available?
4. Take advantage of video conferencing technology.
Video conferencing is a great way to keep in touch with your team. It's the most natural way to communicate and the best way to avoid misunderstandings. Use video conferencing like Zoom for meetings, training, reviews, mentoring and more!
5. Schedule regular check-in meetings.
Remote workers are often thought of as independent contractors, but their managers shouldn’t treat them like it. “It’s crucial to set regular check-ins with your team members, even if they work in an office next door,” says Miller. A one-hour meeting once a week can be incredibly helpful for both parties to stay on top of what each person is working on and keep communication lines open. If you have remote employees across multiple time zones or locations, consider setting up weekly meetings with each person—the more regular the better! This will help keep everyone motivated and accountable for their actions and responsibilities at all times.
6. Be respectful of others' time.
Communicate just as much as needed
While it may seem obvious, how to avoid wasting the other person’s time while still getting the important points across is a key component of remote collaboration. The success of your team depends on keeping everyone informed and involved in what’s going on. Be sure to use tools like Slack, JIRA, or Trello to share information with the entire team at all times so that no one person has to bear the burden of being responsible for communication. This will also help you avoid having any one person feel overloaded by the amount of communication required for their job—and it will ensure that everyone stays up-to-date on project progress without asking what’s happening every five minutes.
Respect other people's time zones
It can be easy to assume that because someone works from home, they're always available—but remember that most people have other commitments outside of work (and sometimes kids!) and may not be able to answer emails immediately between 8 AM–5 PM EST each day (or sometimes even during those hours). If you need something done ASAP but know someone else isn't available until later in the day, send an email immediately after 5 PM EST asking if they could get started right away if needed—but only do so if absolutely necessary!
7. Join an online community for remote workers.
Joining an online community for remote workers is a great way to find advice and support. It's also a good way to find new opportunities, as many discussions in these groups can lead to job offers. You'll be able to get help with any problems you're having with your work, like how to deal with a particular client or what tools are best suited for the job.
8. Use collaborative tools.
Collaborative tools are a great way to keep everyone in the loop. You're not just working with a few people, but potentially dozens of people—so it's important to communicate effectively and efficiently. We've found that Slack, Trello, Google Docs and Asana work well for remote teams. Collaborative tools can help you stay organized and be productive. It's important to choose the right remote tool for your remote team based on what actually gets done during meetings or how much communication takes place outside of them (i.e., over email).
Working remotely can be a great experience for you and your team when done correctly. To be successful, it’s important to establish clear working hours and stick to them. You also need to choose the right communication tools and have regular check-in meetings with your team. Additionally, being communicative is essential in remote work situations. We hope these best practices help you get the most out of your remote work experience. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these tips should get you started on the right track. Good luck!