10 Tips For Remote Working
5 Quick tips to improve remote working
How to Embrace Remote Working and Still Be Productive
Being remote isn’t easy. Going remote, whether that means the whole team or just bringing on a new remote member, requires buy-in from the entire company. It doesn’t just happen, it needs to be a considered choice, and everyone needs to work to constantly improve the processes that make remote work work.
Here are 10 of the best tips we have for companies, managers, and remote workers that have helped us build an awesome remote team, work effectively, and stay 100% productive no matter where our team members are.
Contrary to popular belief, remote workers have to be better at communication than anyone who works in office. Communication plays a critical role in work, and when team members are apart, it’s vital to put communication front and center of any remote team or organization.
Contrary to popular belief, remote workers must be better at communication than all in office teams.
Without being able to tap the person at the desk next to you on the shoulder, you need to be clear in your chosen communication channel if you need something or are stuck. If you don’t then people can lose track of where the company is, where projects are, and lose their own focus.
Our Tools or Choice: Slack is our primary way to communicate, as it is for a number of companies with remote teams. By setting up channels within Slack for different teams, add integrations to make life easier, and keep everyone in the loop at all times, it would be fair to say we wouldn't exist without it.
2. Form Habits
We all use to-do lists in our everyday life, but when working remotely, a 'don't do this' list can be just as useful. When you're at home, you are acutely aware that there are other things you could be doing or may need to do. Laundry, Dishes, Cooking, Cleaning etc. Online it's even easier to become distracted by the latest meme, youtube video etc especially when no one is looking over your shoulder.
Every time you think about doing something that could be a distraction. Reading an article, replying to a non-urgent email, doing the dishes, write it down on your 'don’t do this' list and save it for later.
Tool: Pocket. You can use Pocket, an app for saving web articles for later, as a special version of this, saving articles that you want to read for later in the day. For other jobs, a simple pen and paper will work just as well as any app.
3. Mini Sprints
This is something I brought in to my own remote working process. Why? simply put it help me to focus, as there are so many distractions in working from home. I set my tasks out in hour or half hour sprints, before I take a break, this way, my main task gets my entire focus for the allotted time, and then I can stretch, grab a drink, for a few moments to recharge.
Tool: Harvest. You can use Harvest, to make it easier to track time, there are many tools you can use to time your sprints, and if a distraction pops up during your sprint , add it to your 'don't do this' list.
4. Plan Ahead
Structure is vital for me as a remote worker and my colleagues. When there is an overhead to organization, the need to plan in advance so you don’t have to schedule too many impromptu meetings is even more important. As a remote worker you need to learn how to plan and structure your day effectively so you can both have time for the all-important communication, but also the quiet time that working remotely allows so you can be at your most productive.
Tool: A pen and paper. Though you could use any of the online task management apps or tools, often it's better to have a strategy that works rather than an app. I find it much more helpful to have just a plain, easy-to-understand version of my schedule written out.
5. Create Processes
When working remotely, creating processes the entire team can follow makes sure that everyone is performing at the same level no matter where they are. This creates efficiency, but also means that everything from coding, to support, to finance, is done to the highest standard.
Tool: Process Street. Process Street are themselves a remote company. One of their suggestions for more effective remote work is to define a process for anything you’re doing on a regular basis. This also helps with documentation, which is another important part of remote working. If the entire team has specific protocols to follow, it removes the need for constant communication.