One of the key players in the future of work is remote working. If you haven’t read into it already, remote working is a working style that enables professionals to work outside of a traditional office environment, and is based on the belief that work does not need to be done in a specific place to be executed to its optimum level. The practice itself has seen a sharp increase over the last decade with it being championed by companies such as Patagonia, Google, and Amazon. It’s been argued that employees that have the opportunity to work remotely three or four times a week are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten remote work best practices.
Make sure you have discussed your remote work routine with your manager, so they can relay what they expect of you and you can show them how you plan to divide your day. Establish the times that you will be working so as to avoid complications with your availability and to receive calls from colleagues.
Although remote working gives you the luxury of working from wherever you like, this also gives you the responsibility to be sensible about where you work. Take into account where you will be able to complete your work to the optimal degree. I wouldn't recommend trying to complete work in a nightclub - the music and opportunity to throw some moves may prove distracting. Find somewhere peaceful where you have minimal distractions and room to settle comfortably (but not too comfortably that you doze off). A café is a perfect example.
It’s tempting to stick on some sweatpants and crash out on the sofa with Netflix on in the background whilst you work. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. When you set up a remote work area, and dress for work, it signals to your mind that it’s time to concentrate. Take away the willpower needed to resist distractions and make a great start by setting both yourself and your workspace up to work hard.
Communication is vital to remote work. You must always stay in the loop with your colleagues. Set up regular calls to check in and update your manager/colleagues of the work you have been doing out of the office. Try to document the work you have been doing in a shared document to reassure and educate others of the progress being made.
For those who take remote work literally, as in work in remote locations, you will need to consider the technology which will enable you to do this, like having access to strong WiFi that will allow for video-calls to go answered without interruption and noise cancelling headphones for when you find yourself working next to a construction site.
For those who remote work out of necessity over choice, try to join a remote working community, either virtually or in person at a local coworking space or collective. Many find that they work at their best when surrounded by others who are also successfully working remotely, and you can tap into the treasure trove of great ideas from people outside of your field.
Remote working is about freedom, and you may find that there is a stark increase in productivity when one frequently works from different locations. A change in scenery can enhance your cognitive ability to work. Instead of sitting in your kitchen and working, find somewhere outside on a sunny day or move to a café in the afternoon. Or dedicate one day a week to a co-working space.
As you wont be able to turn to your colleagues in the office and ask them a question when your brain can't find the answer, you’ll need to invest in communication technology that enables you to give a virtual tap on the shoulder. Slack is the go-to for teamwork and communication.
Remote work brings the chance of your work life and home life blurring into one. That’s why its crucial to schedule your working hours and stick to them. At the same time it's vastly beneficial to also schedule in time for self-care such as going to the gym. The increased flexibility of remote working should allow you to further focus on your own personal development if you set aside the time for it.
In an increasingly connected world, the ability to switch off after work is one of the hardest challenges - especially for remote workers. Therefore it’s even more important nowadays to develop a habit of setting a time when you ‘log off’ for the night and have a bit of me time.
If you have not considered working remotly or hiring a remote workforce here are some benefits why you should;
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