Since the onset of 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, the rise in the number of people beginning to take part in remote work has been unsurprising. Remote work comes with its own set of challenges, and that means you will need a special set of tools to tackle them.
So we decided to make the transition to remote working a little easier and take a look at some of the remote work tools that you are likely to need to have you up and running in no time.
Firstly, some tips to help you make the best of your new position, and then some tools that you might need:
Remote Work Tips
1. Communicate Effectively
When you’re not sitting in the same space as your boss and colleagues, you will need to try and learn to communicate more clearly. Use email, phone calls, video calls, online chat software, and whatever other tools you have at your disposal. Ask when and how people want to hear from you, and follow those preferences. Be prepared to over-communicate to make sure that you and your team members are working together effectively, and your manager knows your priorities.
2. Clarify Expectations
Communicate your expectations by having frequent conversations with your boss and co-workers, making sure you know what they expect you to accomplish and when. Continue to manage expectations as you proceed with projects and tasks, providing updates and asking for clarification as needed. When you’ve met your deadline, ask for feedback to make sure you did what you needed to do.
3. Set Office Hours and Stick to Them
Decide what your regular work hours will be and inform your boss and colleagues of your schedule. Then do all you can to follow it. Setting this kind of schedule also makes it more likely that you won’t consistently work long hours, which will support your overall work-life balance.
4. Dress for the Job
As tempting as it may be, hold out against the urge to stay in your PJs all day long, and dress for work every day. Not only will you want to look professional on video meetings, but getting dressed when you start your day will put you in ‘work’ mode.
5. Structure Your Days
To work from home successfully, you’ll need to plan and structure your days so the hours don’t get away from you. Create to-do lists, set goals, and come up with a daily schedule, complete with breaks and times when you’ll be able to focus on deep work. Depending on your specific job, you may even want to break your day up into chunks of time dedicated to different tasks. The more structure you can build into your remote working days, the less likely you’ll be sidetracked.
6. Create Dedicated Office Space
When you set up a home office space that is specifically for your work and nothing else, you’ll inevitably have fewer distractions. Find a space in your home that isn’t used for anything else, and make that your personalised work area. Of course, when your office is in your home, you also have the freedom to switch it up once in a while to create a different workspace to keep it suited to changing needs.
7. Use Task Lists and Time Management Tools
With no manager hovering over your shoulder asking for updates, you may find it easy to get distracted or spend too long on a particular task or project. Create and use daily task lists, noting what you hope to accomplish and how long it should take. Look for time management tools, as necessary, to keep you on track and ensure that you meet your deadlines.
8. Take Breaks
Without the rhythm of an office around you, it’s easy to get in a groove and forget to take a lunch break or stretch your legs with a quick walk. If necessary, set an alarm or use a Pomodoro to remind you to take occasional breaks. You’ll find this helps you focus and keeps you refreshed so you can be the most effective and efficient worker possible.
9. Avoid Personal Tasks
To be a good remote employee, it’s vital that you don’t let household chores take over your schedule. Sure, throwing in a load of laundry during a work break is fine, but make sure you don’t let miscellaneous household tasks dictate your workday. Not only will they increase your regular work hours, but the constant interruptions will impede your productivity and performance.
10. Exercise Regularly
Whether you go for a run or walk during your lunch break, or schedule an online yoga session to end your workday, keeping a regular exercise routine will help you combat the sedentary lifestyle that remote work can lead to.
11. Create a Strong Support System
Working remotely can lead to loneliness and isolation, but staying connected to people while working from home helps keep these feelings in check. Until the pandemic is over, your only interaction during the workday may be virtual, but that’s OK! Virtual coffee breaks and lunches, interactive happy hours, and post-work Zoom meetings with friends can keep you feeling a part of a community.
Once you’re able to, you could look at occasionally working out of a coffee shop or local co-working space where others tend to work. You’ll meet like-minded remote workers and feel like you’re part of a group, even though you’ll all be working for different companies.
12. Plan Occasional In-Person Meetings With Team Members
While online communication tools will help you build strong virtual bonds, it’s hard to replace face-to-face conversations. Meeting with your co-workers and manager in person won’t always be possible (like during a pandemic). But when things get back to normal, it’s useful to schedule quick meet-ups with local team members and attend any offsite retreats that your company offers.
On some days, your plans will fall through, and you might not be able to exercise or stick to your schedule. If that happens, it is completely fine – just be flexible, adapt to circumstances, and keep trying to develop good habits that enable you to work from home successfully. Keeping your remote work goals top of your mind will help you be a good remote employee while also supporting a balanced life.
List of Remote Tools to help you
Here are some links to a variety of remote working tools shared by Kissflow to make your life flow more easily and to facilitate smooth communication with your colleagues:
- What tools can be used to communicate while working remotely?
- What are the best tools to manage a remote employee?
- Time Management
- Screen Sharing/Recording
- Video Conferencing
- Cloud Storage
- Note Taking
If you are taking on the remote working world, you are going to need reliable, fast internet. Get in touch with us to get the right package installed for you.