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Although remote work has been around for a while now, businesses still can’t seem to work out the concept. There are no universal rules when it comes to remote working. Every business has its set of policies that helps them operate even under difficult conditions. The policies aren’t set in stone. There is always room for improvement. Since remote working is here to stay, here are six ways to help you improve remote working and make the most out of it.
Employers and employees can’t seem to decide whether over-communicating is good or bad for the business. When it comes to working remotely, most managers believe there’s no such thing as over-communication. Since employees now work from home, receiving updates and sharing information has been challenging. Working in an office allowed them to walk over to their coworkers’ or boss’ desk and ask for help, clarification, or additional instructions. Although communicative technology such as Zoom, Skype, and Slack are useful during remote work, employees often experience difficulties with the Internet, audio, or video connection. Those minor inconveniences along with different time zones can put a strain on internal communications. For this reason, you and your coworkers should share any piece of information you have no matter how insignificant you think it is. Who knows, maybe that particular information proves to be a game-changer for the business.
Come Up with a Schedule
A flexible schedule is a reason why remote work has become so popular. You don’t have to strictly show up at the office at 9 every day. Instead, you can organize your schedule the way you want. Find the period during the day when you feel most energized and productive. Are you a night owl or a morning person? If you’re a night owl, you can get most or all of your work done in the evening or midnight hours. On the other hand, if you’re a morning person, you can easily get up early and complete all tasks by noon. Still, some remote jobs require attending daily meetings at a certain time, so make sure your schedule complies with your company’s remote work policies.
When working from home, most employees have productivity problems. There are too many distractions around the house. It is especially hard to focus when you share space with your family members. While most people suggest having a home office, it isn’t helpful in the long run. Every now and then you should change your workplace. You can try working from some coffee shops nearby with a good Internet connection or coworking spaces if you’re missing your office. Besides, you don’t have to go to great lengths in search of productivity. You can simply change rooms or make an office from your porch. Whatever you do, please don’t even think about working from bed. It will only make you slack even more and ultimately fall asleep in the middle of a project.
Although you have to adhere to rules of formal business communication, you shouldn’t forget how important it is to be casual in the workplace. If you like to catch up with your coworkers before the meetings, then don’t give up on this habit. Before you start a video conference, check-in with your coworkers. Ask them about their day or how they spend their weekend. Also, if you like having coffee or lunch breaks with them, you can still do it. Many companies have made virtual coffee, tea, or lunch breaks a part of their remote work policy. Being casual while working remotely not only helps strengthen relationships among coworkers but also gives them a sense of normality.
The downside of working remotely is that one easily becomes a hermit. Just because you don’t have to dress up and go to work doesn’t mean you should stay indoors and cut your ties with the rest of the world. If you want to nail remote work, you should add socialization to your to-do list. Make time during the day to have coffee, cocktails, lunch, or dinner with your friends. Going out and partying is also a good chance for blowing off some steam. When you get rid of all pent-up negative energy, you avoid burn out, frustration, and anxiety. Socializing with your friends will help you get your mind off work and have a healthy work-life balance.
Going to work every day has helped most people keep their family life and professional one apart. Now that your house has become your office, you have to set clear boundaries to find the perfect balance. Rule number one in this case is to disconnect yourself from work once you’ve punched out. This means you shouldn’t check your phone or your inbox unless there’s an emergency at work. When you finish work for the day, you can devote yourself completely to your family and friends. Spending time with them helps you recharge and relax. This way, your mind is rested and ready for another day in the office. Having boundaries between your family life and work helps you stay healthy and make the most out of life.
Lena is a writer, enthusiast and loves to read a good book. She believes that there is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee.
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