According to a number of studies, if you’re concerned about how giving remote work as an option to employees would affect productivity, remote work can be highly beneficial.
91% of participants in a 2016 poll reported feeling more productive while working from home. Many of those who took part in the research indicated that working from home rather than in an office made them happier at their job.
Researchers at Stanford University concluded in 2019 that remote workers can improve a company’s production.
Relevate has adopted a more flexible work environment as the number of remote workers has increased over the past few years. A recent remote quarterly meeting of our Marketing team was an example of this. Relevate marketing staff, including those who worked in-office, joined the video chat from home instead of reserving a huge conference room. Relevate’s remote workers shared their experiences with working from home at the end of the virtual conference.
Even though all of this seems like a terrific way to work, you might be wondering, “Is remote work really possible for managers or leaders?”
Yes, this is the case at Relevate. This includes two managers from different parts of the United States on our blogging team.
That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?
If and when you take your first semi or full-time remote position. You may be enthused about the convenience of working from home. Concerns such as “How will I be noticed in my company?” or “Will I miss critical meetings or be left out of the loop?” could arise.
I consulted with a few remote Relevate employees. From various departments to acquire their eight most useful ideas for working from home.
The Best Ways to Work From Home
- Find out if you’d be a good fit for remote work.
- Break up your workday into manageable portions.
- Everyone needs to know what you’re up to, so don’t be shy about it.
- Invite coworkers over for virtual coffee dates.
- Make your home office more productive by setting up a well-designed work area.
- Make a living outside of your house.
- Preparation is key when it comes to making video calls.
- Make sure to take breaks during the workday.
- Consider whether working from home is an option for you.
Remote work might be optimal and most productive for some people. Some people, on the other hand, prefer to hold meetings in the office on weekdays, with only one or two full days of remote work. Then then, some people believe that they are more productive in an office environment.
When considering working remotely. It’s useful to try out all three of the work styles. Listed above to get a sense of what you’d like your job to be on a daily basis.
Participants at Relevate’s previously stated internal quarterly marketing meeting. Proposed that staff should try out a couple work-from-home schedules to see whether they like it. As you become adjusted to the new environment. These panellists indicated that you start with one remote day a week and gradually increase it to two or three days a week.
Organize Meetings and Work Time Into Manageable Blocks
It’s easy to be sidetracked by family, friends, errands, or whatever else comes up while you’re working from home. When you’re working at your own home. You may be distracted by thoughts of household chores or other duties that need to be completed. Prepare for several scattered work calls while you’re working on major tasks that need your whole focus.
As soon as you begin working from home. Make a detailed timetable to help you stay focused on your work and not get sidetracked.
In order to succeed in your first remote job. Rebecca White, a junior staff writer for the Relevate Blog in California, says that having a set schedule and sticking to it are essential.
The sooner you establish a pattern and timetable for yourself, the better off you will be. This means setting boundaries for what you do during the day, says White.
It is possible to designate “offline” periods during which you are not engaged in work. It’s possible to arrange time blocks for yourself to be online when your coworkers are in the office, even if you aren’t.
On the Other Hand, White Warns of the Dangers of a Timetable With Ambiguous Limits
According to White, it’s easy to get caught up in getting things done during the day. But then feeling like you’ve squandered your time because you’re working late at night. ” You may avoid these dangers by creating boundaries for yourself and sticking to a regular schedule.”
As a senior team lead for our user acquisition group headquartered in California. Scott Tousley agrees, adding he too lays out his whole workday, including breaks, in enormous chunks.
Tousley states that he works from 7 a.m. to noon on his first shift. After lunch, he works from 2 until 7 p.m., then takes a two-hour rest.
Other remote workers we spoke with also advocated arranging many meetings on the same day or in dedicated blocks of time
The first few days of the week might be devoted to meetings and modest projects. Then, during the days between meetings. Devote your attention to the most important tasks.
As far as possible, try to spread out your encounters over a period of two or three days. Allie Decker, a content writer based in Chicago, recommends leaving a few days open for “heads-down, max-effort work.”
It is possible to reduce the amount of time spent preparing for meetings by scheduling them all at the same time. Saving you from having to interrupt your work on a large project to take a 30-minute phone conversation.
You may also utilise these [meetingless] days to go out of the home and freshen up your workstation. And not have to worry about taking video or phone conversations in noisy public areas.
It might be difficult to schedule a workday when you can’t be in the workplace. Meetings with coworkers who are in a different time zone may not always work for you. Even when you have the ability to organise your own meetings on certain days. It’s okay to make exceptions for crucial meetings. You should still keep to a week-to-week plan and disclose your working hours to the team.
It’s best to check with your boss before scheduling a block of time that states “Do Not Book,” “Writing time,” or “Email me to book meetings during this time”. if your company uses a calendar system where your colleagues can view your schedule and book time with you. When colleagues notice comments on your calendar indicating that you’re unavailable for meetings, they’ll know that this time is being used for larger projects and chores.
Over-communicate With All of Your Friends and Family Members
Remote workers may unintentionally invite themselves to late-night video conversations, which they don’t realise will conflict with their own schedules. Perhaps even if you and your team members are in the same time zone, miscommunications may continue to occur since you communicated over email rather than face-to-face.
Over-communicating is the best way to avoid misunderstandings with your coworkers. On the phone, through video chat, or via your office’s direct messaging system, be sure to keep your coworkers updated. In the words of a manager on the blogging team in Atlanta, “Over-communicate everything,”.
Because individuals can’t stop by your desk to clear up misunderstandings, it is crucial to explain everything with full detail and offer more information than you believe is required, Perricone notes.
As long as you’re nice and professional, be clear and firm about your schedule, current list of activities, your bandwidth, and expectations for other team members so that your colleagues and supervisors can understand what you’re doing and what you want from them.
Arrange for Virtual Coffee Meetings With Coworkers to Discuss Work-related Topics
Outside of the workplace, it might be difficult to gain the attention that could help you advance your career. As a result, it’s critical that you devise new strategies for getting to know your coworkers and team leaders outside of official work settings like lunches, coffee breaks, and other team-building activities.
Henry Franco, an Illinois-based social media manager, argues that “as a remote employee. It’s easy to be out of sight and out of mind.” Every member of your team should have weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly one-on-one meetings with you in order to keep in touch.
Advertisements for Perricone, “Use team meetings, one-on-one meetings, or spontaneous video chats to work through challenges,” advises the author.
To Make Up for the Loss of in-office Encounters That Generally Develop Rapport, Perricone Advises
“Virtual coffee” is a terrific one-on-one method we utilise on the Blog team to meet up with colleagues. The purpose of these virtual coffee talks is to get to know your coworkers, whether they are in the office or working remotely, over a cup of coffee or lunch.
In the virtual coffee hour, you don’t necessarily need to talk about work. Instead, you may spend that time to get to know your coworkers or bosses better. It’s possible to build lasting relationships with coworkers who are located far away by cultivating these connections first. You’ll also get a better sense of how your coworkers interact with each other in the workplace through these talks.
Organize Your Workspace to Maximise Productivity
When you’re on the clock. Working in your bed or kitchen might make you want to do the opposite of what you’re supposed to be doing work. Meanwhile, if you’re in a noisy area of your house. You may find yourself distracted. An effective office or peaceful workstation that has a designated work area, sufficient lighting and internet access is ideal for those who wish to become serious about working from home.” “Try to set up a designated work area in your house,” advises Perricone. Making phone calls or jotting notes in front of the television is probably not the best way to get things done.” You need a place where you can concentrate and get things done. Your business and personal lives will remain as distinct as feasible.”
Working from home, as Perricone points out, can make it difficult to distinguish between business and personal life. Do your work in a separate area of your home so that you may emotionally and physically move away from your job when it’s time to relax and unwind. There are more distractions and it’s difficult to create a clear boundary between work and play in your bedroom or living room, Franco advises. In an office, closing the door at the end of the workday makes it much simpler to switch to a different mentality.”
Work Outside of Your Home, if Possible
Even if you’ve set up a well-organized office in your home, it may still be the most distracting area to work.
As a result of the distracting surroundings and the constant association of your house with work, your mental health may be negatively affected. When it comes to remote workers, a recent Buffer poll revealed that 22% of them have difficulty winding down after a long day.
If you find it difficult to switch off from work, you may be missing out on important events in your personal life or still be anxious about your job or a deadline when the day is done.
The fifth and last suggestion from Franco is to use your home office as a place to unwind at the end of the day. It may be difficult to avoid checking your computer or responding to emails at night if you do not have a home office.
Try working in a coffee shop, library, or shared workspace if you’ve tried several different options at home and aren’t happy with the results.
“I work from home most of the time, but occasionally. I need a change of environment to enhance productivity or simply talk with other humans,”.
Decker points out that it might take some trial and error to locate the optimum workplaces.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself if your first few choices don’t work out. If you frequent a certain coffee shop on a regular basis. The baristas will get to know you, which is an added bonus.
In Order to Have a Successful Video Call, You Must First Prepare Yourself
Regular video conversations will almost certainly be part of your job responsibilities if you are a remote worker. As a result, ensure that your workspace is well-lit and has a clean, unobtrusive backdrop.
However, Perricone recommends that you switch on your camera during a video conference to improve interpersonal communication and visibility of the workplace.
Turn on the video throughout your phone talks, recommends Perricone. ” 93.3 percent of communication is nonverbal. Having a face-to-face encounter puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding body language and facial expressions. In video calls, the lack of face-to-face communication is minimised.”
Keep in Mind That You Will Need to Take Pauses
If you work in an office nine to five. you’ll probably take a lunch break and one or two other breaks during the day. While working on a large project at home, it is easy to lose track of time and neglect to take a much-needed break. That’s why scheduling breaks on your calendar could be a good idea. As Perricone explains, “you have to develop social cues. since you don’t have them while you’re working in an office. Set aside time for lunch, a stroll, or a midday workout in your calendar.” If you don’t, you can end up spending more than 10 hours a day in front of your computer. Going out for lunch or taking a stroll in the fresh air might be a good way to take a break while still being productive.
When it comes to encouraging remote workers to take breaks and get some fresh air. Relevate’s sentiments.
It’s easy to stay in one spot for too long if you don’t have coworkers to go out for lunch or coffee breaks with. Taking regular walks is a crucial element of maintaining your sanity and boosting your productivity, in my view. In Littwin’s opinion, “even 15 to 20 minutes is enough of a recharge.”
Creating a Balanced Routine for Healthy Remote Work
Even when you have to carry work with you to your house, it’s important to build a daily routine that allows you to successfully perform different duties while maintaining a separation between work and personal life.
Set clear limits for yourself and your team if you begin working from home or experimenting with a partially remote lifestyle. Using these methods, you may make the most of your workdays even if you’re working from home.
You want to know what it takes to be an excellent employee who works from home? Five more research-based guidelines for a successful remote career were revealed in an article we published recently.