As more and more people transition to working from home, we wanted to share some of our tips and tricks for remaining as productive as possible. The Conseris team is 100% remote, so we have learned a lot along the way about how to make this structure work. It can be a tricky initial adjustment, but we have found it to be hugely beneficial in the long-run.
Find the right tools for your team
There are a lot of options on the market to help you keep in touch with your coworkers. The key is to ensure that everyone is on board with the platforms that you choose so that everyone has access to all of the necessary information. You will likely need a combination of tools for different purposes, but make sure that you don’t spread across too many tools because this can be overwhelming and lead to confusion. Wondering where to start? Check out this great list of remote work tools.
Reconsider how you communicate
When working remotely, you will need to provide a bit of extra context to team members when communicating to ensure that everyone is on the same page. As a general rule, especially when starting out, it is better to overcommunicate than to under-communicate. Also, keep in mind that all words are challenging to take back, but with written words, it is almost impossible. Therefore, take an extra moment to reread what you have said before pressing send. If you are feeling emotional while writing something, walk away and come back before you make your words permanent.
Stay connected with your coworkers
When you do not see your coworkers every day, you can begin to miss out on the typical water cooler conversation. However, knowing your teammates on a friendly basis can help you to be more collaborative. Therefore, it is a good idea to create a space where the team can connect about non-work topics. For example, we have a water cooler channel on Slack.
One way to facilitate excellent communication is to agree to expectations and then stick to them. This way, everyone understands the norms they should follow and can avoid unintentionally violating them. For example, at Conseris, we reply to all communication from our team within 24 hours during the workweek. Having this rule means the team knows when to expect a response, and we can prevent ourselves from procrastinating or letting things slip through the cracks.
Make sure you still “log-off”
Working from home can blur the line between when you are working and when you are not. This can make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Therefore, we suggest setting a schedule for yourself that delineates when you will work and when you won’t and then sticking to it.
Invest in your tech
As you begin working from home, you may realize that there are a few more tools you need for your work. The most frustrating thing is when you are trying to work from home, and slow wifi cuts down your productivity. Ensure that you have enough speed to keep your work going. You may also want to consider other tools that make your job easier, like a pair of noise-canceling headphones or a microphone for video calls.
To-do lists are your new best friend
When working from home, you become even more responsible for keeping track of your own tasks. The structure of office work can provide subtle reminders for what you need to do, but when working remotely, this can slip away. Therefore, creating a detailed to-do list can be very helpful in making sure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Set up an ideal workspace
Believe it or not, your workspace has a considerable amount of influence on your productivity. When switching to the home environment, you need to create a space that helps you to remain focused. This may mean having an organized desk away from distractions like the TV or your pets. It could be tempting to work from bed but consider how this affects your focus. Choose a workspace that is comfortable, but that still allows you to get a lot done.
Be aware of the pressure to produce
When you are working in the same physical location as your supervisor, you can demonstrate your effort to them by being present in the office for 40 or 50 hours per week. However, with the switch to remote work, the focus can shift to be put onto outputs. This can lead to a huge pressure to produce that can detract from your work-life balance. The best way to combat this is with a company culture of trust in which everyone assumes they are fulfilling their responsibilities even if they cannot see them doing it.
We hope these tips help you if you are transitioning to remote work. Do you have a tip or experience that was helpful? Let us know on Twitter, @Conserisapp.
Conseris is designed to help researchers collect, store, and analyze data more efficiently. Learn more: www.conseris.io