With businesses opting to work from home that have never done so before, so many companies are in a flap about productivity, the impact this will have on their company and whether or not they can trust their staff and deliver on the work.
With so many considerations, founder of Timedoctor.com, Robert Rawson, shares his top 10 tips on maximising remote working for employees and employers.
Top 10 tips to maximise remote working for employees:
- Separate work and personal – it’s easy to lose your boundaries and start working all of the time when working from home. Make sure to get in the habit of having a shower before you start work, and turning off your computer when you’re finished.
- Make it social – working remotely can be isolating, but you can compensate for this somewhat by having a virtual watercooler or other purely social online events.
- Gifs and memes – it might seem silly but little things like gifs and memes can spice up your virtual communication and make you feel like you’re not a robot.
- Get a second screen – it’s a huge increase in your productivity to get a second screen in your home office.
- Take advantage of solo time – one of the great advantages of remote work is that you can minimize distractions and get stuff done. Take advantage of this and make sure that you have some periods during the day when there are no interruptions and you can get a lot of work done in a short period of time.
- Check in and make sure you’re all on the same page – it’s really easy to get out of sync when you’re working remotely, so make sure that you’re checking in and not getting out of sync.
Top 10 tips to maximise remote working for employers:
- Compensate for the distance – In an office you can “bump into each other” and discuss an urgent issue. When working remotely this doesn’t happen so you need to structure your communication so that you are communicating more often..
- Use video conferencing and screen sharing technology – This is a essential to increase the feeling of connection and quality of communication. Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts are all great options.
- Regular check-ins – Ideally you want to make sure that each team meets daily with a quick video chat. Also you will need a weekly call with all of your leaders. This structure of meeting rhythms is not as critical in an office because you can make the time to chat, but when you’re working remotely you need to structure it with a regular time to chat.
- Use tools for recording your screen – it’s not always possible to schedule a meeting, so instead you can record a video or a screen share and send your work colleague the recording. This is possible with tools such as Snagit or Loom.
- Use a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous communication – you can use a chat tool such as slack to message someone instantly. It’s important to have some degree of instant communication when there is an urgent need to chat. However this can interrupt the other person’s flow and therefore reduce their productivity. So you need to have a combination of “real time” or synchronous communication and delayed communication. For example you can use a project management tool such as Asana, Jira for delayed communication and this can be a time for more thoughtful long-form communication. If you’re working across different time zones, the asynchronous communication becomes even more critical.
- Keep your team accountable – there is some level of discipline that comes from just getting into the office at 9am each day. This is lost when working remotely. You want to set a schedule for when everyone should be working. A flexible schedule may be ok, but you will need at least some period of time when everyone is working and able to get in sync. You can also use tools like TimeDoctor.com (our software) to help to keep the team accountable for attendance and time worked.
Timedoctor.com is a SaaS time tracking and productivity app for remote teams which is used globally and founded in Australia.