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Remote work is becoming more and more common. As companies realize the benefits of letting their employees work from home, the number of remote workers continues to grow. Working from home can reduce your commuting time, save you money on gas, and help you avoid peak hour traffic. Remote work also has other advantages such as reduced office distractions, more flexible working hours and a decrease in wasteful meetings. However, there are some challenges too when you’re working remotely—mainly because it’s not an ideal situation for everyone.
Don’t Skip the Basics
There are many benefits of remote work, but there are also many challenges. If you don’t address the basics first, remote work can go from being a solution to being a problem. Before you start trying to implement remote work you should take care of the basics: – Make sure you have high-quality internet – This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses don’t prioritize having a reliable high-speed connection. – Establish clear guidelines for communication – It’s easy to forget that when you’re working from home, you don’t have the same level of face-to-face communication that you would at the office. – Set clear expectations for working from home – Before you let your team members work from home, they should know the guidelines you expect them to follow. – Have a dedicated workspace – Whether you work from home or in an office, having a designated workspace can make a big difference in how much you get done.
Establish Clear Communication Protocols
When you’re working in a fully remote team, communication is critical. If you’re not careful, even the best-intentioned team members can risk turning the lack of physical interaction into a reason not to communicate with each other at all. There are a few ways to combat this: – Use a collaborative tool for virtual teams – Whether you use a dedicated virtual collaboration tool or integrate your existing tool with an online presence, you need a way for your remote workers to communicate with each other. – Establish virtual meeting protocols – Remote workers are, by nature, more independent than their office-based colleagues. Virtual meetings give you the opportunity to discuss and collaborate with your team members, but you need to set ground rules for how these meetings are conducted. – Create a remote work culture – Remote work is not the same as working from home. Establishing a remote work culture will help set the tone for how your team members work remotely.
Set Clear Expectations for Working From Home
Remote work is not the same as working from home. Remote work is when employees are given the flexibility to work from wherever they want while home is where you spend most of your time. You need to set clear expectations for your remote workers so they know what’s expected of them when they’re at home. Make sure you address matters like: – When do you expect them to be working? – When do they have permission to just kick back and relax? – What is the expected level of interaction with the rest of the team? – Do they need to respond to emails within a certain timeframe? – What is your policy on video calls? – Do they need to be available to their colleagues at all times, or can they set specific times to be “offline?”
Have a Dedicated Workspace
This might sound like overkill, but a dedicated workspace can make a big difference in your productivity. Most people work better when they’re able to eliminate distractions and focus solely on the task at hand. What’s more, it can be difficult for your team members to adjust to a new environment when they’re working remotely. Setting up a dedicated work space at home can help your remote workers get settled in more quickly. It can also help reduce distractions and allow your team members to focus more easily on the task at hand.
Use Collaboration Tools Effectively
Remote work is, by its very nature, collaborative work. However, it can be difficult to make sure your team members are working together effectively from different locations. There are a few things you can do to ensure everyone is working together effectively: – Make sure you have the right tools for the job – Different tools are better equipped to handle different tasks. Before you start using a tool, make sure it’s the right one for the job. – Set up a recurring meeting to stay on track – Meeting regularly helps keep projects moving forward. You can set up a recurring meeting where you and your remote workers discuss what you’re working on and make plans for the future. – Implement a project management system – Project management tools make it easier to collaborate with team members and track progress. They can also help you identify problem areas before they become major issues.
While there are many advantages to remote work, it is not an ideal situation for everyone. You need to make sure your team members are well aware of the challenges that come along with it as well. By following these remote work guidelines, you can help turn the negatives into positives and make remote work a better experience for everyone involved.