4 Tips for Remote Teams to Work from Home More Efficiently – Part I
Working from home has become the norm for countless businesses across the globe. Once the pandemic ends, a lot of us will be returning to our offices but not as many as before. A lot of us will be happy to work side by side our colleagues again. Yet, some of us have been more productive and enjoyed working from home more, which is why companies will be offering remote positions to people for the foreseeable future.
It’s important for companies to set guidelines of what is expected from remote teams in terms of productivity and communication. However, these team members have to set themselves up for success which is why we wrote these 4 tips to be more efficient:
1. Location, Location, Location
Some people have a dedicated home office where they can close the door and concentrate on their work day, however not everyone has that luxury. Some have been working from their bedrooms, dining room tables, kitchens, living rooms, basements, etc.
The important part when selecting a work area is that it isn’t located in a high traffic area (i.e. the kitchen) where anyone you live with is either a constant distraction or they will go ‘hungry’ as they feel guilty becoming a distraction, and avoid your area even when they need it.
If setting a remote office in a high-traffic area cannot be avoided, there must be certain operational rules put in place that all household members understand and adhere to.
2. Maintain Office Hours to Create a Healthy Work / Life Balance
Working from home can be great but it comes with its own set of challenges and distractions: lunch needs to be cooked, a package is being delivered, garbage needs to be taken out, the dog wants to go for a walk etc. Focusing on both home life and work life at the same time is a good way to ensure neither of them benefit.
Decide what hours the work day is going to be, and those hours are for focusing on business. Making this distinction at home, as well as to fiends and family, will ensure that distractions can be minimized during those hours. Defined work hours can also ensure that when remote employees are off-the-clock they are concentrating on relaxing and other instead of stressing about work.
3. Leverage Business Software to its Max
A fear that management has with employees working remotely is that information might be getting lost in communication and tasks might be falling behind or forgotten altogether, because people aren’t in the office.
Thankfully in the past decade there has been great advancement in cloud-based business software that allows employees to communicate with each other and to work from anywhere and at any time. Each company has to figure out the right selection of software that fits the business to satisfy both remote teams and the management team. Employees working from home have to make sure everyone on the team is informed of any updates or new tasks.
4. Create a To-do List Every Day to become more focused
Structuring your workday properly can be the difference between a smoothly organized day and a day where people are jumping in and out of different tasks without finishing enough of them. Creating a to-do list seems simple enough but it’s a step that can be skipped over too easily.
Writing down what needs to be accomplished, prioritizing what’s the most important and visualizing goals can help ensure that remote employees don’t fall into lulls where they’re wondering what their next task should be.
To-do lists also allow a person to allot the appropriate time to each task, and prevent them from taking on tasks that they don’t have the time for.
Part II will focus on Management can adapt to a new normal with remote teams and office workers.