10 crucial remote working tips you'll need in 2021!

01.02.2021 - 5min read - by Amine Maamir

Remote work is gaining popularity day in and day out, especially after the Corona pandemic has affected pretty much all businesses in every single field. Businesses were forced to embrace remote work culture and allow their employees to work remotely at least part time. Unfortunately Remote work comes with a unique set of challenges, that require a unique set of solutions to actually make it work. In this post we'll go through our top 10 tips and tricks to make remote work actually work for remote teams. Let's Go.

1. Create a dedicated work area

If you're new to remote work you'll find you personal and work life merges together since both activities happen in the same space. Just because you're not working in an office doesn't mean that you can't create a space at home to associate yourself with work. Try dedicating a space where you do your work, have a home office. But if your apartment is just too small try to find a small desk that will fit in, place it near a window, on the other hand avoid spaces that are associated with leisure time. Add elements to your space (Pen, holder, calendar), get a plant and a good lamp! you'll be more productive in a bright, green environment, invest in the ergonomics and the aesthetics of your dedicated workspace, think about color, texture, plants, art, all these things can help create a mental separation between work and home and make the experience of working in your workspace far more pleasant. Just because you can work from home doesn't mean you should work from home! you have so many options, for example you can work in a close library, or in near coffee shops, or even better join co-working spaces for more social interactions and networking opportunities.

2. Don't work in your PJs

Your clothes undeniably impact our productivity! if you stay in PJs all day you'll start to feel lazy and unmotivated which in turn leads to a lack of productivity and low activity level. Getting dressed into some designated “working” clothes could be a great way to ensure you’re able to do your job as you normally would in the office. So switching your PJs and wearing more formal clothes, changes your mindset and conditions your brain to focus and get sh*t done, therefore preparing you for the workday ahead.

3. Make a schedule that works for you

One of the coolest things about remote work is that you can pick time to work in during the day Maybe you're a morning person and like to immerse yourself into work right after waking up, or maybe you're more of a night person who likes to work when the sun is down, either way pick a schedule that works best for you , when you are most productive and feel more like working.

4. Activate do not disturb mode

Your team mates might make the mistake of expecting you to be available during work hours the way you are during the evenings and the weekends, and in fact you're just not! Talk to your team about availability expectations upfront and take advantage of "Do not disturb" modes functionalities in team chat apps like slack or Microsoft teams. This tells your team that when you're on, you're on, and when you're off you're off period.

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5. Over communicate

Communication is a key aspect for teams, especially remote ones since they're not co located. If you feel like you're over communicating with your team, it's probably the right amount. Since you’re no longer a few desks down from your coworkers or your manager, it’s your job to schedule meetings with them on a weekly basis to connect on your goals, upcoming projects and daily tasks. Make sure to advocate for yourself and clearly state the progress you’ve made in the past week, which goals you’ve surpassed and which projects you’ve led. When you’re not in the office, it can be difficult for your manager to keep your work top-of-mind, so don’t be afraid to bring important milestones up on your own.

6. Embrace video calls

When you work remotely, it’s easy to start to isolate yourself not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. This poses risks to both well-being and job satisfaction but It doesn't have to be this way, thanks to modern technology, you can have video meetings to remotely connect, communicate and collaborate with your team. Just make sure you’re ready for conference calls by having a headset or headphones and setting up call forwarding on your desk phone. It also helps to have a plan and location in place at home to ensure quiet surroundings during team calls.

7. Invest in Remote work proper tools

Other than having reliable and consistent internet speed, remote work comes with a unique set of challenges, which require a unique set of remote work tools to tackle them. These tools ranges from project management and planning like Trello and Asana, also team communication tools like Slack and Troop messenger for team messaging, Zoom and Google meet for video calls all the way to optimization tools like Notion for note taking, Timedoctor for time tracking, and Krisp for noise cancelling. All those tools go a long way in optimizing, planning and communication.

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8. Establish a remote work policy

Clarity is crucial for remote workers to be productive. Therefore, if you do have remote employees, you should also have a remote work policy. Even if you support flexibility, some rules should be applied as this helps remote workers feel like they are a part of the tribe. Like clearly setting regular working hours, and standards around when and how team members will be available, setting purpose for each communication channel your remote team uses. At Petitcode we use Slack for rapid internal team communication, and email for longer communications and announcements plus Google meet for our video calls. You can also invest in a VPN for extra security and consider providing IT support for the team. All this will set the right expectations for your remote team and help ensure their success.

9. Know when to call it a day and make time for yourself

I was guilty of that myself when I started my remote working journey, I just didn't know when to stop! and I'm sure a lot of first time remote workers feel the same, simply because their home and work life meld together leaving them with less to know time for personal matters. So set a time in the day when you completely stop working Recharge by walking around the block or stepping outside on a balcony, go to the Gym, read a book, meditate, or practice yoga, whatever that you do, make sure it's not work related to regain your work-life balance.

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10. Plan social interaction into your days

A lunch with a dear friend, coffee with a family member, and regular evening outings or anything that gets you out of the house and around other people on a regular basis is a good idea when you’re working remotely.

conclusion

It can be daunting at first to apply all of the remote working tips we gave you at once, start small and build each tip on top of another, to fully embrace remote work, cause once you do, you will never want to go back to working onsite again, or you might consider working remotely at least part time for your future plan.