8 Best Practices for Working Remotely

We are all individuals, and as we’re finding out, we have different core competencies and different styles of working and staying productive. As we continue working remotely and stay separated, certain things can help us work well together.

Working remotely not only means that the schedules of staff members move in different directions, but the actual time zone may differ more dramatically. Also, well-managed IT services for your businesses may not be readily available.

That said, people prefer it. That much is clear. How can working remotely maximize your time and productivity? Here are 8 things you can do to be remotely effective:

1. Maximize Remote Communication Channels

Set up effective and reliable ways to meet on your desktop visually. You may find that you communicate more effectively if your teammates can see your facial expressions and other body language. There is more to communication than simply speaking to each other. Sometimes even the nuances of speech can be affected by technology, and not everyone shares the same verbal skills.

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2. Schedule Time for Productivity

Working remotely from home requires that you schedule your dedicated productive time. Distractions can increase at home. If you track your time, you’ll discover exactly how much time your work tasks require, and more effective you’ll be at scheduling it. This will help you partition your time and keep life from interfering with work. Try blocking out your calendar for work and breaks. Granted, not everything is predictable, so you may decide to slide your time around a bit. This will help you avoid socializing or doing domestic chores during potential productive work hours, causing you to have to work at odd hours and stress about deadlines.

3. Document—Record Directives

It is now more important than ever to document directives you receive or provide or any material exchanges with teammates. This discipline will help you avoid the inefficiency of office hear-say. You aren’t able to stop by someone’s desk on a whim to clarify details, and you shouldn’t gamble on whether someone regularly or daily checks their email. Setting up a video conference for matters you should already know is anything but a sidebar. Documenting meeting notes, outlining your ideas, and formalizing the next steps, keep things moving forward.

4. Partition: Personal Time vs Professional Time

Partitioning personal time and professional time requires discipline, but it is an important practice. The assumption is that settling into productive work at home would be easier and that there will be fewer distractions. The office had an established schedule that everyone could easily follow. You may now find yourself working longer hours with fewer breaks. You may even create a formal process of showing up at your desk to begin work.

5. Create Reports: Share Your Schedule, State Your Objectives

Predictably report to your teammates your schedule. Let your managers know, along with your team, what you’re working on. Share your wins and your struggles. Use your networking platform to let your team know your status of availability. It is easy to get caught up in your own agenda, especially when you work remotely. Keep in mind that when working for or with someone, it is a shared agenda.

6. Be Present, Available, and Reply

Initiate meetings and make an effort to practice proper meeting etiquette. Visibility and availability were pretty important aspects of all working in the same office, so you need to make a special effort to practice being present. Being part of a team means contributing and experiencing the subtleties of idea exchange. Collaboration is important. Make sure that you are available, accessible, and reliable.

7. Be Social: Remote Work Can Be Lonely

Office culture is non-existent when there is no office. Sometimes the best ideas and alliances are formed by spending personal time with someone. Socializing with a teammate can create solutions and increase productivity. Staying isolated may negatively affect productivity and reduce the chance of arriving at a solution.

8. Create Postmortems – Makes for Better Work Moving Forward

A postmortem makes for better work and performance moving forward. Communicating these thoughts verbally may allow us to avoid writing our thoughts down… in stone. Now you may find that this is a very necessary tool for working remotely. Creating a formal postmortem not only allows us to state “what we really think” more clearly, but it also helps us avoid making comments that end up being unnecessary editorials. Postmortems are an opportunity to state what you think is going well, or what is not going so well, and lets co-workers know when you need help. It is efficient to make clear statements about expectations and objectives.

Dyrand Systems is all about efficiency and effectiveness. For managed IT services in Vancouver, British Columbia, Dyrand is the best choice. We hope that you’ll be able to take these basics and find some use for them in your own remote work experience.