Remote working Guide

Best practices for remote workers

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It might be overwhelming for people who want to work from home to figure out how to convert their office positions into prospects for remote employment. 

To ensure they are giving their all to their business and themselves while adjusting to working remotely, remote employees should follow very specific remote work best practices. 

Employers are starting to offer more flexible work alternatives as they realize that it can increase happiness, work-life balance, and productivity. However, to minimize roadblocks and ensure a seamless workflow, here are a few best practices for working remotely. 

14 Remote Working Best Practices 

Whether you are someone working remotely or trying to set up a remote working system, these remote work best practices will help you. Check them out!

1) Focus on fostering teamwork and rapport

Remote work necessitates remote communication, which differs from working together in a co-worker’s place. Employees who are used to having informal and unexpected talks with co-workers by going over to their desks or running into a teammate in the break room may find it difficult to communicate in a remote work setting.

Making a thorough meeting plan is a wonderful approach to upholding connections and holding everyone accountable while moving a project forward because impromptu meetings demand more work. Hold weekly meetings with the entire staff besides your one-on-ones. 

Here, you can talk about project problems that your team has overcome and those that still stand. Additionally, this is an excellent chance to inform the team of any recent modifications to the project.

2) Respect different time zones and make the most of them:

When companies use remote workers, real-time synchronous communication often becomes difficult as the time zones vary, and it becomes difficult to sync together. You must have a good communication system that outlines the team's expectations. 

Understanding each developer's needs and then developing a standard format for team-wide meetings that allow for the participation of the greatest number of team members is one of the best remote work practices that can help you to manage remote developers with diverse time zones. Time management tools such as Clockwise, Harvest, Team Timezone, etc, are helpful.

3) Be mindful of cultural variations:

Finding the best strategies to manage cultural differences can be accomplished by researching the difficulties, planning with supervisors, and speaking with employees to learn about their concerns about cultural issues, as is the case with the majority of problems employers face when working with a distributed team.

  • Find out what it means to be "culturally sensitive" by doing some research.
  • Having wide knowledge of how work ethics are applied across cultures is helpful
  • Make a "diversity calendar" available.
  • Bring the team together as described in the points above and use cultural differences as an occasion to rejoice.

4) Communication in the Key:

Remote team members frequently encounter these difficulties. The natural flow of our talks can be distorted by remote communication.

The time between our messages frequently allows emotional responses to our comments to be delayed or hidden. In remote collaboration, there are three types of distance: physical (location and time), operational (team size, bandwidth, and skill levels), and affinity (values, trust, and interdependency).

Managers can most effectively influence team performance by concentrating on lowering the affinity gap. Try moving the majority of your remote contact to frequent video calls instead of voice calls or emails, which are significantly better at building rapport and evoking empathy.

Create virtual team-building routines that allow members to communicate frequently and put their collaboration skills to use.

Remote teams can outperform physically-based teams when they effectively communicate and play to their strengths. Hence, maintaining a communication flow is a significant remote work best practice you must follow.

5) Provide the Appropriate Tools for Communications and Collaboration:

There are one billion results for the keyword "remote communication tools" on Google. Concentrating on this subject is beneficial because remote work is expanding and starting your own business of this kind can also be profitable.

Some of them are:

Slack 

Slack was first designed as a chat-based communication platform, but it has now expanded to support voice and video conversations as well. This makes it simple to join a conference call, train new hires, or organize all-company meetings.

Connecteam 

Teams can manage, connect with, and train non-desk staff using Connecteam, an all-in-one business platform that is simple to grow, personalize, and use.

Workplace 

Not only does Meta's Workplace include a talking feature, but it also enables video calls between coworkers. Employee engagement, connection, and information sharing are now possible regardless of their location or time thanks to the company communication tool.

6) Always ask for feedback:

Feedback is the simplest way to improve business discussions with remote employees. Hence, maintaining a monthly feedback system is one of the remote working practices one must focus on. 

Ask team members what they are concentrating on during one-on-one calls, go over how well they grasp their objectives, and assist them in resolving any potential priorities that may conflict. 

When goals have changed, be very explicit about it, and convey any new information from the management team about what is crucial this week. Regarding providing feedback, this remote work best practice compensates for the absence of face-to-face interaction, as mentioned in the above points.

7) Prioritize documentation

Apart from having a clear communication system, prioritizing documentation is one of the best practices in remote working. Since remote work demands planned communication, take notes whenever and wherever possible. In short, document more than you would normally.

For instance, outline your ideas in a document to align processes and keep everyone updated. Also, keep the documents organized within folders and provide access to all concerned stakeholders. Once you document the process steps or ideas, everyone can collaborate on them better.

8) Draw a line between work and personal life

This is a remote employee best practice that helps in balancing professional and personal life. Often the boundary between work and life gets blurred. As a result, it might affect your health and lead to burnout. 

So, unplugging every now and then is important. Fix a time for work and decide when to stop. Also, take breaks in-between work. Take walks, listen to music, chat with a friend, and unplug from your work mode. Spend 15-20 minutes away from work and restart. This will help you increase productivity levels. 

9) Build accountability

Creating standard task lists and sharing them with your team works well for building accountability. Also, sharing checklists lets your team know what you’re working on. This helps to add an additional accountability level. 

Team members can also share what they are working on over Slack to build accountability. If you update your team about your work, you are more likely to complete it than face judgment from the team members. 

Another way to build accountability is by holding daily calls. Share the updates over this call, document them, and communicate what you’ve accomplished and what you are working on. This is a great remote work best practice to keep ourselves accountable. 

10) Define responsibilities 

Before you begin working remotely, the best practice is to define the team's responsibilities. This helps to avoid confusion and repetition of work. The best way is to document the responsibilities so that no team member gets lost. 

When starting a project, start by defining responsibilities. Write down who is responsible for what and let the entire project team have access to it. Set up a call to clear doubts and convey your expectations. 

11) Conduct post-project evaluation

One of the most beneficial but often missed remote work best practices is conducting post-project evaluations. The process involves the written assessment of the completed projects. 

Post-project evaluations help remote teams overcome the biggest challenges - communication and documentation. It helps to find ways in which these challenges can be addressed better the next time.

The best way to conduct a post-project evaluation is to create a template that includes project details. Then, the project team fills it out and derives insights to perform better. The process helps to identify what went wrong during the project, what could be better, what was perfect, and what we can do to improve. 

12) Reinforce company culture

This best practice for remote work is for employers planning to set up a smooth remote work system. It ensures that healthy company culture is maintained throughout the remote work process, regardless of the employee's location. 

When company culture suffers due to several remote workers spread across the globe, it may decrease productivity. So, how do you reinforce company culture?

Try bringing the team together. Hold monthly online meetings, try doing some activities, celebrate company achievements and growth, and build a strong team. These practices will help you reinforce the company values and culture.

13) Be open to embracing diversity

Remote work means diversity. So, whether you are an employee or an employer embracing diversity is a significant aspect. 

If you are an employer to remote workers across the globe, you must be aware of the basic work culture of employees in other countries. Further, you must be open to accepting new ideas and fresh perspectives toward business growth.

If you are a remote working employee, you must be prepared to embrace the different people in your team. The ability to accept differences will help you collaborate better. So, both employees and employers must follow this remote work best practice.

14) Experiment with productivity levels

Remote work often brings down your productivity levels. Hence, remote workers should follow this important remote work best practice.

To keep your productivity level in check, try different techniques and ways to improve your efficiency. Here are the top three ways to maintain your productivity level.

Pomodoro technique

While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to increase productivity, you can try Pomodoro. This technique involves working non-stop for 20 to 25 minutes. Then, take a 5-minute break and work again for another 20 to 25 minutes. This helps you focus better due to the shorter duration.

Declutter your workspace

Cluttered workspaces are a distraction. They decrease concentration and have adverse effects on productivity. So, clean your workspace, and keep a few necessary things that make you feel good. For example, motivational quotes, tabletop plants, sticky notes, notebooks, pens, and more.

Change the music you listen to

Many people listen to music when working. Try changing that to experiment with your productivity. Instrumental music and binaural beats positively impact your brain and help to improve focus and productivity.

So, try different methods to see which suits you best and helps you improve your productivity levels.

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