How To Have a Better Remote Work Experience
The benefits of having the ability to work remotely certainly outweigh the alternative, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work through some of the drawbacks. Doing so will make your remote work experience the best it can be. Here are three tips to keep you engaged and productive while you work remotely.
There’s no doubt about it; the ability to work remotely has been a lifesaver for many businesses, allowing them to continue to support their customers, even while their physical office may be closed due to social distancing. Most importantly, it allows you to keep your business up and running and your team remaining a part of it, even for the long haul.
For many newly remote workers, working at home comes with a variety of new and unexpected challenges. If these challenges aren’t addressed and overcome; your remote workforce may not be as productive as possible or may even suffer from burn-out… the effects of which may cause them to become a liability to themselves and your business. Here are two challenges that remote workers may face.
Avoiding distractions didn’t just appear as workers began working from home due to the pandemic. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that distractions have been a part of work since time immemorial. However, there is little doubt the amount and types of distractions have increased as we have entered the digital age. The main danger with allowing distractions to go unchecked is that it can negatively affect your productivity. While solutions to keep distractions from getting the best of you were designed for the office worker in mind, they are applicable to the remote worker as well.
However, in addition to the expected distractions facing workers, remote workers often face additional challenges due to being at home, usually due to family or household pressures. A great way to reduce these types of distractions is having a dedicated workspace (if possible).
While it seems a bit ‘new age,” having a dedicated workspace while working remotely at home allows your mind to make the shift between your work and home life. This is critical since there can be a tendency for work-home lines to become blurred, because despite being “at work,” you are also available for any issues that pop-up in the home.
Being in the ‘correct’ frame of mind can allow you to better use work time to stay on task and not to address personal concerns. Moreover, a dedicated workspace reduces opportunities for you to be pulled into home issues, such as your children needing a referee, or your neighbor wanting to chit-chat if they see you on your deck.
Finally, set up rules with your family, something simple like, “If you wouldn’t call me at work about this, please don’t ask me about it while I’m working at home.” This way they have boundaries to follow, as well as permission to contact you if it’s really necessary. This way your workday isn’t disrupted by issues that don’t require your immediate attention; the same as if you were away in the office.
Leaving Work Behind
Earlier we mentioned that, as a remote worker, keeping work and home lives separate to avoid distractions is essential. However, the flip side of this is that you may find yourself unable to stop working, even when the workday is officially over. This can manifest itself in a variety of ways, ranging from reading and responding to emails after-hours, working on projects past quitting time, because you’re sitting in front of your computer anyway, and you want to be productive. However, doing so doesn’t come without a cost, which ironically affects your productivity.
There’s nothing wrong with being a dedicated employee, and going the extra mile to solve a problem or support a customer. The danger lies in never being off, eventually burning out because you’re always on the clock, especially when you’re not supposed to be. While at first, your extra work is a benefit to your team, eventually your productivity may falter as you find yourself losing passion for the job, as it becomes a source of resentment and a chore to do.
One way to leave work behind is to take advantage of your dedicated office space, and treat it as a separate space from your home and not an addition to it. This way, when you’re done for the day, you leave your home office and your workday behind. Additionally, you could have separate phones for personal and business use, this way you’re not tempted to check your work emails or messages when you’re done with work for the day.
Finally, strive to keep on task by completing the goals you have set yourself for the day. By achieving your set goals, you reduce the need to continue to work after hours to keep up. Make sure you communicate with the rest of your team and develop a realistic work plan, creating an order of urgency; this way, you’re not expending time on tasks that don’t require you to work after hours to complete.
For the Business Owner, Trying to Manage Everyone
You’ve had your work cut out for you. We honestly applaud you for your diligence in making it this far. For some, it has been easier than it has for others, but almost everyone is feeling some kind of an effect from what’s going on in the world today.
It’s important to check in on your staff, especially if you haven’t seen them for a few weeks or months. If your business is operating smoothly, it’s definitely time to recognize the amazing work that you and your team have been doing despite everything else.
Your employees might be able to provide you with feedback or shortcomings that could help them perform better. Maybe your sales team is having a harder time connecting to new prospects, or employees are facing difficulties collaborating on files together. Opening a line of communication and being open to ways to bridge some of these gaps will help keep morale up and likely improve efficiency.
You Can Make Remote Working Work For You
Unless your team can maintain their work-life balance, they are at risk of suffering from ever-decreasing levels of productivity. Simply put, the advantages remote work provides will quickly fade if the time you need to put to your job, gets consumed by your personal life and vice versa. Hopefully, these tips will help you maintain the divide and keep your productivity and passion at levels to guarantee continued success.
Is your business remote ready? Turn to Directive for personalized solutions and consulting for your remote work needs and schedule a meeting today.