Incorporating remote work policies benefits a company in many ways. From a vast pool of talent to establishing flexible work schedules, there is no wonder that companies are starting to adapt to this setup.
However, there is a learning curve for finding an efficient and productive way to work remotely. The flexibility that is so attached with the concept of remote work can lead to poor discipline and a lack of accountability.
That said, you should keep these 11 management tips in mind:
How does adaptability in the workplace prepare an enterprise for disruption? Get our insights here!
Top 11 Remote Work Managament Tips
1. Set Goals
Flexibility is both a blessing and a curse when you let yourself let loose too much when you start working remotely. Sometimes, people who work remotely feel a little directionless and wonder what the next step is. If you’re that kind of employee, you might want to set a goal for each workday that you will commit to.
Having a set goal before each day or even a workweek can help make it easier for you to plan what your daily tasks are going to be. Aside from that, you will have better prioritization because you will know which tasks you can push back and which ones are a priority. You’ll be much better at time management this way.
2. Plan Your Workflow
Once you have an overarching goal set, you should then start to plan out your workflow. Some people find that creating a schedule, despite working remotely, is a massive help to instilling a sense of discipline in them. You don’t have to create the nine-to-five workflow if it doesn’t work for you. Instead, it would help if you make a schedule that adapts to your work style. What’s important is that you have a realistic workflow plan or schedule.
It might be helpful to observe how your typical workday turns out and know when you most often have to do things unrelated to work. You can then incorporate them into your schedule to create a realistic schedule that matches your lifestyle. As long as you schedule ample time to finish the work well and on time, that’s all you need.
3. Clarify Roles and Tasks
Teamwork and coordination can be challenging to achieve when everyone’s working remotely. This is when you have to prioritize clear and fast communication. Beating around the bush is unnecessary, especially when you know that people can have an issue communicating when they’re working remotely.
You should communicate with your team and tell them your expectations regarding checking in with each other and the group. If you’re a workplace leader, you need to check with the team both one by one and in a group setting so that you’re covering all your bases. Clarify their group tasks and individual tasks and goals.
4. Focus on One Task at a Time
Now that it’s time to settle down and roll up your sleeves to do the work, you should know that it’s best if you avoid multitasking at all times. Multitasking isn’t as good as it might seem because you’re dividing your focus into multiple tasks. Instead of achieving great quality work one task at a time, you’re most likely creating okay quality work that is dedicated to various things.
Do one task at a time. When you don’t multitask, you can make fewer mistakes, and you aren’t as confused with each job. Aside from that, you can better pay attention to the tasks you’re doing, leading to better quality work results.
5. Use the Right Tools
Nowadays, there are software, apps, and tools that can boost your remote team’s productivity. If you haven’t incorporated these technologies into your work style yet, it’s best to do it sooner rather than later. With that being said, you shouldn’t use any and every app that comes your way, even if it has high ratings. Some apps and tools have specific uses for particular parts of the work process.
For example, project management software or instant messaging apps all have a place within your work style and approach. Once you’ve chosen an app, use the trial version first before committing to a paid plan. The trial version is there for a reason, so make the most out of it. This way, you’ll know if these tools work for you and your work style.
6. Install Quality Technology
Aside from the apps that aid your work process, don’t forget to enhance or get high-quality work equipment. For instance, ask yourself whether an old laptop you cling to still allows you to work efficiently. There are also other tech tools that you should upgrade if you need them. Your internet connection plan might need an upgrade if you find yourself disconnecting all the time from video calls or meetings. Quality tech is an investment in your career. Don’t hesitate to save for these upgrades in your work quality.
7. Keep Your Home Office Clean
If you’re working in a dedicated home office, don’t forget to keep it clean and organized. Even if your home office is nothing but a desk and chair in the corner of your room, you should still respect that space as if you are in the office. Clutter and dirt can be huge distractions, even if subconsciously. Respect yourself, your career, the work that you do, and your home by making sure that you keep your home office clean at all times.
8. Maintain Consistent Working Hours
Although you can be flexible with your working hours, what’s important is that you have some semblance of consistency with it. You should avoid working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the previous day and then working a “graveyard shift” the next. Consistency makes it easier for your body to adjust to work and your life outside of work. Also, consistent working hours make it easier for your coworkers to know when they can reach you if they need you.
9. Define Boundaries
Maintaining consistent working hours is a way of defining boundaries. It would help if you learned to separate work time from your life outside of work. Otherwise, you may find yourself either burnt-out or not productive or efficient enough on a workday. With that said, you should also define boundaries between you and work colleagues and clients. Having dedicated working hours is a great start so that people don’t think you’re at their beck and call as long as they need you to be.
10. Stay Connected
Some people work better if they’re connected with other people while they’re working. Even if they’re doing individual work, they might feel more motivated if someone’s there to keep them accountable. If that’s your work style, don’t hesitate to ask coworkers and schedule a “Work Together” video call. Ideally, everyone should stay muted, and no one is allowed to talk until designated hours so that everyone can stay productive.
11. Promote Work-Life Balance
The best thing about working remotely is that you have more chances to have a work-life balance. However, some people might find that working remotely has given others the impression that they need to work 24/7. Just because you’re at home 24/7 doesn’t mean that you work 24/7. This problem is where setting boundaries should come in.
However, if the issue is your workaholic tendencies, then learn to cut back on your working hours. You should leverage your ability to build a more robust life away from work. Your career isn’t everything. Besides, a better life outside of work makes you better at your job anyway.
How is remote work changing the return to the office? Get an overview here!
The Bottom Line
Remote working can have an unseen learning curve. However, the tips listed above should help you better grasp how to work remotely. Once you know how to balance both flexibility and discipline, you’ll find that remote working is a lot easier. You’ll be happier outside of work and more productive during work time.
Author bio: Raymond Chiu is the Director of Operations for Maid Sailors Commercial Cleaning Service New York, a top-rated office cleaning service provider. Matched with affordable prices, we can address even the toughest cleaning needs and can turn your workplace into a healthy, safe, and employee-friendly environment.