Remote working can be challenging for many people. Due to several things that become quite difficult to do when working remotely, people tend to stumble on those things. Maybe you’re one of them?
Remote communication becomes a unique challenge that confronts remote team members. Remote communication can cause confusion and misunderstandings in the team.
Something is missing from digital communication. Yes, it's body language. The formality of an email or the tone of a text is a personal interpretation that even our closest friends can be confused about. These misunderstandings can cause anxiety and a negative impact on productivity.
Besides the communication challenge, productivity also becomes a challenge for remote team members. You don't know whether your team will do their tasks or not. Or you can just lay in bed all day without doing your tasks. Those kinds of things may lower the productivity of a remote team.
In order to tackle the unique communication and productivity challenge, you need to know the dos and don'ts when working remotely below.
5 Dos of remote working
1. Create communication guidelines
Remote teams must create communication guidelines to improve clarity. You can create guidelines, such as when to use project management tools, Google Docs, or when to check WhatsApp.
Moreover, you can set the preferred response time, text style, and tone. Some people may differ in their preference and tolerance for humour and informality when communicating. For example, some people prefer short and quick messages while others prefer lengthy and detailed responses.
You must know that we're all unique, but our behaviour patterns help others predict what we will do and help them understand. You can make it easier for others by improving clear personal behaviour, especially in virtual collaboration.
2. Beware of the written communication
For some team members, hiding behind a screen may give new possibilities and provide those who might be more hesitant to speak up in front of others. Text-based communication offers an efficient way to share authority and decision-making since it lays less emphasis on social skills and physical appearance. According to research, shy people are less inhibited in online conversations than offline.
When communicating remotely, you must be careful with the use of words. The word choices may indicate biased opinions toward some people. Exclamation marks or a disrespectful emoji, for example, are as powerful a marker of disapproval as a disgusted face to convey dislike.
3. Take a break
When working remotely, make sure to take breaks. You can use the 20-20-20 rule, which implies that you should take a 20-minute break and look at anything at least 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds. The Pomodoro time management can be your option to take breaks and working mode.
One of the perks of remote working is that you can take as many breaks as you want, whenever you want, as long as it doesn't disrupt your workflow. But make sure to take regular breaks, whether you're working remotely or in the office. Working remotely and from home usually includes no set schedules and the addition of breaks at regular times to your routine.
4. Have a backup plan
Always have a backup plan for anything you need or use for work. Make sure you have a backup plan in case your internet access goes down. For example, you can always prepare mobile data for temporary use as a mobile hotspot. It will come in handy when you least expect it.
Sometimes working remotely does not go smoothly. You can have guests at your home. Make sure you have access to a more secluded workspace, such as a public library, to continue working even if the situation does not work in your favour.
5. Keep your body clean, and your workspace organised
Make sure to keep up your hygiene and dress nicely. You'll mostly use video calls to interact and communicate with your team when working remotely. So, be sure to keep yourself looking nice. You can wear a simple and clean dress.
Further, maintain an organised and clean workspace as well. Make sure it's clean and well-organised to improve your productivity. By doing them, you can significantly enhance your experience of remote working.
5 Don'ts do of remote working
For brevity's sake, here are the don'ts of remote working.
1. Don't expect everyone will understand
Sometimes we often communicate with fewer words to be more effective. However, your messages may be too short and the rest of the team may find it difficult trying to comprehend the brief. Beware because too short communication can misinterpret the brief.
Don't assume that people will comprehend your messages and cues. Regardless of the platform you use, take the time to communicate to be very clear. Although you can never be too clear, it is all too simple to be less clear than you should be.
2. Don't over-message your team
If you need to follow up on a task, don't suppress your team with messages and cues via phone, text, or email almost at the same time.
Overusing those access points is a persistent and uncomfortable kind of harassment and a sort of digital dominance. Different expectations on the receiver's time result from the platform you choose. It is ineffective to use them all to convey the same idea. Be careful when you want to follow up on the task via a different platform.
3. Don’t stay on screens all the time
It can almost feel natural to go to social media as soon as you finish working. And Netflix is frequently the go-to option for passing the time when you are unable to leave the house and have nothing else to do. But daily screen usage may hurt a person. We all experience the sense of being glazed over and brain dead at some point, and it never makes us feel good about ourselves.
Playing offline games can be an option to stay away from the screen. If you're with the kids at home, try to play with their toys, bake cookies, go outside, and more.
Staying away from the screen will help you to do other things besides work, such as play with your kids, have family time, jog around your residence, etc. Try this way to experience a larger impact on yourself than you may realise.
4. Don't wear pyjamas while working remotely
Wearing a comfortable dress may be one of the main perks of working from home. But it doesn't mean that you can wear pyjamas when you're working remotely.
It's important to not underestimate the psychological consequences of getting ready for the day and dressing in a "work uniform". Some people claim that wearing shoes is the key to staying productive all day. You decide how formal you want to be, just make sure you feel like you are in your most positive and productive mode.
5. Don't forget to exercise routine
Maybe you know that the lack of activity leads to exhaustion, weight gain, sleepless nights, loneliness, social anxiety, and long-term health problems. Especially when you’re working remotely with minimal commute and activity.
Regular exercise can improve your mood, quality of sleep, and general health. Exercise has other perks beyond the obvious ones, it helps you to manage your stress. It also gives you beautiful skin, improves your social life, and breaks up the routine of working from home. Exercise also can increase memory, and brain function.
Working remotely is a popular trend that has been on the rise in recent years. The benefits are numerous and include higher productivity, improved work-life balance, and increased job satisfaction.
It is important to not only understand the benefits of working remotely but also the best practices when it comes to this type of work style. Apply those dos and don'ts when you're working remotely and feel the difference.