How to Make Working Remote a Success.
Many companies have been seeing the benefits of working remotely for a while since studies has shown an increase in productivity. Recently, as we all know, there is another reason for companies to consider this change in work style. As Covid-19 spreads across countries, more and more people will start to work from their homes.
For the Zalster team working remote is standard, so therefor it's not such a big adjustment as it might be for other companies to adapt into social distancing by working from home. But working remotely is not everyones cup of tea and it can even be stressful sometimes. To help others make this transition as smoothly as possible, we have collected our best tips for mastering the art of working remote.
#1 Create a home office
Set-up is crucial! As tempting as it might sound to work from the couch or even your bed..it's a bad idea. Make sure to set boundaries and rules to avoid blurring the lines between your professional and private life.
A home office setup doesn't need to be that expensive but if you don't have that much space at home, just work from your kitchen table ( any table is just fine ).
Make it as mobile as you can, so that you can work from anywhere you’d like easily. And to be honest, for a while now you might be swapping between the living room and your kitchen, but as soon as this is under control maybe your company will hopefully continue to reap the great possibilities and opportunities that comes with a remote workplace.
#2 Make a Schedule
...and stick to it! Working from home can be distracting – and even more so if you have kids staying at home as well. Therefor it is important to keep a schedule and really stick to it. Also be aware that working from home can sometimes lead to working when you'd normally wouldn't. In conclusion, set your working hours and be sure to leave your work at the (home)office 😅
- Wake up at the same time everyday and follow a morning routine, such as yoga, meditation, a quick workout or just start off slow and watch the news with have a cup of coffee before work starts.
- Take a short walk (if possible depending on regulations at the time being) before opening up your computer. Its kind of like tricking yourself that you are walking to the office, well you kind of are now..
- Eat lunch at your normal time. Prepare lunch the day before, so you don't have to spend your whole lunch-break cooking or going to the store. Use the opportunity to eat lunch with your colleagues over a video call to catch up, it’s usually a great energy boost!
#3 Communication tools
Slack Slack is our go to tool for day-to-day communication, where we have different channels depending on topic. We have work related channels as well as goofy, random channels for coffee-break banter. This helps us keep employee moral and team spirit intact. We normally update our statuses in Slack to let the others know where we're at or if someone is off for the day.
Zoom is used for video-meetings to stay informed and get to see and hear each other, which also creates better team-spirit.
#4 Take short breaks
This might sound like an obvious thing to do, but me and my colleagues have noticed that it is way easier to get lost in work while working from home. Why? There is no coworker who can disturb you while you’re in the zone alone at home. Woops, all of the sudden it has been three hours without any breaks. So, the schedule I mentioned should include breaks every now and then. How often? Well it is up to you but I feel more productive if I do some stretching and grab a water or coffee once every hour or so. There are some great short exercises to do every now and then to relax and de-stress.
#5 Do as Roxette and dress for success
The thought of wearing your pyjamas all day might sound as an amazing idea at 6am... at noon it might make you feel more sluggish than cozy. When you wake-up, try to stick to the same routines as you would on a “normal” work day when getting dressed for the office instead. So, skip the pyjamas or sweat pants and wear what you normally would. (Note, as I write this I am actually wearing my sweat pants... not following my own recommendations, but hey YOLO! ).
#6 Know when to log off
Discipline is something that you need to practise pretty much every hour of every day when working remote. As I mentioned earlier, you need to separate work from your private life and you need to be able to disconnect from work outside of your normal working hours. This will help you stay motivated, sane and dedicated to your work.
#7 Have a remote go-to person in your team
At Zalster we have a person responsible for all things remote. This person streamlines communication and have individual follow-ups and calls with team members regarding how they're coping with being remote. Being in a team that works remote you need to be streamlined and you need to be striving towards the same goals. Being able to talk to someone about the challenges you are facing is really important. Maybe someone else is having the same struggles as you are and you can set individual goals to follow.
#8 Cut yourself some slack
Working remotely is a great opportunity and in these days a necessity, but we know it can be challenging and not a one fits all model. It can be lonely, frustrating, stressful and many other things, so don't be too hard on yourself if you are having trouble adjusting, it might take some time. But for me and the rest of my team it has been well worth it!
To sum it up:
- Create an office space, preferably mobile.
- Wake up and start your day as you normally would.
- Take a walk ( if possible ) before you start working, it doesn't have to be a long walk, just take a stroll around the block.
- Set a schedule and follow it!
- Make sure to take breaks.
- Be kind to yourself and others!
Take care, be kind & stay safe!