As winter draws closer, and the seemingly inevitable second wave of the pandemic does as well. It is a very likely scenario that many businesses will continue to have employees working remotely. Some companies may also be looking to outsource specific sectors of their business to remote freelancers or agencies. We’ve all learned a lot from being forced to set up a remote work environment while working from home ourselves. But what is the right way to do it to ensure working remotely works for you and your team?

In this article, I’m going to go through several things you need to keep in mind when implementing a strategy for working remotely.

 

Setting Schedules & Deadlines

Schedules are important. It falls into the category of time management. Having a schedule is a more broad approach that’s different from managing your work schedule hour-to-hour. Setting your own work schedule will help you stay on track with tasks that need completing. The same goes for your team. It helps them also stay on track and lets you track their progress. 

When tracking your teams’ productivity, it is also essential that you set clear deadlines. This ensures everything gets completed on time.

 

Creating A Productive Home Office Environment

Now, you don’t necessarily have to go all feng shui here. However, working in a well-organized office environment can massively boost your productivity. Whether you’re working from a home office, a desk in your bedroom, or at the dining room table, try to keep your space clean and clear of clutter.  A clean workspace = a clear mind.

Try to use folders or stationery boxes to organize any paperwork. Creating a productive environment also allows you to minimize any distractions.

 

Minimizing Distractions

It’s crucial that you and your team minimize distractions completely. It sounds simple, but when working from home it can be really difficult. This includes both real-world and digital distractions (*cough* your smartphone *cough*).

If you’re consistently being distracted by people you live with, you need to either find a quieter place to work or you need to lay down some ground rules. If this is an issue with your employees who have children at home, it’s important you help them find a way to better manage this type of distraction. 

However, there are also some very common distractions that can easily be managed. Couple of good examples are your mobile phone and recreational websites. The rules go something like this:

  • Keep your phone in another room.
  • Download a website blocker.

Keeping your phone in another room is an obvious one. But downloading a website blocker is also another step you can take to ensure you and your team stay focused on work.

 

Positive Remote Working Culture

Even though everyone is working toward the same goals — just like they would if they were in the office — many people feel alone while working remotely. So trying to recreate the same work culture online might be tricky, but it is achievable. Creating a positive culture while working remotely is great for motivation and productivity, and it can be achieved by using two tools — Slack and Zoom. 

Slack is a great communications tool, where your team can discuss projects and ideas in separate Slack channels (like private chat rooms) but also be a part of a team-wide channel. 

Zoom is brilliant for group meetings and a great way for your employees to interact with each other — both recreationally and about work. Encourage your team to organize meetings on a regular basis to help them feel a sense of connection with each other.

Working from home can be hard, and with heightened restrictions, it’s almost inevitable that most offices will be continuing the work from home strategy. Using the steps in this article will help to keep your team on track while working from home. For more information on how to improve how you operate your company and how to better market your business, check out the latest posts on the Intentionally Inspirational blog.

 

Written by Lewis James