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Business tips and advice

12 Best Practices for Remote Work

Daena Skinner
February 1, 2024
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Remote Work

The landscape of work has been fundamentally reshaped by the rise of remote work, offering unprecedented flexibility and presenting unique challenges. Understanding the impact of remote work on teams is key to addressing potential issues and prioritising what matters most. With 61% of employees preferring a fully remote setup, it’s essential to adapt to this evolving environment.

Firstly, let’s delve into best practices for remote work, incorporating both classic strategies and insights drawn from recent remote work statistics.

1. Practice Good Meeting Etiquette

Effective meeting etiquette is more than a nicety in remote work; it’s a necessity. Punctuality shows respect for others’ time. Preparing in advance and being attentive during meetings are critical for efficient communication. Keeping the camera on helps create a more connected and engaging meeting environment, while muting your microphone when not speaking minimises distractions. In a remote setting where non-verbal cues are limited, these practices are essential for clear and productive communication.

remote meeting

2. Experiment with What Makes You Most Productive

Remote work provides a unique opportunity to discover personal productivity drivers. This flexibility is one of its greatest benefits, allowing individuals to tailor their work environment and schedule to their needs. Experiment with different work hours, environments, and productivity techniques to find what works best for you. Whether it’s a quiet home office, a bustling coffee shop, or a combination of different spaces, the key is to identify and embrace the conditions that make you most productive.

remote work

3. Prioritise Documentation and Clear Communication

In remote work, the lack of physical presence makes clear communication and thorough documentation indispensable. Only 76% of new hires feel fully prepared to work from home, highlighting the need for accessible and detailed documentation. Clear policies, process guides, and project documentation ensure that everyone, especially new hires, understands their roles and responsibilities. This approach not only streamlines work processes but also fosters a culture of transparency and efficiency.

4. Create Boundaries Between Work and Life

One of the most significant challenges of remote work is the blurring of lines between professional and personal life. Creating distinct boundaries is essential for maintaining work-life balance. This could mean setting specific work hours, having a dedicated workspace, or establishing rituals that signal the beginning and end of the workday. Such practices help in mentally transitioning between work and personal time, reducing the risk of burnout.

remote working

5. Make Yourself Visible at Work

Visibility in a remote environment goes beyond just showing up for meetings. It involves actively showcasing your work and contributions. Regular updates on your progress, contributions to team discussions, and reaching out for feedback are ways to ensure your presence is felt. In an environment where physical visibility is limited, taking proactive steps to highlight your work is crucial for career growth and team cohesion.

6. Schedule Time for Socialising and Connecting with Teammates

Despite the positive impact of remote work on engagement, with 62% of employees feeling more engaged, the lack of in-person interaction can lead to a sense of isolation. Scheduling time for socialising, whether through virtual coffee breaks, informal catch-ups, or team-building activities, can mitigate this. These interactions are vital for maintaining team spirit and fostering a sense of community and belonging within the remote workplace.

remote social work event

7. Conduct Postmortems on Key Projects

Post-project reviews or postmortems are invaluable in a remote setting. They offer a platform for reflection and learning, helping teams understand what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve in future projects. This practice promotes a culture of continuous improvement and helps in identifying areas for growth and development.

8. Build in Accountability

Accountability is a cornerstone of successful remote work. Regular check-ins, setting personal goals, and using project management tools are effective ways to maintain accountability. They help ensure that you stay on track with your tasks and responsibilities, fostering a sense of responsibility and commitment to your work.

9. Define Your and the Team’s Responsibilities

Clarity in roles and responsibilities is crucial for the smooth functioning of remote teams. It prevents confusion, overlaps, and ensures everyone knows what is expected of them. This clarity is especially important in a remote environment where direct oversight is limited.

remote team

10. Focus on Your Health

The productivity boost reported by 77% of remote employees should not lead to overwork. Prioritising physical and mental health is essential. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and adequate rest are fundamental. Incorporating mindfulness or stress management practices can also greatly benefit overall well-being.

11. Keep Track of Your Time

Time management is a critical skill in remote work. Keeping track of how you spend your time can help in maintaining a balance between work and personal life. It also provides insights into your productivity patterns, helping you optimise your schedule for maximum efficiency.

12. Be Accountable and Evaluate Your Productivity

Regular self-evaluation of your productivity is important. It helps in identifying areas where you can improve and ensuring that you are meeting your professional goals. Being accountable to yourself and your team is key to maintaining a high level of performance in a remote environment.

Let’s move onto a short breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages of remote work.

Advantages

1. Increased Flexibility

  • Tailor work environment and schedule.
  • Enhanced work-life balance.

2. Boosted Productivity

3. Enhanced Employee Well-being

  • Better physical and mental health.
  • Flexibility for healthier lifestyle choices.

4. Cost Savings

  • Savings on office space, utilities, commuting, and personal expenses.

Disadvantages

1. Isolation and Loneliness

  • Lack of physical interaction impacts mental health.
  • Importance of team interactions.

2. Work-Life Balance Issues

  • Potential for blurred lines between personal and professional life.
  • Need for clear boundaries.

3. Communication Challenges

  • Digital communication can lead to misunderstandings.
  • Importance of effective communication strategies.

4. Technology Dependency

  • Reliance on technology and connectivity.
  • Challenges with inadequate technology access.

Conclusion

The future of work is increasingly remote, demanding a shift in how we approach our professional roles. By implementing these best practices, you can navigate the challenges of remote work while capitalising on its benefits. Regular check-ins with your team, ensuring access to necessary tools, and focusing on engagement and retention are crucial for a thriving remote work environment. Embracing these strategies will not only enhance your individual work experience but also contribute to a more productive and cohesive team dynamic.

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