As a freelance writer, I get this amazing opportunity to work with different clients and companies, creating content from social media posts to online articles like this. This also means a lot of the work I do is remote.
With the current global health crisis, a lot of workers have found themselves being transitioned from office work to online work. And while, for someone like me, this flexibility is the kind of environment I thrive in, not everyone is equipped with best practices when it comes to working from home. There are also many companies that were thrown into having to develop systems for their employees to be able to work from home. Remote work has posed a set of unique challenges for employers and employees alike. So I thought I’d take a minute to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up in my time working remotely.
DISCLAIMER: This post was originally written for the company website of a freelance client of mine. It was modified for this blog, but may require further action upon possible review and approval from said client. That being said, as a freelance writer, I’m always looking to expand my client base, so consider checking out my page if you want to work with me.
Active Virtual Meetings
Meetings on meetings on meetings. Whether it be for class or work, a lot of your interactions with people are going to take place digitally, so it’s important to keep your video meetings and phone calls active and engaging. Look at the camera, smile, and try not to be distracted by your environment. This is especially important if you’re the one presenting. Make your team, class, or friend group want to listen to what you have to say.
Another thing to keep in mind is attempting to keep your virtual meetings as close as possible to what a real-life meeting might be like. That means no streaming your favorite Netflix shows or texting your boyfriend about date night. Being disciplined in … will help keep you focused on the agenda while maintaining a sense of normalcy in what may be an otherwise strange circumstance. Comfortable working conditions can make all the difference in ensuring your employees can continue producing meaningful quality work.
Dress the Environment and the Part
For most people, making the switch from in-office work to work-from-home culture may be a bit sudden. Perhaps you’re unsure of how to maintain a healthy work-life balance when these two worlds have been forced to collide so closely together. You may be wondering how to continue working as efficiently from your house as you were in your office. Consider dressing up your new workspace.
The reality is you may have no choice but to work from a section of your living room or attend class on the small twin-sized bed of your dorm room. So make the most of your situation and add some touches that make this space feel more like an area you could reasonably work out of. Bring in a desk lamp, a wall calendar, maybe even a place for your pens or your files. Do what you can to make it feel like an office or study space so that you’re more compelled to get work done.
It’s easy to just roll out of bed and log onto that Zoom meeting you have in five minutes, but I’m here to tell you to resist the urge! It’s easy to skip your morning routine when your new office is just down the hall, but getting dressed before work can put you in the right mindset for a productive day. You’ll be more motivated to work if you’re not doing it in your pajamas from the night before. Plus, you’ll be ready to go if your boss suddenly needs you to turn on the camera for a team meeting!
Give Clear and Consistent Updates
This tip is specifically for those of you who may be the boss or in charge of running a team for work or even those of you who need to figure out a way to work on a group project for class when everyone is working from different time zones. In this position, it’s really important to keep your team in-the-know about new developments to projects, meeting schedules, and more. Doing this will help maintain stability for both you and your team in an already unsure working environment.
Make an Action Plan for Working Remotely
Think about what working remotely is going to look like for you in the coming months. With everything happening on such a widespread and rapid scale, you need to be prepared for the possibility that things may never go back to “normal.” So work with what you’ve got.
For employers, small business owners, self-employed workers—the beauty of the work-from-home situation right now has given you the opportunity to expand your operations to a digital platform in general. Remote work doesn’t show any signs of elimination, even without the global health crisis. So creating an action plan for working remotely might just be the next step in your business model.
We’re all experiencing uncertainty in our lives these days. For the managers and team leaders out there, there’s a lot you can do to perpetuate a positive working experience for your employees. Know your team. Take the time to talk with them about their stresses, what working from home looks like for them, and how you can keep their work satisfying. For the employees, digital workers, college students, use this same process to check in with yourself. Find ways to feel validated and excited in your work. This will help keep you away from burnout, especially if you’re far away from the office or the classroom.
For those of you who have been working from home, what have you been doing to help stay focused? Do you like working virtually better than in-person? Share your tips in the comments!
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