Millions of people are now remote working and given the current trends in the workforce? Millions more will soon be joining them.
If you’re going to work remotely, you need our remote work best practices, they’ll help you be successful and valuable in your new lifestyle.
Handling Meetings Matters
When you’re all in the same room, it’s pretty obvious when someone’s snoozing in the corner but in remote meetings?
It’s all too easy to miss out on the warning signs when people have checked out.
It’s helpful to either have video on or to keep checking in with participants to make sure they’re really involved.
Oh and when the video’s on? Dress appropriately and behave well. Other people are now watching.
And make sure that if you’re hosting the meeting that you provide an agenda and follow up afterwards with a set of notes, actions and follow up points.
That way your meetings will be as good as face-to-face meetings.
Learn How To Be Productive (We’re All Different)
You’re going to need to create a work routine that works for you and that means a lot of experimentation as to how you work.
Some people work best hitting the desk as they get up and having a lunchtime nap. Others can’t bear to start until 2 p.m. and need a giant mug of coffee even then.
It’s fine. Be you. Just make sure that what you do is actually working.
You could also check out our remote work productivity tips for more ideas.
Document And Communicate
When you work from home, the office grapevine wilts, you can’t just saunter from desk-to-desk spreading cheer, gossip and important news.
That means that you have to work harder to communicate effectively and the best way to do this is to document pretty much everything and then circulate that far and wide.
The more you do this, the easier it is for everybody to feel like they’re on the same page, of course, it can’t handle a colleague that never reads anything… but in the remote work world?
If you don’t read, you won’t last. It’s as simple as that. Tools such as Slack make it super easy to communicate and the real key is to over-communicate.
Learn To Keep Work And Life Apart
Want to be miserable when working from home? It’s easy to do – neglect your work-life balance and let the boundaries between work and life dissolve.
Set boundaries. Start and end times for work each day, don’t work weekends, work in one place in the home and, ideally, away from your bedroom and favorite spaces to relax in.
And communicate these boundaries to others. They’ll respect them as long as you adhere to them.
Many remote workers feel that they are passed over for promotion and training, etc. and that’s because they’re allowing themselves to be forgotten about.
When you’re not in the office, you need to remind your boss and the management team that you still exist and are producing valuable input.
At a minimum you need to be marked as “available” in Slack (or other team software) all day long but you also want to send out regular reports on what you’re doing, what you’ve achieved and what’s next.
You’d make time to talk to your boss in the office, you need to make time to do this virtually too.
Make Time To Socialize
Want to go insane quickly? Work at home on your own and then spend all night at home on your own too.
We’re a social species. If you want to do your best work, you need to satisfy your urges for human contact.
Go out and have fun with other people and make sure to diarize time to do so.
Check In With Your Teammates And Connect
In an office, this is easy, we see each other every day and connecting is a natural part of rubbing shoulders.
When you’re working remotely? You need to check in with people, take an interest in them and remember key events like birthdays.
Call people, don’t just mail or hit them up on Slack, and take time to find out about them – not just the work they’re doing.
The more you connect, the better your team will function.
Make Lessons Learned A Formal Practice
Mistakes will be made when working remotely.
Smart teams make room to learn lessons when big projects end to ensure that the same mistakes aren’t made again.
Many remote workers find the freedom of being at home super freeing. In fact, they find it so freeing that they end up playing computer games and watching TV rather than working.
That won’t last very long, sooner or later, people are going to notice that your output has dropped and either you’ll be back in the office or you’ll be down at the unemployment office.
It’s much better to build accountability into your working day from the outset. Set up a time tracker and give each task on your list some time to work on.
Then take your time planning and share it over Slack. Now you’ll feel the need to deliver because you just told everyone that you would.
It might not be as much fun as playing Far Cry 6 but it’s going to keep you in a job.
Focus On Your Health And Wellbeing
One last thing. You cannot work well if you’re not healthy.
You need to exercise (see our exercises for home workers here) and you need to eat well and you need to avoid burnout (we’ve got tips on how to avoid burnout when working remotely too).
Make sure to take breaks, meditate (we’ve got a guide to meditating when working from home), drink water, get outside into nature and use your vacation time.
Final Thoughts On Remote Work Best Practices
If you want to make sure that you’re impressing your boss, gelling with your teammates and being productive, these remote work best practices are a great guide to getting started.