Set Some Boundaries
Establish a Workspace
One of the first things that you should do when adopting a remote work approach is to give yourself guidelines. It can be immensely helpful to establish a set place to do your work, and equip it appropriately with minimal distractions. As a general rule, it is best if this area is not in the bedroom, or any area in your living space that you typically spend your recreational time. This will help you to keep up your focus throughout the day.
You also need to set some boundaries as far as work time is concerned. While many employers are concerned about their remote employees goofing off and slacking, the opposite is just as common–employees trying to get as much done as possible and overexerting themselves. Make sure you don’t slip into the “just five more minutes” habit and step away when it is time to do so.
Make Sure You’re Dressing as You Dress Down
Finally, there’s the question of how casual you can be while working from home. While pajamas are overwhelmingly frowned upon in the vast majority of offices, there is nothing stopping you from foregoing the shower and working in your bathrobe. While there is nothing wrong with dressing down a little if you’re working from home, you will undoubtedly feel and perform better if you clean yourself up before getting down to business.
Set the Standard
Collaboration is always critical for a business’ success, but it takes on a particular importance when the workforce is working remotely. Therefore, you need to encourage the liberal use of communication in order to keep your team on the same page, and lead by example. Show them the kind of communications you are expecting them to engage in by actively participating in them.
Use Your Available Tools
Modern business solutions are overwhelmingly designed with collaboration in mind, so don’t be shy about encouraging your team to use them, especially as you are leading by example with your communications. Demonstrate when it is best to use instant messaging or email to communicate by using them to keep your team accountable to the business and to each other.
Do Some Proactive Networking
In the same vein as setting the standard, don’t be afraid to take the first step and reach out to the people you’re working with for some non-work-related conversation (within reason, of course). Getting to know everyone on the team, even the ones you don’t work with directly, will help to make the workplace a more collaborative one.
Commit to Working Productively
Customize Your Schedule
In some cases, the benefit in working remotely comes from the fact that the workday isn’t necessarily constrained to the traditional 9-to-5 agenda. If this applies to the tasks typical of your office, encourage your employees to figure out the times that they are able to work most effectively, and allow them to shift their schedules to match. Depending on their circumstances, not every day would necessarily have the same schedule… but if the work gets done, what difference does it make?
Block Out Distractions
FInally, we do have to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the temptation to procrastinate can be strong when an employee is out of the office. While recreational activities should obviously wait until you and your team is done working for the day, it is important to remember that there’s more than one way to waste time. Some people will postpone their tasks by doing “other” important things, like tidying up their house. Resist spending the time you need to commit to work by doing other things. If you really can’t help but procrastinate, find some way to do so in a way that will ultimately help you focus… whether that’s journaling briefly or taking a few moments to quietly meditate.
Of course, in order to put these tips into action, your team needs the tools necessary to work remotely. Aspire can help with that, as well as your other IT needs. To learn more, reach out to us at (469) 7-ASPIRE.