As more businesses shift activities from in person to online, telecommuting is becoming an increasingly popular option for employees. While the benefits of working remotely are easy to pinpoint, the challenges are not always so apparent. From technology glitches and miscommunications to lack of motivation and isolation, the prospect of working in your jammies and slippers can come with a few pricetags. To stay productive, it’s important to have the right tools and expectations for working remotely. Keep in mind the following tips:
1) Find a dedicated office space with minimal noise or distractions. Comfortable seating, quality lighting and most importantly- quiet surroundings- will improve your ability to concentrate and focus on work.
2) Keep a structured “to-do” list with your team members to stay motivated and keep projects moving. Basecamp is a great example of an online project management tool that allows team members to collaborate and complete project activities, share files and schedules.
3) Avoid burning out by scheduling breaks throughout the day. Working from home can often make you feel disconnected from the outside world or that the work pile never ends. When you don’t have to clock in or out, it can be difficult to relax and set work aside. Remember to take a break or two, grab some lunch or go for a walk to get some fresh air and recharge.
4) Use the right communication tools. Skype is an easy, free way to chat or talk with co-workers and integrates video in real-time (and is much cheaper than using valuable cell phone minutes). GotoMeeting or Webex are also affordable conference call services with added screen share and recording capability.
Last and definitely not least…
5) Use the right connectivity infrastructure. Dynamic DNS allows you to access your VPN or work computer using a static IP address that you can remember, which is extremely helpful when you need to access files from another computer remotely. Also, a dependable internet service provider (ISP) will be worth it’s weight in gold, and remember to find a backup source just in case. Make use of the nearest closest coffee shops or book stores with wi-fi in the event your ISP has service issues. The last thing you need is to miss an important meeting or be not have access to your files when your boss or coworkers are relying on you.
Have any additional remote working tips to share? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below!