100+ Remote Work Tips & Ideas to Maximise its Benefits - Deepstash

Remote Work Tips & Ideas to Maximise its Benefits

The internet is now full of tips, facts, ideas and opinions on how to handle remote work, yet they always revolve around the same concepts, with the goal of trying to sell you equipment and capitalize on the home office frenzy. Real remote work productivity tips related to this new culture are hard to come by, especially since the concept of team bonding and communication is so controversial. Having access to the ideas, tips, insights and facts from a community of like-minded individuals sharing their experience is the ideal way learning something new about WFH.

Discover our entire catalogue of 5000+ remote work tips & ideas from curated, trusted and peer reviewed sources

All these insights are packed into “articles” and “journeys” that provide bursts of tips & ideas on concepts like time management, productivity tips, mindfulness, motivation, mental health and more niche specific facts. On Deepstash, users can make use of the authoring tool to create, but just share these unique and genuine insights to collaborate, follow and validate each other’s ideas through gamification and social interaction elements.

Learning actual Facts, Tips & Ideas about Working from Home is much easier with our flashcards-like idea from-factor! Try it out!

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Remote work: working hours

  • Employees should feel that they work at home rather than live in the office.
  • Encourage employees to use their calendar software to establish breaks.
  • Employees should know when they are "on" and "off." It's unfair to expect a remote employee to address a problem at 9 p.m.
  • Don't drop email bombs. Friday at 6 p.m. is not the time to announce major changes.

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Technology connects workers and employees

  • Team collaboration tools combine the virtual office and water cooler, as the team can touch base with other employees working across the globe.
  • Project management tools create a digital to-do list that keeps everyone on the team in the know.
  • Virtual conference calls ensure "face-to-face" collaborations.

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Building Rapport Remotely

To better build rapport and counter isolation do the following:

  • smile, tilt your chin lower so you're not looking down on them, and slow down your speech during your video calls, so you come across as being more credible.
  • set a finish time before starting a conversation with someone new to reduce the initial wariness.
  • Be more likable and validate others by listening to them and suspending your ego. Put aside your wish to contribute to the conversation and ask short, open questions like how, when, and why.

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How hybrid teams can build bonds

  • Mentorship weeks and in-person onboarding. Extend new remote team members the opportunity to meet their office peers by flying them out to headquarters for onboarding. It builds personal relationships early on that ease collaboration.
  • Get office colleagues to work from home. Create work from home weeks for office colleagues to help build empathy and understanding of the pain points of remote work.
  • Offer company conference perks. Give remote and office teammates a chance to build relationships through shared learning experiences with conferences or professional development opportunities.
  • Host company-wide retreats. Whenever possible, bring the entire team together for a few days for a retreat or off-site to accelerate bonding experience.

While these opportunities are costly and require coordination, they pay ongoing dividends.

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Team Members May Be Working From Different Time Zones

Remote work means your company may be made up of employees scattered across time zones. Approximately 98% of respondents surveyed by Buffer reported their company having employees in multiple zones. This means your team members may be working at different hours of the day, depending on where they live.

Sure, there might be a few hours of overlap, but the fact of the matter is, employees must learn to work asynchronously on projects. So as you’re managing remote teams, you need collaboration tools and systems in place that support employees no matter what time zone they are in.

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Make synchronous communication accessible

Video calls and other forms of synchronous communication still serves a function. However, synchronous communication should be made available asynchronously:

  • For occasional synchronous meetings, find reasonable time for everyone. Ensure ideal time slots are rotated between team members.
  • Try having everyone call in from their respective desks and computers to eliminate side conversations.
  • Record video calls and make them available for viewing later in a central place for all team members.

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Remote Work: Extrovert Bias

Many extroverts had a gala time in physical meetings, as their social interactions and energy kept them at the centre of attention. The quiet introverts, who might be great at implementing the ideas bounced on the table, were sidelined.

Remote work and the focus on the written word is the introvert's revenge, as now the scales are balanced towards merit and real results.

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Equipping remote workers

Equipping remote workers

In-office employees that transition to remote work need to be equipped. Spending recommendations are:

  • A one-time stipend to purchase some office furniture and other miscellaneous work equipment.
  • Basic ergonomic training.
  • The same class of laptop or workstation they'd get in the office.
  • A monthly stipend to offset some or all home broadband costs.
  • IT support costs.
  • Basic, yet complete tech loadout, such as laptop, secondary monitor, mouse, keyboard, wired earbuds, USB hub, chair that meets ergonomic needs.

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Examples of remote innovation

  • Some of the most innovative software projects are open-source, developed remotely and asynchronously, such as the Linux kernel. As of 2017, roughly 15,600 developers from all over the world had contributed to the kernel.
  • In 1962, "Freelance Programmers" was founded. The work-from-home contract programming company was instrumental in helping develop software standards, management control protocols, and other standards that were eventually adopted by NATO.
  • Automatic, the company behind WordPress, is fully distributed with 1,335 employees in 77 countries speaking 99 different languages.
  • Remote-first companies GitLab and Zapier are currently valued at US$6 billion and US$4 billion with 1,289 and 350 employees, respectively.

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Personal productivity

Pro time management tips:

  • Have clear boundaries between personal and work time.
  • Optimize your calendar to maximize your productivity.
  • Optimize your work environment.

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Remote work coordination

Remote workers should be working in harmony, but people often don't know what others are doing and how everything fits together.

  • Create formal processes that simulate the informal way; for example, stopping by a colleague's desk or eating lunch together. These interactions serve as course corrections.
  • Managers should clearly articulate the mission, assign roles and responsibilities, create detailed project plans, establish performance metrics. They should also document all that and make it available offsite.
  • Managers should model and enforce the processes until they are completely incorporated.

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The challenges of hybrid teams

The challenges of hybrid teams

Most companies embracing remote work also have dedicated headquarters. But remote-ish teams have even more communication and collaboration challenges than fully remote teams.

For example, in hybrid teams, remote employees are often left in the dark. Office workers are often heard, recognized, and promoted, while remote workers are forgotten.

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Remote teams are not utopia

Remote work isn't perfect and won't be a good fit for everyone. It can be lonely and feel awkward connecting with new coworkers. With an emphasis on results over time spent working, remote workers also tend to work longer hours. Remote workers can consist of diverse or uniform teams, positive or toxic cultures, innovative or stagnant remote teams.

Remote teams need to be proactive in creating opportunities for people to get to know one another. They need to help employees craft their workdays to fit their needs.

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Remote Agile Teams: Prepare Alone but End in Sync

Remote Agile Teams: Prepare Alone but End in Sync

To maintain the short and efficient meeting processes that agile approaches require, just send out a simple agenda prior to virtual meetings or ask team members to reflect on key items before convening.

Asking team members to jot down thoughts on a shared platform prior to group brainstorming is an important shift to make in remote agile collaboration. As an initial step in proposing ideas, a team could use any asynchronous form of communication that it may be accustomed to.

When the team convenes, members can immediately start appraising the ideas jotted down before.

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Hire the right people

Design your hiring process with remote candidates in mind. Look for 3 main things:

  • A strong skill set relevant to their jobs: you need to feel confident that they can complete basic job tasks independently.
  • A candidate with an affinity for remote work.
  • Hire candidates who share your company’s values:  they’ll fit in faster if they share your cultural code.

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Early risers and night owls

  • Early risers may work from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., take a break to get kids sorted for school, then start work again at 8:30 a.m and be finished by 2:30 p.m.
  • Some may sleep in and only start working around 10 a.m. They may stop at 3 p.m. and work again between 10 p.m and 1 a.m. when the house is quiet.

It's not always a matter of early versus late. Some people work longer hours on some days to give themselves a break on other days. It's all a matter of fitting work into your lifestyle and when you're most productive.

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Build a culture of documentation

A few important areas where centralized and accessible documentation should exist:

  • Company policies, core values, and operating principles
  • Project management system guidelines
  • Critical service outage instructions
  • Technical implementation resources
  • Product and project roadmaps
  • Career development paths
  • Decisions should be documented and the next steps put in writing

Clear and concise documentation is crucial to empower individuals and teams with the information needed to do their work. It allows remote individuals to work more independently without having to wait for an answer.

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Mimic Your Office Culture

Mimic Your Office Culture

For many of us, the office becomes a fun place due to a sense of community, purpose and fun interactions that make up an office day. To try and mimic your office culture virtually:

  1. Set up Slack channels for water cooler conversation
  2. Schedule virtual movie days, when the same movie is streamed with the chat option on.
  3. Try to recreate virtual versions of what employees miss the most in office, like a coffee break, for instance.

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Don't use time to measure productivity

Remote work is about trust. Research shows that remote workers put in more hours, so any time-tracking may be a waste of time.

Moreover, micromanaging gives a message that employees won't do their jobs unless someone is watching over their shoulder. That message can be demoralising.

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Remote-friendly vs remote-first

The single biggest mistake companies can make is to opt to be remote-friendly instead of remote-first. Companies often accept the idea that remote is the future of work without creating an inclusive culture to ensure it works for everyone.

  • Remote-friendly environment: Employees are allowed to work remotely, but work is not optimized for it. There is a disconnect between office and remote employees and team meetings exclusively occur in a co-located time zone. Water cooler chat is a space for key decisions and presence is correlated with meaningful work. Communication is synchronous-first. Managers must work in the office.
  • Remote-first companies: Employees are empowered to adopt remote work. Real-time meetings are kept to a minimum and recorded. Decisions are made online and performance is measured by output, not by hours worked. Communication is asynchronous-first. Managers are encouraged to work from home.

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Have Clear Goals And Transparency

Being transparent about what an employee and the managers are doing is crucial in a remote setup.

Daily check-ins remove any confusion on what everyone is working on and negates the need for unnecessary communication throughout the day. Managers need to make things clear at all times so that employees are not left in the dark, while not resorting to micromanaging.

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Overcoming Challenges

Remote work poses some unique mental challenges. To overcome them:

  • Acknowledge the mental health issues of remote workers.
  • Have an open conversation and workshops to address mental health issues.
  • Support a person having issues like depression, stress and anxiety.
  • Encourage time off from work to recharge, and utilizing sick days for mental health.
  • Daily mindfulness activities.
  • Go out in a community for some social time together among coworkers.

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Create a To-Do List the Night Before

Create a To-Do List the Night Before

This is necessary because it helps you avoid mental fatigue and clutter. Ans more importantly, it helps you stay focused despite all of the "relaxation" and "non-work" environmental associations that you have within your home.

Whenever you feel yourself getting distracted, take a quick look at your to-do list and fervently tackle the next task.

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Focus on building trust: Trust and let go

This is one of the hardest things to master, in a world full of opportunities to do bad things, an employee can't blame the company.

But the latter must give let go of the ego and start trusting, coz trust begets trust.

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Psychological Shortcuts

While working from home, it is hard to not be distracted, as, after all, one is in their home environment in the physical sense.

You can use the wallpapers, posters, props and even music and snacks from your office for your mind to be tricked into being in ‘work-mode’.

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Utilize the “Double Whammy"

The "Double Whammy" refers to the practice of wearing earplugs and then noise canceling headphones on top.

Sustained focus is at a premium when you work from home, the double whammy ensures that you stay focused for as long as possible.

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Remote work and access to better facilitators

Remote work allows us to not only access a greater range of talent. It lets us bring in the facilitators who can make or break an ideation session.

Remote facilitation is a different skill set. Your colleague who is an ace in-person facilitator may not be able to pull it off remotely.

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1. Craft your dream morning routine

  • Eating a balanced breakfast that’s high in protein and healthy fats (avocado omelettes anyone?)
  • Drinking at least one glass of water.
  • Taking care of your hygiene.
  • Making your bed and cleaning your room.

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Near-Home Remote Work

An alternative to working remotely at home is to Work From Near Home (WFNH), where household work, kids, familiar noise and many other causes of stress that distract us from our official tasks are absent. It can be a small rented office, cafe, or company provided coworking space.

Companies can even make a small up-front investment for the employee to work from near home and reap great rewards with visibly increased productivity.

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Going all-in on remote work: benefits for businesses

Going all-in on remote work: benefits for businesses

Remote work can be costly or cost-saving, depending on how well-equipped you are to really support it.

  • When done right, assessing the appropriateness of remote work for all your employees and implementing the necessary changes will save money.
  • Savings will be primarily in overhead categories: rent, utilities, facility upkeep costs, in-person IT labor, satellite office networking costs, maintenance, property insurance, etc.
  • The point to aim for is where the investment will bear return.
  • Remote workers may enjoy more flexibility, which may translate into increased productivity.

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Defining roles for a remote work setting

Businesses can categorize employees:

  • Location-independent. Knowledge workers are not dependent on location and don't need to be in an office.
  • Location-frequent. These people spend half their time in an office and half remote. They need an in-person base to use for coordination and physical meetings. These are often salespeople, marketing people, back-office services (IT, HR, finance), and creative jobs.
  • Mandatory in-office jobs. These involve specialized equipment, such as with manufacturing jobs.

Far more job functions can be done remotely if company leadership will accept it.

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Foster Connection

  • Try regularly scheduling chats over video. Those work particularly well when paired with activities like coffee breaks, online gaming or topical discussion.
  • Create a dedicated non-work chat channel. This re-creates the “watercooler chat” you would have in an in-person office and it often becomes the primary mode of communication for online workers.
  • Invest in company retreats and make space for people to socialize on them.

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Build a Buddy System

Build a Buddy System

Many remote companies offer buddy systems for onboarding. This is also a way for people to have fun and get closer, as well as to increase job satisfaction and commitment.

This can take the form of assigning an official “mentor” or a random employee, with whom they have periodic one-on-one meetings to get acclimated to the company.

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The Premise

The Premise

Traveling the world while working online from your laptop has been a dream for millions of self-proclaimed digital nomads.

However working from foreign countries while traveling on a tourist visa is technically illegal in most places.

Tourist visas also usually expire after 30-90 days, and it’s not always easy to renew them. What if you want to stay longer?

That doesn’t stop digital nomads from working while traveling, but it can make things complicated, and with travel restrictions due to COVID-19, it’s much more difficult to work & travel internationally.

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Remote Working Is Now Mainstream

About one-fourth of the US workforce population will continue to work from home in 2022, and due to home environments that make remote working impossible, hiring managers will see unexpected delays and non-productivity. The post-pandemic world is getting geared up for increased remote work, and we all can take cues from writers who have been doing this for ages.

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Structure For Success

Structure For Success

Remote work days need to have a specific routine in place, which has structure, clarity and consistency.

Each team member needs to be provided with a daily block of time to be heard, maybe in a 15-minute morning team video check-in. This makes the team connected and accountable. Also, the team members should be encouraged to share concerns, challenges and successes.

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Wrap up your day when it's done

If you work longer than reasonable, consider creating a system that ends your work session.

You could wrap up your day by reviewing what you spent time on and what got done. Look at your completed tasks from your to-do list and check your time-tracking app. You may find that you accomplished a lot, which could bring closure to your day and help you to stop working.

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2. Get off the screen

My days start off with a routine “stand up” meeting at 9:30 am. After stand up I can be ready to get around 2 hours of productive work where I’m researching, coding, or pair programming with teammates.

When I finish that block of focused time, I get my ass off the computer and make something to eat.

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Continued remote work

  • Before the pandemic, a lot of company management and leaders were skeptical regarding remote work. But the skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.
  • The economic impact of the pandemic will likely force employers to cut costs. They may reduce their rent by letting workers work from home instead of layoffs.
  • Employers had to spend money on new technology and equipment to work from home - a departure from the norm.
  • Employees themselves are also spending more money to create better home offices.

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The Transition Dilemma

The Transition Dilemma

Managers are having a hard time creating SOP's for the "new normal" especially with all the doubts and fears of employees not being "controlled" or "regulated".

Moving from the traditional workforce to remote is a crucial step to break all the old ways and move on to something that will surely revolutionize the way we view work.

From the hiring process, onboarding, and training, the companies management needs to implement systems that will help the transition more bearable for both parties.

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Working from home misconceptions

Working from home does not mean you are a remote worker. For a lot of people “working from home” is synonymous with not really working, but instead sitting at home in comfy clothes and doing anything but working. Because no one is really watching you.

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3. Take advantage of the extra time

With a lack of commute and minimal distractions, you should be finding your day filled with at least a few extra hours of time. Whatever you do with it, don’t waste your newfound freedom. Many people including myself have taken to starting up new side hustles or projects to compliment their primary salary.

Maybe you want to spend extra time with your family, or you want to get in shape, or maybe even start your own side business. Remote work has given us the freedom to choose.

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The advantage of slower problem-solving of remote teams

The kind of asynchronous communication embraced by many remote-first teams allows for more thought-out responses, fewer interruptions, and more focused work.

But when emergencies happen, remote teams need systems and protocols in place to handle them efficiently. Even here, remote teams are often still better as they always have people awake during working hours to deal with problems.

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Working Remotely Is Harder Than It Looks

Professional writers, freelance writers and authors are the original work-from-home knowledge workers, long before the pandemic made remote working a household phenomenon.

Working from home requires a mental detachment from all the other pending tasks piled up at home, like laundry. It is hard to maintain one’s focus on office work when there is a brain-shift happening towards housework every minute.

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Work-Life Balance When Working From Home

  • Though employees are happy to see the demise of daily commutes and parking hassles, they are finding out that there is no work-life balance at home.
  • Most workers live in apartments that aren’t suitable for 8 to 10 hours of work every day, as it was never designed to be a full-fledged office.
  • Many employees would want to get back to offices as soon as possible due to social and mental issues, like the feeling of loneliness at home.

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Remote Working From Home: A Neural Traffic Jam

Unattended tasks at home create stress and cause a neural traffic jam that paralyzes the remote worker. Some authors resort to going to a sparse hotel room with nothing for the eyes to hold on to, getting their focus completely on work and entering the flow mode.

The familiar is the enemy in this game of remote productivity. Coffee shops where no one knows us or is talking about us are often more productive for cognitive work. Even the sound of hammers or bricks will not interrupt our work as much as our own kid’s shouting.

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Remote workers work more

Remote workers work more

Loving your job often means that you may be working more. It's harder to stop when you care.

It's deceptive to think that remote work means that you can start and stop whenever you want. Bloomberg reported that people who started working from home since the beginning of the pandemic are working three hours longer per day.

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How To Work Productively From Home

  • Get a desk. Try to put it in a less used room of the house with a quality chair.
  • Natural light. Be by a window for natural light and fresh air.
  • Get up early. Don't work from your bed.
  • Exercise. Preferably outside to get you up and into the fresh air.
  • Be healthy. Eat well and drink plenty of water.
  • Top three tasks. Capture your top three tasks for the day with the most difficult first.
  • Prepare your calendar. Know what the day is bringing.
  • Take breaks. Do not sit at your desk all day.

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A Healthy Balance

Remote working may have tremendous advantages but research suggests that human beings aren’t meant to work in isolation. Working socially with co-workers who are good friends leads to higher engagement and satisfaction in one’s job.

For remote working to be successful, it needs to be tailored to suit one’s particular needs and personality, finding a good fit, while taking care of one’s mental well-being.

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Arguments for remote work

Leaders who say remote teams can't be innovative fail to see the potential problem as a starting point for innovation.

Logic also would suggest that early adopters of remote work are indeed more likely to be innovative and open to new ideas and ways of working.

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Brainwriting over brainstorming

Remote work allows us go beyond the standard approach to brainstorming by using brainwriting.

  • This brainwriting approach prevents the loudest person, first to speak, or most experienced person from dominating the conversation.
  • Exchanging written ideas also allows the introvert to shine and it's easier on to team members whose first language may not be English.
  • There is less social pressure to follow one person’s idea, so everyone contributes equally.

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Remote Working

Remote working is not all glamorous as portrayed in social media, and many remote workers, while being free to roam around, are lonely.

Human beings cannot belong anywhere instantly, and a strong community building does not have any shortcuts. People with strong social ties in a singular place live longer, healthier and happier lives.

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Replace Office Work with Remote Work

To live a free life Tim Ferriss proposes working remotely. He advocated it before it was cool. His advice: 

  • Practice environment-free productivity. Attempt to work for two hours in a cafe before proposing a remote trial.
  • Quantify current productivity. Document your work efforts.
  • Demonstrate remote work productivity. Rack up some proof that you can kick ass without constant supervision.
  • Practice the art of getting past “no”. “What would I need to do to .... (desired goal)?”
  • Put your employer on remote training wheels. Propose Monday or Friday at home.

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Regular Small Talk

Regular Small Talk

These few weekly half-hours small talk make work more enjoyable. Communication barriers are lowered and channels smoothened.

Mutual reliance, understanding, and coordination increase. Slowing down and making social time helps people be better teammates.

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Rules for remote work

  • Assume remote, even if you have only 1 person that is not coming to the office. So make sure to share all the information from meetings in a written format.
  • Have a private, quiet, dedicated space for working in your home. Preferably with a door that closes.
  • Have the right digital equipment.
  • Over-communicate.
  • Make sure you get to actual meet your colleagues face to face.
  • Have a time overlap with your team.

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Manager Expectations of Normalcy

Managers cannot expect high performance of remote workers in all the areas of evaluation in this sudden shift to remote working without training and preparation. 

It is a good idea to have regular checkpoints while working remotely so that managers can provide them with direction and guidance. Also, people working remotely have to be provided with some freedom and cannot be glued to their chairs all day. The results matter, not the number of hours.

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Working from home

Working from home

Before the pandemic, only 4 percent of the US workforce worked from home at least half the time. However, the trend of working from home had been gaining momentum for years.

It is estimated that within a couple of years, 30% of people will work from home multiple days per week.

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Illusion of communication

Illusion of communication

The goal of effective communication is to reach a mutual understanding. Everyone needs to be on the same page so that the team can move forward.

When working from home, it's easy to confuse being constantly connected to your colleagues on Slack with effective communication. More communication is not the same as good communication.

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Changing the company culture

Corporate leadership must understand the need to make changes to the company culture that supports everyone.

  • Remote work means trusting employees and giving them more autonomy.
  • Trust does not mean ignorance. Leadership needs to establish clear goals and performance metrics that can be tracked objectively. Data-driven intelligence and project tracking are essential.
  • Onboarding a new batch of remote workers is challenging. You need firm onboarding procedures in place so everyone knows what tools are available and how to use them.

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The superpowers of remote tools

  • Collaborative digital tools give us new abilities and superpowers that we can’t use during an in-person session of exchanging ideas.
  • The chat feature of the platforms we use gives us an extra channel to communicate, comment on ideas and build on them, and ask questions in a way that isn’t possible with in-person collaboration.

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The Agile Team

The Agile Team

Agile teams are built on the core principle that flexibility — to find the most effective configuration of resources and capabilities — can provide an important competitive advantage. Agile work is built on a few key principles: Teams are small to enable fast decision-making and high productivity; teams use quick experiments to capture feedback from internal or external customers and then make decisions; and team members meet daily.

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Staying Up To Date

Staying Up To Date

Remote workers can feel overwhelmed by the amount of text they have to process. So finding ways to keep on top of what's going on is imperative for communicating efficiently with others.

Create archive lists and CC irrelevant emails to them, so you can save and share them without flooding non-involved people. 

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The collective brain power

The more people you collaborate with, the more ideas will result, which are more likely to lead to a few truly genius insights.

With remote work, we can gather a diverse range of collaborators from other parts of our organization or outside the organization. Diverse teams lead to more creativity, so remote work lets us tap into a new pool of expertise and creativity, which we couldn’t access when collaborating in-person.

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Best Practices for Communicating Asynchronously

  1. Allow Offline work, so that team members do some real work.
  2. Use the right communication tool.
  3. Minimize status meetings, as they are mostly a waste of time.
  4. Make Transparency the default setting.
  5. Overcommunicate to make sure all the pieces of information are in place and known to all.
  6. Adapt, as you grow in scale, as what is working for 5 people won’t work for 500.

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Team building for remote companies

  • Bring your teams together once or twice a year.
  • Remote employees should check in with in-office people to keep up to date.
  • Encourage employees to connect in online conversations or hangouts.

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Embrace Familiarity

Working remotely from home, one has more time to reflect, ponder and dig into their unexplored side, and unseen creativity.

There is no commute and no hassle to dress up and rush, so one can relax and be real, getting inspired by the extra time, breathing space, or the view outside your window.

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Software/Tools

Software/Tools

In a remote team, you'll need the right tools to make sure everyone stays on the same page and can continue to execute without a physical person standing next to them.

You likely will need a tool in certain categories like group chat and video conferencing to make remote successful.

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Normalising remote work

Normalising remote work

The pandemic normalised remote working, and despite the fears of most organisations, there was no demonstrable loss of productivity.

Now, the global workforce wants to retain increased flexibility as societies open up again. Yet, many organisations are resisting this more flexible future. They argue that employees' wellbeing is compromised by remote working, for example, Zoom fatigue.

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Supportive Visibility

Remote workspaces can quickly become a quiet space of unaddressed messages. Everyone should know their work is being seen and appreciated. The golden rule is: never leave an effort unacknowledged.

  • Prioritize remote-first video meetings that give everyone an equal presence.
  • Give credit where credit is due. Tag the person where work is occurring that references them.
  • Responding to each team interaction does not have to be a burden. Make use of emoji reactions for a quick show of support. Make a team rule never to leave a question unanswered or a shared resource unacknowledged in chat.

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Core idea curated from:

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO OF FACEBOOK

“People are more productive working at home than people would have expected. Some people thought that everything was just going to fall apart, and it hasn’t. And a lot of people are actually saying that they’re more productive now.”

MARK ZUCKERBERG, CEO OF FACEBOOK

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Finding inspiration when working from home

You have chances for inspiration when working from home (even when we're surrounded by our pets, kids, or partners):

  • Your environment can energize you and inspire you: you are surrounded by the books you love, or your favorite arts, plants, pets, and family members.
  • You can easily head out for a walk, and nothing beats a sudden flash of creativity than a walk surrounded by nature.
  • Quiet time to recharge is also easier when working from home.

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Remote work means flexibility

When we work remotely, we don't have to replicate the nine-to-five workday. Remote work means you have flexibility, so you can order your work that will suit you.

Some people will split their days into two four-four blocks, with a four-hour break in the middle. Others may swap a weekday morning for a weekend one. Ensure that your coworkers are aware of when you are and aren't working.

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Creativity and remote work

Creativity and remote work

  • In the discussion about remote work, most of conversation goes around finding ways to make emote workforce more productive and efficient. Yet while productivity matters, creativity often gets left out of that conversation.
  • As remote work will be the new normal for many of us, the discussion cannot be about which is the better place to do creative work. We have to get better at being creative remotely. It’s no longer a nice-to-have.

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Being Social While Remotely Working

Being social at office lubricates official conversations and the work itself. The more we spend time with colleagues having non-essential chatter, the easier our work becomes with them.

It helps to be creative and infuse fun into a virtual interaction. Any official conversation, like a manager meeting his subordinates in a one-on-one meeting, can start by asking about the person’s life (something unrelated to work), so that a connection is built.

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Argument against remote work

Argument against remote work

The argument is that while remote employees may be more personally productive, the team creativity and innovation suffer. People really need spontaneous interactions at the water cooler or break room or at happy hours to foster serendipity that drives innovation.

People who support the Office-Serendipity Theory of Innovation like to cite Jobs' views to support the idea that "most people should work in an office." But the theory suffers from anecdotal evidence of chance office encounters.

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IT Sector and Remote Work

The software industry is already organized towards a systematic work approach that is compatible with remote working, which involves agile project management systems and coding sprints, understanding the needs of the coders.

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Trust your team to do the work

Trust your team to do the work

... but check in from time to time.

Watch how the project unfolds in tools like Trello, Confluence, and Slack. That way, you're not bugging direct reports for status updates, but you still understand what's happening.

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The Cons Of Remote Working

  • Remote workers often feel lonely without in-person connection and that can impact their abilities and productivity.
  • It takes more effort to bond with people you only interact virtually
  • Human beings need social and face-to-face interaction to build trust and understanding.
  • Remote working brings more instances of miscommunication due to the lack of physical feedback.

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Remember Hanlon's Razor

Remember Hanlon's Razor

Hanlon's razor refers to the idea that we should always assume ignorance before malice. This is especially important in situations where you're missing context.

If you're communicating via text with co-workers who are multiple time zones away, try to always assume ignorance before malice if you have a misunderstanding.

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Company Culture Can Be Difficult To Maintain Without An Office

Company culture thrives on face-to-face interactions. It’s just easier to get employees engaged and invested in the work when they feel connected to your company.

With remote team members, cultivating a sense of company culture isn’t as simple as it would be in the office. In fact, 16% of remote employees told Buffer they struggle with loneliness due to remote work.

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Suddenly Working From Home

Suddenly Working From Home

There is a sudden shift towards remote working in workspaces all across the world, with many people abruptly thrust towards it without warning.

Experts share a few tips on how to transition to remote working:

  • Mimic your office culture
  • Embrace social time
  • Default to transparency
  • Brainstorm differently
  • Don’t expect normalcy
  • Be flexible.

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Writing Matters for any Worker

Writing Matters for any Worker

This is one of the first pieces of advice people give to those seeking remote work.

When you work remotely, a few misplaced words can become an occupational hazard. Every word you type (or don’t) is important in conveying your ideas and communicating effectively with your colleagues.

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Be Flexible

Managers need to be flexible and patient with their work-from-home approach due to the added pressure of closed daycare and schools, scarce resources, and high emotions of employees. 

They need to let workers decide the right time to work or the right days and provide them with the benefit of the doubt if they are unable to handle a task. We all need to be resilient in these tough circumstances and come up with creative solutions.

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True Work-Life Balance Isn’t Felt By Employees

True Work-Life Balance Isn’t Felt By Employees

Burnout is very real, particularly for remote workers. Over a quarter of workers reported the inability to unplug outside of work hours as a challenge of working from home.

In a remote structure, the home office might be the living room couch or a kitchen table — with a commute of a few steps down the hall. Unplugging seems impossible when a laptop is sitting a few feet away at all times. And it’s tempting for your remote workers to want to finish “just one more thing.”

As a leader, you have to help employees manage their workload and set work-life boundaries, so their well-being isn’t impacted.

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Core idea curated from:

Writing Tips for Remote Workers (And Everyone Else)