Flexibility for remote work is part of a sucessful culture. For example, I’m Mexican and work from the Bogotá office, but every so often I go to Mexico and have to work away from my team. In this time I have learned some things that have worked for me to improve the remote work, today I come to tell you some of them.
My main concerns
Remote working can be a dream come true for some, who wouldn’t want to work all the time from their bed. However, this was something that worried me, at this time I was going to work and learn from my team in the same way as if I was face to face with them? I wasn’t sure if I was going to be as cute as they said, capable and counterproductive. Over time, I discovered that it was a mixture of positive and negative things. Remote working, while not ideal, is a great privilege. Here are some tips to help you do your best when you’re away from your computer.
1. Be responsible
Remote working brings a lot of benefits. For example, the time you would normally spend in traffic can be used to sleep overtime, read a book, learn something new; plus, you save money because you don’t have to commute to the office. But once you sit down at your desk, work hard and make it worth your while. Let every privilege you are enjoying be a benefit to you, your co-workers, and the company you work for.
2. Don’t waste time
Being far away, communication with your team is likely to be slower. If you request or ask something, it is possible that the response will be longer than if it were live. You can take advantage of this time to move forward with another project or to solve a pending issue. The important thing is that this is not a distraction or a typical excuse for not getting an answer.
3. Don’t be a hermit
It happens to me that I enjoy life when I’m alone, and it’s possible that remote work will make you a lonelier person. However, it’s something we have to fight against. You can leave your house at lunchtime, take a little walk, and on weekends try to do things that don’t involve spending more hours inside your home. The sun’s rays can be the medicine for your lack of productivity and concentration. At the end of the day, when you finish your earrings, get away from that corner of the house where you work.
4. Say goodbye to the pajamas
Since you will not be interacting with anyone and probably no one will see you, it is common to decide to stay in your pajamas all day. However, I think it’s hard to achieve maximum concentration without first taking a shower. That’s why my recommendation would be to get ready every morning, just as if you were going out. Make your bed, do your hair, get dressed.
5. A comfortable space makes you more productive
I’m sure you’ve thought that the idea of working from Starbucks is incredible, but the reality is that it’s not at all practical. Personally, I am much more productive working from my desk, in a corner of my house, with my computer and an external monitor. Every once in a while you can go to your favorite coffee shop and work from there, but I recommend to do it only in extreme cases, walking around will make your concentration more difficult.
And most importantly, for whatever you want, work out of your bed. Try to isolate things from your personal life with things from your work. If your workplace is close to where you sleep, be sure your bed or that super-comfortable chair will make your eyes glaze over so you can take a nap in it. That’s why it’s important to have a productive corner somewhere in your home without disturbances or distractions around you, especially if you have a pet that’s hungry for attention like I do 😄. At the end of the day, you can leave your workplace and get on with your personal life.
6. The importance of communication
It is likely that the communication you make with your team will be through a chat. At Platzi, for example, we use Slack. By not being present for verbal communication and not seeing your colleagues face to face, your messages can be misinterpreted, especially if you are a sarcastic person. Read each message you share before clicking the send button to ensure that it cannot be misinterpreted if it is read in a different mood or tone of voice than the one you want to convey.
7. Availability is key
When you’re at home, you’re likely to be easily distracted by something, and just when you’re distracted, someone in the office may be trying to reach you. If you’re slow in answering, there’s a chance you’ve lost their attention, and if this keeps happening you may end up being nicknamed “the one who’s never there. Therefore, you have to work hard to be available most of the time so that they don’t get the impression that you are unavailable. In addition, you have to keep an eye on how each project is progressing so that you are always in sync with the rest of the team.
My conclusion is that you must make a great effort to compensate for all those privileges that remote work brings with it. If you follow these tips you will increase your productivity and the relationship with your colleagues will improve. Seriously, take off those pajamas. And you, what advice would you give to the community for remote work?