Working from Home: Tried-and-Tested Tips for Remote Work
Businesses around the world are taking steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus, with many asking their employees to start working from home.
Of course, not everyone has this privilege — approximately two-thirds of the population are unable to work remotely. But for those who can, this opens up a totally new way of working — while slowing the spread of the disease and “flattening the curve”.
Working from home has plenty of advantages (hello, an extra hour in bed) but can also be filled with productivity and well-being challenges.
Hype has been a remote-friendly company from the start, so it’s fair to say we’ve learned some lessons along the way.
In this blog, we are going to cover how we approach remote work as a company, as well as our top tips for working from home:
It’s also important to adjust how you work together on a day-to-day basis. Losing face-to-face interactions can make it easier for things slip through the net, and working relationships can often suffer without the familiar camaraderie of an office.
Here are our top tips for creating a successful remote work culture:
Working from Home: Communication is Key!
Making the switch to remote overnight can come with its challenges, but the best way to smooth out any initial hiccups is with excellent communication.
Here are some of our key tips for success for sharing information with your team while working remotely:
#1: Share a Daily Standup With Your Co-workers
With less office interaction, the need for check-ins and communication will increase. Something we highly recommend if increasing all team or department meetings, to ensure all team members are in the loop.
Don't Have a team Chat? Don't worry — host a daily meeting over Zoom or conference call.
They can be super quick — 15 minutes should be enough for a team of about 5-10, but they can be longer or shorter as needed.
Aim to have a clear list of updates to share with your team and highlight any potential blockers standing in your way for the day or week ahead.
#2: Don't Be Afraid to Over Communicate
When some (or all) of your colleagues are remote, it's important to encourage as much participation as possible.
Over email, make sure to include everyone you think needs to be involved in the conversation, no matter how small the news.
It's also worth thinking about the most effective format to communicate with your team. If you're sharing information on a complex process, an email or message might not be the best option.
You may need to use screen-recording tools, like the Loom Chrome Extension or Team Viewer, to record and share quick tutorials with a voiceover. This can often be quicker and easier than typing out a step-by-step guide.
#3: Make Time for Questions During Calls
No one likes interrupting, especially on a video conference call, so having a dedicated time for questions is important.
Every member on the video conference should feel as though their voice is as important as the next person, regardless of their physical location.
#4: Acknowledge Birthdays and Special Events
A small gesture can go a long way when it comes to building a community in a remote setup.
Think about adding messages (on whatever messaging platform you use) to mark birthdays, milestones, and achievements.
Celebrate all the wins is this weird time!
#5: Stay Social just add the Distance
Taking a little time out of your day to chat with your teammates can really improve working relationships, and it's a good move for your well-being, too.
That being said, finding a casual opportunity to chat while working from home isn't always easy.
Even if all you learn is what they did over the weekend, it can go a long way to building relationships for remote teams.
In addition to making small talk during calls, it's also a great idea to set up communication channels that are dedicated to non-work related topics.
At Hype, we share videography/media memes all the time and have a communication channel for everything.
Working from Home: Protect Your Mental Health and Well-being
Avoiding the daily commute and winning back an extra hour in bed may sound like the dream work scenario.
But without that reason to get up and go, you could find yourself missing human interaction, or skipping out on your weekly run club or workout — simply because you're not in the same routine anymore.
To combat this, it's important to take care of your mental health. Here are some of the tips we share with our employees at Hype:
#6: Go Outdoors to Refresh*
Sitting in the same room all day without human interaction can be challenging for anyone, but factoring in an outdoor break can make all of the difference.
Go for a walk, backyard workout, costume change, or even do a spot of gardening… Whatever makes you feel good! Fresh air and a change of scenery can reset your mind — and will give you a valuable boost for the afternoon ahead.
#7: Set Clear Working Hours (and Stick to Them!)
Working from home may mean you can be more flexible, but that doesn't mean you should be online 24/7. Set the hours you plan to work and be sure to make your team and co-workers aware.
If you can, turn off all notifications outside of your working hours. Let your team know when you are available for calls and email replies.
#8: Create a Dedicated Work Space
Missing the focus you have at your office desk? Don't worry — it can be recreated at home!
If possible, try to create a dedicated space that's just for working, ideally away from the bedroom. Whether that space is the kitchen table or a home office, it should feel like your "work space" to help you focus and get into work mode.
Some people are most productive in quiet libraries or bustling cafes, but whatever works for you, make sure that you can walk away from it at the end of the day so work doesn't creep into your downtime.
#9: Take Screen-time-free Breaks
Going from your laptop to your phone can be seriously draining. Not to mention the strain it can put your eyes under!
So think about scheduling some screen-time-free breaks into your day. Go for a walk, or even read a few pages of a book to take some time away from your phone and laptop.
Going remote doesn't have to mean losing productivity or missing out on building team relationships.
With just a few small changes to your daily work habits and processes, you can still be able to run your business and manage your teams efficiently and effectively while working from home.
*Please note that during this difficult time combatting the spread of COVID-19, some activities may not be recommended. For more information on how to stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, please consult the national health authority or the WHO website.