Working remotely can be a winning experience. People speak of how they now have more time with their families, less of their life wasted on commuting, and more productive hours in the day. But there are two sides to every coin. Remote employees can often feel isolated, disconnected from their office counterparts. Others go a little stir crazy spending so much time in their own home.
Are you a current remote employee? Are you considering making the leap to working from home full time? Here are some tips for maximizing your success:
Don’t rely on just instant messenger
While instant messaging is effective for short bursts of conversation throughout the day, it should not be the only form of communication your team uses. Need to talk to a co-worker? Phone them, or dial them on Skype. We may not be working remotely in the true sense of the word, but here at TitanFile we’re split between two offices in two different time zones. When we want to get together as a team we like to use Google Hangouts. Video conference works for us as it helps us bridge the distance without the need for endless travel.
Schedule face-to-face time
While video conferencing is great, nothing beats meeting in person. If you live close enough to your office to visit routinely, do so. Bi-weekly, or even monthly meetings with co-workers, supervisors and office friends will help you develop important relationships, and reinforce your presence in the company.
Develop a routine
For you, a routine might mean getting up in the morning, having a coffee, showering and getting dressed. Perhaps you always schedule your lunch for noon, and you know you’ll be shutting your computer off at 5. Or maybe you get your best work done in your pyjamas, and you prefer to eat your lunch at 2:30. The main thing is to establish a routine of whatever works for you and stick with it.
Dedicate a space
Most people who work remotely have a dedicated space in their home. An office that allows them to work uninterrupted, and at the end of the day close the door and return to their home life. If you’re working remotely for a shorter period of time, or if you don’t have the space to dedicate in your home there are still other options. Collaborative work spaces are popping up in urban areas, giving remote employees a place to work and meet others who are away from their co-workers. And of course there is always the traditional neighbourhood coffee shop.
Do you work remotely? What strategies work best for you? Let us know in the comments section.