What is remote work and how do people work remotely: tips and tricks
Remote working, or working outside of your company's office all the time has been uprising for the last 10 years, especially after technology has proven itself that we can do most of our work without going to work. It requires creating your own environment, either at home, or in a collaborative working space, or just in a cafe. According to Forrester Research, 34 million US individuals work from home. Companies like Wordpress, Stripe and Gitlab try to empower their employees by providing a means to work freely from home.
Basically, the company culture should allow sufficient number of workers to be remotely present (as opposed to physically present), which results in a remote environment. Unfortunately it may not be for every company - the nature of the work, type of employees, type of tasks and whether employees should be working with each other to progress are several items that should be discussed before building a remote culture.
It also requires dedication, trust, communication and discipline - if you plan on getting this done by itself and without getting help from your teammates, it may backfire.
There are several benefits and drawbacks of working remotely. It has its own benefits as you don't also have to spend a lot of time commuting. However, there are several challenges when someone works remotely. Those can be stated as communication, lack of social opportunities, loneliness & isolation which can be very cumbersome if you are a social person, lack of organic integration, lack of visibility to others and different time zones that you have to manage.
Best practices and tips for remoteworking
There are also several best practices and tips for working remotely. People on the internet seem to love and provide feedbacks/tips when it comes to remoteworking and here are some of them (from Why everyone loves remote work, by Usefyi):
- Document more. Use asynchronous collaboration tools whenever possible (e.g. Jira, not Slack). Be respectful of other people's time. Solve things by yourself but if stuck for more than 15 mins then ask for help. (Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork)
- Leave the house and work in a public place like a coffee shop, at least a few hours per day. It is very easy to get into the mind space of home when you are there, which includes both positive and negative emotions (Jenna Christensen, Head of Business Development at Arcstone)
- If one person is remote, everyone is remote. We never have meetings where some people are in a conference room and others are remote. The power dynamics on this are terrible, and the people who are remote are not on a level playing field. If one person is remote, everyone gets on Zoom, even if they're in the same location (Andrew Berkowitz, cofounder of Teamsnap)
- Being remote might mean that you don't have work friends to share that after-work drink with. Find other remote workers to build your own in-person community. Co-working spaces, meetups, and Slack groups are great places to make friends (Vivian Chen, founder of Rise)
- Physical activity is probably my favorite remote tip. I try to go swimming 2-3 times per week. Being outside (in the sun), doing something active does wonders for my mental and emotional state (not to mention the good that exercise does in general). I find that when I swim, I rarely need an afternoon coffee as I return to work more energized than when I left. (Noah Stokes, Director of Design at Dribbble).
There are several online resources that mentions negative and positive aspects of remote working.
- Trello team has put together a handy guide to remote work, full of tips and strategies. You can access the guide here.
- Collaborating at GitHub with a 60% Remote Workforce by Github
- Basecamp's remote blog is one of the most read blogs about remote working.
- Buffer employees write about what tools they use in Buffer to help remote working.
- Groove writes best tips and tools for managing a remote customer service team. You can read it here.
As a bonus (and this is our one of the most favorite remote working blogs of all time - 8 Hubspot employees provide remote working tips and tricks - this is a highly recommended read.
As you begin working from home or start with a partially remote lifestyle, there are several methods to be effective and healthy at the same time. The remote working strategies we mentioned in this blog will keep your workdays productive and thrive your remote career.