Remote work, as a way of organizing the work process, was invented in the 70s of the last century. Today, the number of employers who have decided to transfer and, possibly, leave part of their employees “remotely” is increasing every day. The opportunity not to waste time on the road and to work in the most seemingly comfortable conditions – at home – really looks attractive.
However, switching to remote work so as not to lose efficiency is much more difficult than it seems. In this article, we will share with you essential tips on how to work from home as successfully as in the usual office and how to control the work of employees and organize the process correctly so that it is as effective as possible.
Treat remote work like office work
The first thing that can suffer from the transition to remote work is the organisation of time and tasks. Office work is disciplined – it has a clear and constant schedule, and in many companies, for example, employees are required to comply with a dress code. Being able to work all day in your pyjamas, sitting on a padded pouf with a laptop in your lap, is tempting, but this mode can negatively affect your work discipline.
Start your day the same way as before: wake up at the alarm, take a shower, have breakfast, and put on your work clothes. In general, tidy yourself up – all this will help you better concentrate on tasks and set you up to work.
Organise a proper workspace
You must have a place at home where it is convenient for you to work. If you live in a one-room apartment, you can convert, for example, a kitchen into your small “office” – at least move there a table with a computer or laptop, a comfortable chair or armchair. This will not only make you less tired but also less likely to be distracted.
Try to draw clear boundaries: ask your loved ones or roommates not to bother you while you work. Try to make your home workspace similar to your office one: put the same things on the table, keep it in order. Create folders on your computer with the same names and in the same places – or better, generally make a separate desktop for work. Digital discipline is also important.
Always stay in touch with your colleagues
This is very important from a professional point of view – on a remote site, you will receive most of the tasks through instant messengers and by e-mail. Make sure to find an employee app that enables engagement through communication, file exchange and up to date ways of informing. Create group chats and use the capabilities of video communication – all this will allow you to always remain immersed in all work processes and keep abreast of all events.
In addition, try to communicate with colleagues and on non-work topics. Despite the availability of the Internet, in self-isolation, it is very easy to feel cut off from the world. Talking to people you saw every day can help your team to cope with loneliness and adapt to new circumstances.
Monitoring and project execution
The easiest way: issuing a specific amount of work for a specific period of time. To be able to control the actions of the team, you can use various system products. Ideally, the form of performance and quality control for each position should be individual.
There are also more “stringent” methods of control, namely, software that allows you to track not only the process of work but also to analyse what exactly a person was doing at different points in time.
Be prepared for the fact that not all employees will agree to a system of constant online monitoring of the work process. In addition, its installation is complex and requires certain financial investments, and no one can guarantee that moving the mouse across the screen is more productive than drinking coffee and thinking about a project in the kitchen.
Draw up the rules
It’s great if they are simple and understandable for everyone. Laconic instructions, diagrams, memos, even sketches are much more informative than multi-volume messages that no one wants to read.
How to control the work of employees: rules for the manager:
1. Engage employees in communication in every possible way. Video communication, online meetings, conferences and other events should be frequent, moreover, it is recommended to discuss not only work but also extraneous issues so that the employee does not feel great separation from the office and the team.
2. Use video to “bring everyone together,” because non-verbal communication is an essential part of the workflow.
3. Don’t let things go by themselves. Remote employees and freelancers are different people. The reports on the communication channel of your choice should be delivered regularly.
Summing up the issues of working remotely as a manager, let’s outline the most important things – the clarity of setting tasks, deadlines and those responsible for their implementation, then – established formal and informal communication in the company and the creation of a favourable climate in the team – so that everyone feels involved and useful within the project or the company.
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