Working from home, or from anywhere in the world, can be a dream. Or it can be a nightmare. Making a remote work situation work can be a big challenge, but Echo believes that focusing on these values can help make long-distance teams to thrive.
Since your team isn’t sharing an office, your team has to work to make sure that everyone stays in contact. Proactively updating your teammates about your activities is an absolute must. Off-topic conversations are a good thing too! Personal chit-chat builds team chemistry and helps everyone feel close no matter what distance you’re working from.
Since your team isn’t all sharing an office you probably don’t have one shared filing cabinet where a secretary keeps everything you need. It’s very important to have ever team member be committed to a system of organization – tracking hours, centralizing communication and access to tools, and even using the same browser extensions can ensure that everybody is on the same page.. After a few years of remote experience, don’t underestimate the effects of solitary confinement from being at home on your mental state, and personal productivity.
It can be nice to not have a taskmaster boss breathing down your neck all day, but that means you have to be the one keeping yourself moving. If you haven’t made the change to remote work but are aiming to do so in the future, begin practicing strong self-discipline now. Set a specific hour of your day, every day, to do a specific, challenging, work-related task (like an online course). Set a reasonable but accelerated timeline goal to complete it. With this habit under your belt, you’ll be in a much stronger position to hit the ground running when you transition to a remote team.
Keeping Things Fresh
Don’t underestimate the effects of solitary confinement! Try to build a routine around getting outside of your home. Head to your favorite cafe or co-working space a few times a week. Being around other people can be informative and supportive and motivating in a way that you just can’t get if you’re working by yourself all day.
Some spontaneity can also help break any monotony that might arise. Aside from your normally scheduled meetings and phone calls, do your best to jump on video or voice calls at more impromptu times. These types of things allow for less strict and more free-flowing conversation.
Being at home can give you more opportunity to take breaks, and as long as these breaks help you stay productive then it’s great to use them to your advantage. Everybody suffers from off-days with their work, and remote work offers you the benefit of being able to make something productive out of these days. If you find yourself struggling to get into your work in the morning and your brain needs a break, take advantage of the fact that you are at home and take care of life tasks instead. Laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, getting your oil changed, you name it. This will help you feel accomplished, and clear your mind of background noise, which will allow you to focus better the next day and help avoid burnout.
Putting Your Team First
Working on a remote team might seem like an ideal situation if you don’t like interacting with others, if you want to have a flexible schedule, if you want to travel the world, etc. – but, first and foremost, a remote work structure is just that, remote work. Everybody needs to be focused on making the team work in order for all of those benefits to be present in the first place. The good news is that if everyone puts in their best then the whole team can experience the job of a lifetime.