Working remotely is nothing new. In fact, recent IWG data reveals that 70 percent of professionals across industries work remotely at least one day a week, while 53 percent work remotely for at least half of the week.
The same study found more than 90 percent of respondents felt flexible workspaces enable employees to be more productive while on the move. There’s no doubt that remote working encourages a sense of work/life balance while promoting a sense of uninterrupted connectiveness. That said, how can you ensure your proactivity and productivity remain at peak performance while you’re away from the office (but still on the clock)?
A few hacks to remember:
Take Advantage of Video Calling/Screen Sharing
One of the most common challenges employees report when it comes to telecommuting is an overall lack of connectedness. It can become difficult to feel a strong sense of collaboration when your team is spread out across states, countries, etc. This deficiency of connectedness is a slippery slope toward a diminution of productivity.
Leverage video calling programs (options you’ve likely heard of: Skype, Zoom) to virtually minimize the miles between you and your team members. Sometimes all it takes is seeing someone “face-to-face” to spur a renewed sense of collectiveness.
Turn Email Notification Volume On…Loud
Whether you’re working from a café, hotel room or your own living room it’s likely you’ll be combatting outside distractions that may not be as prevalent in a traditional office space. Don’t let distraction affect your productivity: take a page out of Pavlov’s book and try out a modified version of classical conditioning.
Put your email notification volume on loud (something you likely wouldn’t do at the office). Not only will these more distinct alerts keep your attention on your work, but they can also prompt you to feel a greater sense of urgency to respond to notes as they come in.
Leverage Proofing Tools
Productivity and proactivity are both closely connected to the quality of work: when you’re proactive and productive it’s likely your quality of work will be high. Part of delivering high-grade work is being diligent when it comes to proofreading. However, sometimes you need a second set of eyes (or ears) to catch anything your brain may be accustomed to ignoring.
Take advantage of proofing tools. Most office software offers review assets (Outlook’s “read aloud” option, for example). These tools provide a great opportunity to double check your work, from email correspondence to byline drafts and more.
Don’t Abandon the To-Do List
Although it may seem obvious, keeping an updated to-do list is essential to staying on top of things while remote. Depending on your work style, you may notice that you’re less inclined to keep a running list of assigned projects if you know no one, outside of yourself, will see it – this waning sense of integrity can become exaggerated when you’re remote: try shifting your mentality.
Before you sign off on Fridays, take five minutes to jot down the deliverables you know are due the following week. Not only will this allow you to jump in more quickly following the weekend, but it also allows you to be prepared for any Monday morning meetings. You want to be equipped to answer project status questions as quickly when you’re remote as you would if you were in-person; an organized to-do list will arm you with the tools to do just that.
Check in With Your Team
Finally, if you’re not working from the office, your team will likely have discussions that aren’t captured over email or via phone – that’s the nature of conversation. Be proactive and stay abreast of the latest dialogue by checking in with your team daily.
It’s easy to become tied to our calendars, but you don’t need to wait until your next meeting to chat with a team member – especially if your accounts are in the midst of busy season. Pick up the phone and connect with your team lead, manager, etc. It’s a great way to cover off on anything that may have gotten lost in the shuffle; plus, it shows you’re going the extra mile to stay on top of things.
Senior Account Executive