Although the increase in remote work isn’t new in our current climate, many organizations are still figuring out remote work best practices through trial and error so that productivity and job satisfaction stay afloat. This challenge befalls both remote work veterans and those just starting out.
Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for remote work best practices. All organizations operate differently. But, there are some reliable tactics you can implement to make sure that you succeed in your remote working goals.
Fortunately, you’re in the right hands. At NoHQ, we offer extensive and reliable resources to help you succeed in a remote working environment, whether you’re already operating remotely or you’re ready to transition. In this article, we’re going to share our top remote work best practices that will help you achieve your personal and organizational goals.
What is Remote Work?
Remote work is a flexible working arrangement that comprises working from home (or telecommuting). Most companies are turning to remote-first because it ensures flexibility and inclusivity within the workplace. Such a useful feature also helps to attract motivated employees.
Why is Remote Work Important?
The importance of remote work goes beyond just flexibility. Here are some other important reasons why remote work is important for both employees and organizations.
It Saves Costs
The annual costs of working in an office can often be burdensome for both organizations and employees. With remote work, you avoid a lot of expenses that come with operating from an office like rent, office maintenance, out-of-home lunches, and commutes. According to Global Workplace Analytics, the average money companies save from operating remotely comes to over $11,000 per employee annually.
This impressive figure comes about because of a radical cut in costs from the following expenses:
- Rent and utilities of an office space
- Cleaning services and maintenance
- On-site security
- Office equipment for employees
- Refreshments and office cafeteria costs
- Relocation costs for employees
- Tax costs from sales, payroll, and property
It Lessens Stress and Boosts Morale
When working in a traditional office environment, employees find it much harder to reach maximum productivity because of distractions such as taking time to get ready for work, commuting, and random office gossip. In particular, 55% of participants from a study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health noted that the majority of their work stress could be attributed to their commute.
On the other hand, working remotely gives employees more time in the day to take care of their mental and physical well-being. This ultimately reduces stress, boosts morale, and improves their productivity.
It Allows For a Healthier Workforce
What company doesn’t appreciate a healthy workforce? By allowing a flexible work schedule, your employees are more likely to take better care of their health and wellness. Even when employees do fall sick, there’s no chance of it spreading to the rest of the workforce because of the distance. Additionally, without the need to travel to the office, some employees may feel well enough to do a bit of work while they’re feeling a little under the weather.
Factors to Consider When Working Remotely
Before we dive into our remote work best practices, let’s take a look at what employees need to take into account when working remotely:
- Assess your productivity levels: Although remote work allows for much better productivity, it may not be the best option if you aren’t disciplined or motivated when working without supervision. On an individual level, it’s best to take some time to assess your remote work skills and which setting you’re happiest working in so you can produce your best work.
- Think about work and life balance: When working remotely, there’s great importance in defining your work and life balance because the boundaries can start to look a little blurry. You don’t want to compromise your mental and physical health. It’s important to make sure there’s a clear boundary between your work life and your home life.
- Opportunities for career advancement: Career advancement encourages individuals to improve their skills for the benefit of their own lives as well as the company’s. Without the opportunity for career advancement, it’s less likely that you’ll be motivated to do your best while working at home. So, make sure that the remote work you choose offers career advancement opportunities that will encourage you to put your best foot forward.
7 Remote Work Best Practices
Now that we’ve explored the benefits of working remotely, let’s dive into the steps you can take to make your remote work journey a success.
Focus on Your Workspace
If you have the means, you should dedicate one specific space in your home for your work. Doing this is a strong foundational step in creating a clear boundary between your home life and personal life.
The space you create doesn’t have to be an entire room. It can be as simple as a desk with your computer, work phone, and any personal work equipment. The goal is to only use that space when you’re working. Keep all your work-related equipment in that area, just like how you would at an office.
A great part of working from home is that you’re free to optimize your workspace how you see fit to ensure you stay in a positive headspace. For instance, you may prefer; working by a window, having a sentimental art piece near your workspace, putting on a diffuser with your favorite scents, or working while listening to your favorite music playlist or podcast.
Find a Good Coffee Shop or Coworking Space
Working in the same space every workday can be mundane for some people. So once you have established your stable home workspace, you can also look to spaces outside of your home for when home is not an option. This might be because you have too many visitors, there’s maintenance being done in your home, or you just want to be in a different environment.
Research coffee shops in your area that are work-friendly so that you can get to them without a long commute and you won’t face many distractions. You could also look for designated coworking spaces where you pay a fee for desk space, internet access, and other amenities. Coworking spaces are definitely essential to consider for those who may need a professional atmosphere to get into the groove of working remotely.
Create a Morning Routine
A stable morning routine is really going to set you up for success when it comes to remote work because it helps you build your discipline. Before you even think about doing work, you can include an exercise routine, make your favorite breakfast, journal, or enjoy a calming get-ready routine that works for you.
The more you stick to your morning routine, the more natural it’s going to feel to show up to your remote work. Plus, you’re less likely to be swayed by the familiar comforts of home. A great addition to a work-from-home morning routine is to make the effort to dress up for work because it helps put you in a less-sluggish mindset. It doesn’t have to be a full work outfit though. You could simply wear work shoes that you exchange for slippers when your workday is done. This way, you can properly distinguish when it’s time to wind down.
Create a Decompression Activity
To help you strengthen your work and life balance while working remotely, it’s important that you decompress after your working hours. This will also help you stop thinking about work when you’re meant to just be comfortable in your home.
Some decompression activities you can try are:
- A short breathing exercise
- Taking a walk outside (either alone, with a housemate, or with a pet)
- Watching an interesting or funny YouTube video
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Cooking a comfort meal
- Coloring in a coloring book
- Playing a music playlist that makes you feel like dancing
- Reading an interesting novel
There are many more activities you can consider that may work for you. Just make sure to choose one or a few that will help you log off and unwind from a busy day.
Prioritize Clear Communication
Fifth in our list of remote work best practices is to prioritize clear communication. Sometimes remote work can trick you into thinking that you’re working alone. But you still have a team you work alongside. Communicate daily with your team to ensure that you’re all working towards the same goal.
Make a note of your colleagues’ time zones so that you can message or call them during appropriate times. If you’re setting up meetings it’s also important to communicate with people ahead of time so that your dynamic remains purposeful and planned.
Constantly Evaluate Your Productivity
Of course, you’re not going to feel at your ultimate best every day. So the key here is to constantly keep an eye on the times of the day and the week when you feel the most motivated and when you feel the least motivated. As a remote worker, you’re always discovering what works best for you and you should use that to your advantage.
For example, if you find that you’re more energetic and focused from 9 to 12 am, then you should prioritize your hardest tasks during that time frame so that you minimize the incidences when you might fall behind.
Watch Your Health
Ultimately, health is wealth and no matter what type of job you do your mental and physical well-being should always be your top priority. Taking care of these will ensure that you’re able to always put your best foot forward.
Here are some reliable ways you can take care of your health while working remotely:
- Develop a routine: Stick to a morning routine that puts you in a good mood
- Keep moving: Take a short 5-minute break to walk outside, or stretch every 1-2 hours.
- Stay hydrated: Keep a container of drinking water at your workspace at all times.
- Eat clean: Prioritize eating healthy meals and snacks on your workdays to keep your energy levels high.
- Be comfortable: Consider investing in a proper desk chair that supports your posture and reduces muscle strain.
- Meditation: Make time for a short meditation before, during, or after your workday. You can consider using apps such as Headspace, InsightTimer, Aura, and SmilingMind.
Elevate Your Remote Work Experience With NoHQ
As we know, remote work itself is nothing new. But, remote work best practices are always evolving. If you’re working remotely or managing remote employees, our strategies should help you achieve the best results without compromising your sanity.
As you improve your remote working strategies, don’t forget to dive into other areas of remote work that can make your journey much more fruitful. At NoHQ we have a full article library and remote work toolkit to help you make the best decisions for your remote work journey. Feel free to take a look!