Whether you think remote work is a blessing or a curse, it is something that many of us have to embrace. With COVID-19 still being an issue, a significant number of businesses are still working remotely or have switched permanently to remote work. Alongside this shift to a new work environment, employees and employers have new best practices at work to consider.
There are a lot of similarities between remote working best practices and in-person best practices. No matter how you are working, it is important to be friendly, respectful, professional, and efficient. These things apply to work in all mediums. However, there are also a lot of differences.
For example, remote teams best practices typically include things having a comfortable chair and dedicated office space. At an in-person job, those things are already present. Your employer will provide you with office space and equipment like a chair and webcam. But when working from home, those things become your responsibility.
Another important best practice is to remember to socialize. When in-person, this is not a huge concern. Socialization will happen naturally in the office as employees run into each other on breaks, in hallways, etc. In remote work though, it is easy to overlook communication and socialization. This means that employees have to consciously remember to socialize with their coworkers.
Focusing in on remote working practices, there is a lot to keep in mind. Remote work, while it can be fun and enjoyable, can also be very difficult and complicated. There are numerous challenges presented by remote work that are new. Thankfully, those who have experience working remotely have provided best practices to make it easier. By following these best practices, you can make working from home a breeze.
Some common remote working best practices for employees include having a distraction free office space, having set hours and a routine, and to take more initiative. One of the biggest challenges of remote work is simply being at home. You are not in the typical office environment. It is easy to get distracted by family members, pets, chores, etc. Avoiding these distractions is something that all remote workers need to do.
Another important working virtually best practices is to change your mindset. Working at home is very different. You cannot just stop in an office to chat, go into a boardroom to have a meeting, drop by the boss’ office for a quick question, etc. This means that you have to change the way you approach work. You have to ask more questions, take more advantage of meetings and calls, learn how to work on your own, and more. By following these best practices, you can ensure that you are just as productive if not more while working remotely.
Looking at remote work from an employer’s perspective, it is also very different from in-person work. While the challenges presented to management are similar to those of employees, they are also unique. The work from home best practices for employers are going to be different from those for employees.
One example of this is onboarding remote employees. Again, there are still many similarities, but there are also a lot of differences. Onboarding remote employees presents new challenges when it comes to communication, training, and more. Employers need the proper remote onboarding tools to conduct engaging and effective onboarding for new employees.
The work from home strategies for companies will also differ from in-person strategies. Companies need to provide more materials and more communication in general to properly manage remote teams. When in-person, it is easy to stop by and chat with someone and give them important documents. But when remote, companies need to go out of their way to communicate more often and to make essential materials more readily available to anyone in the company.
They also need to treat employees working remotely differently than in-person employees. Remote workers have a different level of responsibility. They are typically handling just as much or more work, but doing it mainly on their own. They have the responsibility of actually working and getting the job done. This means that managers will need to treat employees like they are more responsible and capable. They are handling new stresses and still completing the work, so they deserve to be treated like they are more responsible.
By following all of the remote work best practices 2021, employers can ensure that their employees are as efficient and productive as they can be. However, it is important to remember not to over do it. Remote workers are dealing with a lot of stress, so never forget to value employees’ well being. Happy workers are more productive, which makes taking care of them an important aspect of management.
Another important change that comes with remote work is remote working policy. Because of the nature of remote work, policies for employers and employees are going to be different than their physical counterparts. This is especially true for employers who have switched entirely to remote work.
Ericsson for example is a company that has moved to remote only work. The Ericsson work from home policy has become a guide for many others to follow due to their success. They have been able to achieve an effective transition to remote work, and this was possible because of their remote work policy and best practices for work from home policy.
For those just transitioning to remote work or struggling with the change, looking at remote work policy examples is a great way to improve. There are examples from industry leaders who have proven their success in remote work. Looking at a remote work policy pdf and implementing some of those ideas into your policy can help your business succeed in remote work. There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from the best. Those who are the most successful are usually smart enough to acknowledge their shortcomings and receive help from great sources, so don’t be afraid to look for outside resources.
A commonly overlooked aspect of remote work is communication. When teams are dispersed all over the world, communicating effectively via technology becomes the backbone of work. There are remote working communication challenges that have to be addressed and overcame. Without proper communication, remote teams will quickly fall apart. This means that remote communication methods are essential to a remote team.
Thankfully there are remote work communication best practices that can help ensure you and your remote teams are communicating effectively. These best practices, such as over-communicating, making documents freely available, having regular calls and meetings, and more, are great ways to improve overall communication.
Do not underestimate the importance of proper communication. It is arguably the most important aspect of effective remote work, and it can take your business to the next level when done properly. Use proper communication skills to empower your team, allow them to work more efficiently, and make them properly prepared for the job at hand.
And again, there is nothing wrong with taking ideas from industry leaders. Team communication best practices typically come from businesses with tons of valuable experience and success in remote work. This means that these best practices are tried and true. They are nearly universal and can apply to any business. By learning from those who have been successful, you can help your business become as successful.
Also, it is important to remember the less serious communication that happens in a traditional office like watercooler talk. The casual socialization that comes with being in a physical office is incredibly valuable. By implementing similar interactions in your remote work, you can bring that aspect of in-person work to the digital space. Employees will feel more at home, like they know their coworkers more, and will ultimately be more invested and engaged with their work. At the end of the day, that means better work and more success.
Looking at the future of remote work after covid, things are bound to change. While many businesses have permanently switched to remote work, many others will go back to in-person work when it is safe to do so. Many others will likely adopt hybrid solutions. Certain teams may work remotely such as marketing or advertising, while others may work in-person like IT or HR. Hybrid work is likely going to become a much more common format for business.
At the same time, entirely remote work will also change. The working from home best practices 2020 will almost certainly be different in 2023 or 2024. Technology will advance, making remote work even more effective than it already is. Years of experience will result in new methodologies, strategies, best practices, and more. Point being, the nature of remote work also be very different in the post-COVID world. Whether or not you plan to return to the office or stay at home, the future of work is going to change like it always does.