How to work in a team from home as efficiently as possible?
Although working from home offers flexibility (no more commuting), it is often less structured than working in an office, and you are constantly distracted by people at home. With all this in mind, you may need to change your schedule and find new ways to cope successfully with work. The following tips will help you find the right balance, set boundaries, form productive habits and communicate remotely with your colleagues.
With the expansion of the ability to work partially or fully remotely, you can say goodbye to long commutes and openspaces.
And while working in your pajamas and playing 32 cards may seem appealing, working remotely also comes with a particular set of potential challenges related to time management, sharing information with colleagues, and teamwork. Employees working from home must change schedules and find ways to maintain efficiency in the new environment.
A thoughtful strategy for working together
If you’re used to working side-by-side with your team, you will likely switch to remote collaboration later. Fortunately, this obstacle can easily be overcome by establishing clear rules for working together. How to do this:
- Define communication rules. To ensure coordinated team communication, establish rules about when, with what frequency, and with what tools to share information. In addition, decide how communication will work between the different departments. Decide which channel of communication is best for a given situation. For example, if an issue can be resolved via email or Slack, there is no need to schedule a meeting.
- Set up remote collaboration tools. Working remotely, you’re likely to receive and send many more emails, so ensure you have access to work email from home. In addition to email, every team uses different collaboration tools. Your team needs to decide which means you will use for messaging, video messaging, and project tracking.
- Implement a team collaboration tool. Managing remote teams requires a flexible approach to scheduling. You may have to learn new tools, get used to sharing information asynchronously, and find new ways to solve problems. In addition to information-sharing tools, it’s also helpful to set up a centralized project management platform that allows you to plan and track team projects and tasks. You can do this with spreadsheets and shared folders for each project or use project management software to automate processes.
Communicating with your team
You can still communicate with your colleagues virtually if you don’t see them in person. Here are a few ways to stay in touch at all times.
Schedule regular reconciliations
Sharing information is a very important aspect of team collaboration, especially in remote teams.
To stay in touch, have regular contact with direct reports daily, once a week, or every other day. During these regular conferences, employees can speak up about something difficult to convey in a letter or a Slack message. In addition, you’ll be aware of the details of how they’re doing.
Here’s what you can put on the agenda for such a meeting:
- Up-to-date information on current projects
- Feedback on past or current projects
- Communication about how things are generally going
- Discussing future projects
- Providing additional resources or training
All of these will help make for a more productive and exciting meeting.
Celebrate Team Successes
It’s essential to highlight successes and celebrate each employee’s contributions, so they feel valued and motivated. It can be a letter, a general announcement on Slack, or during a conference – the important thing is to show appreciation and support.
Expressing appreciation is also an excellent way to model positive behavior and set an example of good work for other employees.
Create opportunities to maximize employee engagement
Remote employees may feel lonely because building connections with colleagues is more complex. But that can be changed. To keep employees engaged, create opportunities for social interaction.
Here are a few ways to increase team involvement:
- Hold virtual team-building events
- Schedule meetings to socialize
- Share inspirational quotes about teamwork
- Socialize on virtual lunch breaks or coffee breaks
This kind of time helps employees feel connected to each other and strengthens team spirit, which is good for cohesion and teamwork.
Working productively from home
Just because you work out of the office doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Use these tips to make working remotely more efficient.
Create a morning routine
A good morning ritual helps get you in the mood for work. Transitioning to remote work can change your usual schedule, so morning rituals allow you to prepare for the start of the workday.
Form your own “way to work” that helps you get into a work rhythm. For example, you can dress like you’re going to the office, shower, or make coffee. Then, when you intend to “go to work,” you will spend your day more productively.
Similarly, you can form a similar ritual for ending the day and relieving stress. For example, you can take stock of the day, change your clothes, meditate, or find another way to disconnect from work.
Stick to a schedule
Remote work, flexible schedules, and other opportunities to work from home are good because you can do the tasks at any convenient time, but remember that the work on them may take longer if it is constantly interrupted by something.
You don’t have to work from 9 to 5, but it’s worth setting aside office hours and sticking to that schedule to ensure workflow continuity.
Remember to schedule breaks as well so you have time to recuperate. Regular breaks allow you to relax and switch gears, which helps you stay productive all day long.
Start your morning with your highest priorities
By tackling the most difficult or most important task – in the morning – you’ll feel like you’ve already accomplished something for the day, and you’ll feel less stressed when you move on to less important or urgent tasks.
It’s much easier to give full attention to an essential task in the morning because you’ll be distracted by other studies and notifications later in the day.
Use to-do lists and time blocks.
It’s easy to fall into procrastination or distraction when working at home, so you should use time management or task management strategies. For example, you can schedule tasks in order of importance using to-do lists and time-blocking software.
Visualizing tasks will help keep them in mind and complete them on time. In addition, having a good understanding of what you want to accomplish at the beginning of the day will help you focus on one task without trying to do everything at once