While 2020 was considered “the year of remote work,” the Covid-19 pandemic was just the flame that ignited a long-term shift in the way the workforce operates. The remote work trend has continued into 2022. In fact, according to Enterprise Technology Research, the percentage of professionals working from home permanently was expected to double by the end of 2021. These numbers show no signs of slowing down in years to come, either.
Since remote work is clearly here to stay, how can you do it as effectively as possible? Here are some remote best practices to help you become more connected, productive and engaged.
Characteristics of effective remote work
While there are many benefits of remote work, there are also some obstacles to working efficiently and effectively in a virtual setting. Here are a few practices to help you overcome them.
Set clear expectations and parameters from the start
Working remotely, the lines between personal and work life can easily become blurred. Setting clear expectations and parameters from the start helps avoid frustrations and misalignments down the road, keeping everyone on the same page and working toward the same goals even when they’re far apart. Plus, having boundaries in place for working hours and availability can reduce stress. A recent TINYpulse survey found that 86% of remote workers have experienced a great deal of burnout at some point. When working remotely, there should be clear expectations around:
- Where and when communication takes place
- Scheduling and availability
- How performance will be measured
- How feedback and recognition will be given
- Calendars and deadlines
- Goals and mission
Prioritize clear communication and regular check-ins
As a remote worker, it’s nearly impossible to have too much communication. Finding other effective ways to communicate becomes essential when you can’t collaborate in person, stop by a coworker’s desk or chat in the break room. It helps to use a collaborative communication tool like Slack to hold regular video conferences with your team, set up a recurring one-on-one check-in with your manager and leverage project management software to track workflows. Prioritizing this frequent, clear communication keeps everyone aligned on tasks and goals while helping to create stronger personal relationships across remote teams. This builds trust and boosts employee engagement.
Did you know that 93% of communication comes from nonverbal cues? That’s right, only 7% of what we mean is actually expressed through our words. This creates a problem for remote organizations that rely on audio conferences, phone calls and emails as their main communication channels. In a digitally driven workforce, video meetings are the best alternatives to in-person ones. With video, we can pick up on nonverbal cues, read body language and retain more information than when we’re just listening or reading. Plus, the ability to screen-share during video conferences helps remote teams collaborate, edit projects and align workflows in real time.
Implement collaborative communication tools
Leveraging collaborative communication tools helps you access the information you need to do your job, collaborate more efficiently on projects and stay connected with your coworkers. Slack was built for this. As a channel-based messaging platform, it keeps all your conversations, files and even third-party applications (Zoom and Google Hangouts, for example) in one place that can be accessed from any location. This creates an unmatched level of convenience and flexibility. Slack also empowers remote workers by making it possible to:
- Create internal channels for a dedicated team or project
- Create shared channels with external vendors and partners
- Pin important files or messages to a channel so that everyone can quickly find essential information
- Start a video or audio call with any member of your workspace directly from the platform
- Set a status or use Do Not Disturb to set boundaries for working hours
Make remote work more effective with Slack
With Slack in your remote-work toolbox, you can work smarter, not harder. Reduce inefficiencies and bottlenecks and boost collaboration and productivity with a collaboration tool designed with the needs and workflows of remote workers in mind.