Over the last few years, working remotely has become a part of almost everyone’s life. Even if not necessarily applicable to whole teams, more and more companies are shifting to hybrid models where employees spend a fair share of time working from within their own four walls.
Working remotely provides more flexibility, but requires more responsibility and discipline. At Audvice, we are a fully remote team and all love working from home. But we also know that we need to pay extra attention to certain things in order to stay productive, motivated and connected as a team.
That's why we asked our team to share their tips & tricks on how to master remote work, to help you become a home office pro as well.
#1 Create a focus zone
Most of us don’t have the luxury of a separate office in our home. But you don’t need another room to set up the right work environment. The important thing is that you create a space for yourself that is different from the rest of your home. The choices you make when creating that space can go from the right equipment (like a comfy chair, a laptop stand, or a standing desk), to making sure you work at the brightest place of your home. For example, Nadine, our Head of Customer Success, pays a lot of attention to the way she sets up her desk. It really depends on your preferences, but in the end, when you enter your focus zone, you should automatically be able to concentrate, as if you were going to the office.
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#2 Have a routine & set boundaries
Always define precise times when you start and finish your work day.
At home, you are way more flexible when it comes to managing your tasks, but it is also easier to get distracted by other things. To stay focused, our Head of Development, Berni, plans his schedule the same way he would for a normal day in the office. He sets his alarm, gets dressed and ready (yes — we love sweatpants too, but getting dressed in the morning will help you to get into work mode), and blocks time for lunch. The most important thing is to plan your working hours in advance. You would tend to think that people work less in home office, but actually, the opposite is the case. Most people tend to work more at home, because technically, you never leave your (home) office. That's why you should always define precise times when you start and when you finish your workday. And most importantly: Don’t forget to communicate your schedule. Let people know when you will be reachable, and don’t be shy to repeat yourself, because people will tend to forget. It’s crucial to set clear boundaries when it comes to home office.
#3 Focus on goals
In our team, we strive for a results-driven culture instead of focusing on tasks. We define weekly deliverables and work with OKRs for communicating what we want to accomplish and defining milestones we need to meet in order to get there. Nonetheless, our Operations Manager, Lena, makes sure to set goals on a weekly basis for herself. This helps her stay motivated, productive and accountable. Other than setting goals for yourself, you should also share them with your team and communicate once you’ve reached them. Celebrate your wins as a team! As you are not all sitting in the same space, achievements are easily missed if you do not communicate them.
#4 Communicate with intent
By sharing information with voice, you can add just the right emotional touch to prevent misunderstandings.
Remote workers don’t only use Zoom to communicate, of course! When working from home, there’s a lot of chatting, emails and tagging your colleagues in comments. When people can’t see your face or your body when you’re communicating with them, it is easier to misinterpret what you’re saying. We built our app to solve this problem. Because by sharing information with your voice, you can add just the right emotional touch to prevent misunderstandings. Our app enables you to record, listen, and organize voice messages, structure them in playlists and share them with your team, partners, or customers. That way, you get to make your important information heard — like, really heard. And you can even listen to updates from your team while you’re doing laundry, cooking lunch, or cuddling your dog.
#5 Take breaks
This sounds a little blunt, but we can’t stress this enough. As a remote team, we know that it's super easy to get sucked into work when you’re sitting at home and no one is disturbing you. That's why it is super important to take small breaks during your workday. (No, going to the toilet or getting some coffee doesn’t count.) But getting some time away from your screen doesn’t mean your productivity has to take a break too. Emely, our Content Marketing Manager, blocks 10-minute slots in her calendar every few hours, in which she goes for a walk around the block or enjoys a cup of tea on her balcony. To stay tuned, but enjoy the off-screen time, she listens to our team’s audio library. That way, she can take a break, get some fresh air, but still stay up-to-date.
#6 Make use of the perks
Working from "home", doesn't need to happen from home.
Creating the right routines and settings for remote work can be a little challenging at first, and it's an ongoing process that doesn’t happen overnight. But once you get used to it, you will see how many perks come with working from home. Because working “from home” doesn’t need to happen at home. You can basically work from anywhere when you’re not bound to an office. Take our CEO Sophie for example. She works and lives all over Europe. She uses audvice to stay up-to-date and connected with the team when she is traveling from one place to another. As a remote team, not only do we get to choose where to work from, but we can tap into a way bigger pool of talent when it comes to hiring.
All in all, mastering remote work is all about finding the right balance between enjoying increased flexibility and implementing structures to help you stay focused and on track with your projects. Audvice can help you with that.