How to be successful as a remote employee
If you’re among the 3.9 million remote workers in the United States, you’re already well aware of the many work-life balance benefits that remote work provides.
Here at Aimtal, we’re proud to be a remote-first company, and encourage our employees to “work wherever there’s wifi”. Yes, that means we allow our team to work from anywhere.
While working remotely has many advantages, it also comes with some added distractions and difficulties (but hey — those chats around the water cooler in a physical office are also a timesuck). That’s why it’s important to manage your time and have a plan for staying productive.
Read on to discover our top tips for being a productive and collaborative remote worker no matter where you are on the map.
Clear the clutter
Though it may seem obvious, having a clutter-free workspace is the first, and possibly most important, step in achieving peak productivity level. Don’t let a silly thing like random clutter throw you off your game.
It has been proven that clutter works against even the most productive workers. According to scientists at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute,
“The more cluttered our physical and digital environments are, the more energy the brain needs to spend on this filtering process.”
Simply put, clutter competes for our attention, and it usually wins. The next time you sit down at your desk, take a look at what’s in your immediate view, both on your desk surface and in the room then remove as much as possible.
Organize your tasks
While it’s important to organize your workspace, it’s also important to do the same with your weekly tasks. To be a successful remote worker, you need to be a self-starter and hold yourself accountable for meeting deadlines.
If you’re feeling swamped, try out Trello — a free project organization tool that the entire team can use both collaboratively and individually. This platform allows users to create broad project boards and fully customize your virtual workspace by adding specific team members, due dates, and notes to different tasks within each board. With their desktop and mobile notifications of upcoming due dates, you’ll never miss another deadline or update.
Trello is great for remote workers, as you can work through it anytime and anywhere, and it allows offline access for unexpected bursts of motivation (mid-flight, anyone?
By being able to visualize and update your upcoming work week, you’ll feel productive and confident––even on, dare we say, Monday mornings.
Communication is key
One of the biggest challenges to working remotely with a team is establishing effective communication strategies and guidelines.
In a normal office setting, it’s super easy to meet in person when necessary, or simply walk over to a coworkers desk to provide an update on less urgent tasks. With a fully or even partially remote team, it’s important to establish communication expectations from the get-go.
A key tip for promoting healthy communication is to have weekly video conference team check-ins, as it provides a more personal feel to a normally face-less environment. Try out Zoom, our favorite tool here at Aimtal for easy and free video and audio conferencing, screen sharing, and webinars.
Since every type of meeting in the remote world is virtual, it’s helpful for all team members to be on board with using helpful communication platforms such as Slack, an instant messaging platform that promotes collaboration.
Slack allows you to create individual and group channels and alerts teammates of your current online/office status. Much like email, users can set up desktop notifications, can search for keywords within messages to reference past conversations, and share files with co-workers Slack also has the ability to connect to Google Drive and Trello, making for a seamless and collaborative experience when working on those big projects.
When in doubt, over-communicating while working remotely is always the way to go, but don’t be that person who sends an email for every little thing. Just be sure that any gaps normally filled with an in-person experience are closed, and virtual door-policies are open.
Make remote work a breeze
With these tips, you’ll have the inspiration and tools you’ll need to be a successful remote worker. Whether you’re working from home, from a coworking space, or from an exciting wifi friendly destination, go into each workday knowing you have what it takes to be a successful remote worker.