Remote work is getting insanely popular, and the coronavirus pandemic has just escalated this process. People are fascinated by the opportunity to complete their daily tasks by just opening the laptop and spend less time commuting. Yet, remote work has its specific tools and strategies – if you don’t organize things from the very beginning, you are likely to get chaotic or start procrastinating. In today’s article, we are going to share practical tips and pieces of software that will help you start off as a remote employee.
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The most effective tools for working remotely
The effectiveness of remote work often depends on the use of right software that eases the teamwork and streamlines your productivity. Here are the general types of tools for a successful remote work:
Tools for team cooperation
Since the entire team cannot get together in an office to discuss the new promotional article or calculation in an excel sheet, you’ll need the tools to do it from home. Turn your attention to Google Suit or Microsoft Office Teams. These tools are designed for the group work on different types of document. You can edit, save, share, and leave your comments on files in real time, making the discussion and corrections easier and faster.
Tools for video conferencing
Whether you like it or not, you can’t go without regular or group meetings as a remote employee. Not only they are great for group discussions or brainstorming, but also help to maintain a sense of connection with the team. Video conferences work well for presentation, assigning and discussing task, or doing the group work on a particularly tough project. The most popular tools are Skype, Zoom, and Google Hangouts Meet. Some of them offer a service of sharing the screen or recording the video.
Tools for messaging and chats
Video conferences and calls are absorbing and often take more time than it’s necessary. On the other hand, solving issues through an email can take you the entire day. The solution? Rely on chat for non-urgent issues. Thus, you can discuss everything with the colleagues in real time, but won’t have to schedule countless calls and interrupt the work of others. Moreover, some chats have “do not disturb” feature that will prevent you from getting distracted while you’re deeply concentrated on a task. Try Trello, Google Hangouts or Chanty.
Tools for project management
Staying on top of everything might be tough if you are at home and there isn’t a boss behind your back. To complete all projects on time (or oversee as they are completed by others), professionals across all industries set up the project and task management tools. They allow you to break larger project into small, bite-size tasks, set deadlines and leave comments on them. You can also arrange schedules and set up calendars. Most companies use Trello, Jira, Quire, and Basecamp to manage projects.
Tools for time management
No matter if you’re a professional writer, a web developer or a college student working on the essay assignment online, you need to manage time and schedule. When you work at home, there are lots of distractions that interfere and prevent you from concentrating on the task. Time trackers can help measure the time spent on the task and help you get focused. The most popular ones you should try are Pomotodo, Time and Date, and Rescue Time.
Now that you’re armed with the top-notch software, let’s talk about how you can organize the process of remote work in general.
5 tips for successful remote work
· Prepare to over-communicate
In the situation when you cannot come up to your coworker and boss to check up things or clarify something, clear communication plays a leading role. Be ready to communicate each detail of the project – even the details that you think are obvious. Reiterate the same point until you’re totally sure that you’re on the same page with the other person. This might feel exhausting at first, but will surely help avoid misunderstanding, late deliveries and other setbacks.
· Set up a convenient working space
It’s hardly possible to stay productive if you sit on the couch with a laptop and someone interrupts you all the time. So, create a comfortable home office where you would be able to work long hours. Invest in a reliable laptop or desktop, stable internet connection and accessories. Choose a comfortable table and chair, and eliminate as many distractions as possible. If you prepare carefully, you’ll find it easier to be productive.
· Understand your working style
We all perform our best in varying environments, that’s a fact. Some need to work in a complete silence with no distractions, while others are comfortable with some white noise and easily switch between tasks. Productive hours might differ as well – some find it better to concentrate during evening hours. If that’s your case, consider approaching your boss to adjust your schedule to take full advantage of your working style.
· Set boundaries between work and play
The biggest problem of newly remote employees is that they procrastinate which leads to blurry boundaries between work and time off. As a result, they might find themselves working all day long until they go to sleep. To avoid this, set deadlines and track your time to find out where you procrastinate most. Silence your phone and don’t check emails after certain hours, for example, 9PM.
· Find some time for yourself
Even if you work remotely and study, make at least some time every day to unwind and enjoy the activities you love. Otherwise, you can face the cumulated stress and pressure and will struggle to put yourself together. And if you have papers or essays due, consider hiring custom essay services. The writers of such service can help you with the paper in any discipline so that you can concentrate on other important tasks.