For quite some time now the world has been making a gradual shift towards remote working. This has definitely been a slow process, but then 2020 came storming in and tested our limits beyond expectation! It flipped a switch, taking remote work from optional to essential in the blink of an eye.
Most of the previously reluctant employers have now realized that not only is it possible to have a largely remote workforce, but it actually has plenty of benefits. It’s important to note of course that many essential jobs still can’t be done remote. At the same time, for all the jobs that have successfully transitioned to remote working, it’s yielded great results for both employees and companies alike.
Just to name a few – no more long commutes, more time to spend with family for employees, and lower costs for office space and utilities for companies.
Given our industry and international presence we’ve always been incredibly collaborative across digital spaces as much as the physical one, as we’ve worked with fantastic remote translators through the years. They have quite a few things in common when it comes to their work ethic and efficiency working from home. It all starts with developing healthy work habits and we’ve got you covered with the basics:
Make a plan
Based on the level of flexibility of your company’s culture, plan your tasks depending on your most productive times of the day. Some of us are early riser enthusiasts while others are way more efficient later in the day, so know your strengths and weaknesses and start there.
For this, you start by creating a roadmap. You adjust accordingly as you go but mainly you need to stick to the plan. Consistency helps a lot to make sure you’re spending your time efficiently while being outcome oriented, so that you successfully balance your competing priorities.
Try to separate a space in your house that is your designated work oasis. It’s important that your mind isn’t subconsciously on Netflix mode when you’re starting out your workday. Even if it’s in your bedroom, living room or any other area, what’s important is you find a way to mentally separate them. Even a line on the floor or moving a piece of furniture can help you get into a different mindset when you step into your “office”.
Once you’ve successfully done this, make the space your own so that you can be comfortable and focused. Ensure you have all the tech stack you need – a capable Wi-Fi connection, laptop, headphones, etc. If you are employed, speak to your manager and let them know what you need to be successful when working from home.
And at the end of the day, make the space yours and personalize depending on how you work best. A good example is thinking of getting noise cancelling headphones if you work better in silence.
Communicate clearly and be there for your team
Fine-tune as you go but figure out the best way to communicate in your space. Is it mainly Slack/Teams or other collaboration tools? Or does email seem to be a preferred one? Voice or video call? Most likely, all but to varying degrees depending on the situation.
Be flexible, find what works best for you and your team so that you can be outcome focused, while being supportive for your team at the same time. Communicate in a clear manner, schedule one on one meetings when you need them, and be proactive in keeping everyone up to speed with your progress on matters relevant to them. Better to over communicate in this area, than to be radio silent. You’re no longer down the hall to ask for a piece of feedback or show progress.
Take the breaks and learn to LOG OFF
Logging off in the era of instant notifications has become increasingly more difficult. “I’ll just reply quickly to this email and then go on with my night, no harm done!” How many of us have thought this before responding to an email at 9pm? Most of us probably.
And while yes, definitely strive to be there to support your team and partners, remember to balance it out with being there and supporting yourself and your family. Maintain a routine as much as possible, so that your loved ones know what to expect. Take breaks to eat healthy meals, exercise, spend time with your family or do whatever it is that you need to recharge.
It’s easy to let the week go by without having connected to a video call if the environment you’re in doesn’t necessarily promote or use it. Be sure to set up some video time at least with the people you’re working with closely.
Make the most out of your time together – have an agenda prepared or maybe a list of questions. This way you’re relieving some of the spam on instant messaging or email. And of course, you’re also seeing a friendly face which can be quite nice during these times.
There’s so much more to say on the matter that we’d need an endless scroll to get everything down, so we will leave a few useful links below for you to research further. We’re sure you will find the best way to make being remote work for you, even if it isn’t normally your cup of tea.
Just remember – be outcome focused, honest with yourself and your team, and LOG OFF! (at least sometimes) ☺