With the evolution of cloud-based technology, more companies are providing remote working opportunities. The increase in flexibility has given remote workers the ability to be more productive, as they use mobile devices to balance professional and personal priorities. For these companies, achievement is based on results, and not how many hours are punched on the clock.
With employees working to their own hours, communication can become an issue for remote teams. Many teams have turned to collaborative tools, but these have recently come under fire for promoting the ‘always on’ lifestyle some remote-workers feel pressured to adopt.
We look at ways to make collaboration tools work to your advantage, so you get the most out of working remotely.
1. Keep co-workers in the loop
Planning your day through a collaboration tool will keep you and your team on the same page. Adding your working hours to a shared calendar lets co-workers be aware of what tasks you are taking on, and when you’re available. Don’t be afraid to include personal to-dos in this calendar. A fear of stepping away from your device, defeats the benefits of remote working. With co-workers kept in the loop and your work up to date, you are free to ‘clock off’ at the times that work for you.
Set your status as ‘away’ or ‘do not disturb’ and spend some thinking time away from your screen. Displacing yourself from a situation can help to give a new perspective. A short burst of solitude can help spark fresh ideas. Later, input these ideas into your collaborative tool so your team projects can reap the benefits.
2. Manage time through deadlines
Set challenging deadlines and respect them. Manage your time efficiently by shortening deadlines for repeating tasks, or even creating fake-deadlines. This will reduce any unnecessary time spent on tasks. Task progress can be monitored through a task management app. This encourages productivity, as you work towards deadlines that make sure you finish on time.
Use a shared calendar for time blocking. Set aside time for a lunch break, or set a definitive time for the working day to end, much like being at the office. Having the self-discipline to stick to a schedule allows you enough time to refresh. Time to rest and reflect will boost your overall productivity and quality of work.
3. Breaking out of isolation
With remote working being mostly independent, the feeling of isolation can hinder productivity and affect mental well-being. Some fear that not being physically present at an office will harm professional relationships and status. Many colleagues take part in ‘water cooler’ chats or bond through impromptu discussions about TV shows.
Using a collaborative tool with a real time chat option lets you stay in contact with colleagues, regardless of distance. But sometimes this can lead to notification overload. Don’t allow your day to be governed by pings and beeps. Remembering to block out personal time on a shared calendar will stop this from happening. This way you are only contacted during times that suit you.
The recent rise of remote working and its adoption by major corporations proves its ability to increase productivity, lower stress and boost morale. Managing your own flexibility can pave the way to a brighter, happier and more balanced lifestyle.
4. DropTask for remote working
Collaborative task management tool, Droptask, creates a clear stream of daily projects. Remote workers can integrate professional and personal priorities into a shared calendar. The software allows deadlines to be set instantly, and tasks swiftly put into motion. The collaborative tool allows teams to monitor the progress of projects, regardless of which coffee shop, country or continent they are working from.