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Remote Working: 5 fundamentals to be successful at it

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Miguel Saraiva
Miguel Saraiva
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Are you making the most out of remote working? Learn about what you can do to improve your work-life balance and your team’s performance.

With the pandemic, many things changed; one of those was the exponential increase in the number of companies allowing their employees to work from home (or elsewhere). In this article, I will be writing about how to make the most out of remote working.

Understanding that Remote-friendly is not Remote-first

Is your company remote-friendly or remote-first?

Well, these two concepts are not the same. The latter is a company that works mainly remotely, and all its processes account for this fact. 

The former is an in-office company trying to adapt to modern times or to the employees’ needs. A remote-friendly company will not be as prepared or organized to operate remotely as those built on a remote basis.

In the former, there is the option to work some days remotely. The latter can either be fully remote with no office possibility or flexible, allowing you to join the office whenever you feel like it.

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Remote working Lifestyle – Photo by Yan Krukov- Pexels

Remote culture

Whilst some companies had to learn to transition to this new remote working paradigm, some were born and molded to it. Either way, if your company is going remote, it is good to think as a remote team, not a poorly prepared adaptation.

So how can you make sure your company is ready to work remotely?

Autonomy and trust are critical factors for the success of a remote team. Employees should be allowed to work when and where they want. Flexibility to leave and come back whenever you need as long as you get things done and are not missing meetings is a big plus. At the end of the day, what we all want is for the team to be happy, learn, and build a fantastic product, in our case, Smart Lockers.

Connection, engagement, and appreciation are essential for the employees to feel valued and part of the team. Make sure everyone is well integrated and is being heard. Everyone’s hard work should be appreciated, not only by the project responsible and team leaders but also by each other inside the team. Creating a connection with the people you work with will go a long way.

Teamwork on a remote company

Remote working doesn’t mean being alone. It would be best if you still built strong relationships with the people you work closely with and talk to them probably every day. Hopefully, also being able to see them personally at least a couple of times a month will help build strong team morale.

Synchronous and asynchronous communication

To keep up with the team, communication methods have to be aligned. It is recommended that your whole team has a time where their schedules meet the “normal working hours”.

For example — If the standard work schedule is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m, then it would be reasonable to ask employees to be available for 4 of these hours and during the rest of the time, allowing them to work outside the regular schedule. Of course, this is just an example, and it would depend on the meetings you have scheduled, the specifics of your job, and what is going on at the moment. The important thing is that both parties are reasonable and flexible enough.

When people aren’t available simultaneously, asynchronous communication methods are essential to keep up with a successful remote working performance. I would probably opt for a more direct work-related messaging service like Slack rather than email for this.

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Remote Working Communication Methods – Photo by Diva Plavalaguna – Pexels

Useful remote tools

Communication is vital, and as such, here are the primary tools that facilitate it remotely: Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, Zoom, Slack, Discord, or a combination of them.

File management and sharing come next: Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive are some options.

Note sharing might also be necessary. Although some might keep notes in Google Drive or similar, you might want to use a note-sharing system like Notion or EverNote to keep everything tidy and accessible.

Let’s not forget about managing tasks with your team. We can use some platforms with a Kanban board for the modern Agile methodologies. Trello, JIRA, and ProofHub are some examples.

Improve your mental game

Because it is not only about the team but also about yourself and your day-to-day life, here are some tips that might help you improve your remote working environment at home.

Differentiate your home environment from your working environment

So you just worked the whole day, and you feel like watching a bit of Netflix to relax., totally fine. However, try to either change the place, maybe go to the sofa or just change your desk a bit. Make sure your brain recognizes the difference between “remote working place” and “relaxed place.”

Have some respect for your free time

Just because you are working from the same place you relax doesn’t mean that you should be available 12 hours a day to work. Make sure you know your schedule for the day. You don’t have to plan a week ahead, but at the end of each day try to have a plan for the next one.

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Remote working from Home – Photo by Dillon Shook – Unsplash

Go for a walk

When you do remote work, some days can get hectic, and you will feel like you didn’t even have time to leave the house. Make sure you get some sun in the morning or at lunchtime. It will help you relax and be more productive after.

Take breaks, lots of them.

Keep your mind energized. Stand up and go for a fresh glass of water. The time you take will be paid back two-fold in the productivity level of the next 30 minutes.

How is your remote working experience?

Each person has their way of working. If something works for you, then keep at it! What are the things that you love and that make you productive while remote working?

Want to read more articles like the one above?

Miguel Saraiva is one of our software engineers and tech #bloqstars here at Bloq.it.

Bloq.it is one of the fastest-growing tech companies in Portugal. We all as a team, strive to deliver tailor-made solutions to our clients, but we can not make it without you, your skills, and your commitment!

Miguel, is a rockstar in his field and an absolute beast of a teammate and has been publishing interesting articles on his personal Medium.

To read more from Miguel’s blog, click here, or if you want to connect with him and discuss about tech related matters or his article feel free to do so in Miguel’s LinkedIN.

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