Make Remote Work Work For You
Part 2: Stay Connected
Stay connected to the outside world. We know working from home can be isolating. Long days without human interaction can make you feel lonely, frustrated, and uninspired. We’ve compiled ways to boost interaction and productivity to combat isolation.
Remember to Check In
Whether you are a project manager, team leader, client, or another team member, make checking in with your team a priority. Project managers should make a distinct effort to communicate frequently with the team to keep the project on track. As a team member, check in with your project manager regularly to give updates and discuss changes. If you are a client paying for services, connect with the team during the process to answer questions and provide feedback.
Furthermore, gauge productivity using goals, deadlines, and meetings instead of virtual status, mouse movements, or keyboard clicks. Remember that regularly touching base is much different from micromanaging. Overanalyzing how employees spend every second of their day will lead to distrust and dysfunction in the workplace.
The New Water Cooler
We at Once Upon an RFP love our weekly team meetings. Though we may be miles apart, weekly meetings keep us engaged and give us the chance to support and praise each other’s accomplishments. At the beginning of every week, we like to get together via Teams, set our goals for the week, and share our personal and professional wins.
Does your team use collaboration software like Teams or Slack? Even if you do not have the time or ability to meet via Teams or Zoom each week, take time each week to check in with your teammates and catch up. Sending a “Happy Monday!” message or touching base about the week and briefly discussing weekend plans will keep you and your teammates connected.
Schedule Time for Collaborative Design
Remote work is often very individualized and task-oriented. Many remote workers miss the thrill of brainstorming and whiteboarding with their project team. Consider setting aside time for collaborative design with your team or client for strategy enthusiasts. Establish 30 to 60 minutes of designated creative time without the pressure of having a fully fleshed-out concept at the end.
Additionally, the beauty of virtual collaboration is that you can record and transcribe your brainstorms so you can focus on creating instead of fervently taking notes!
Practice Body Doubling
Do you have difficulty focusing by yourself when you’re used to working around other people? Anecdotes from students, workers, and mental health professionals have indicated that body doubling can be a powerful tool for productivity and accountability.
Consider asking a teammate if they’re interested in a coworking session. You do not need to be working on the same task or even converse at all. Sharing our workspace with someone physically or virtually can make us feel more focused and productive.
Above all, be careful not to choose someone with whom you will become distracted. Your coworker or accountability buddy should be someone who also wants to get their work done.