And the number has increased with the current outburst of the Coronavirus.
You are working from home right now and honestly even you admit it, it’s not easy.
Some days are just active and some days are slow and then there are those days where the feeling to perform or work moves away from mind physically and mentally.
The consequence of such an action?
Targets not met, piled up work, and above all the lack of motivation to stay focused and complete the work.
However, the good news is, remote working can help you be productive and how it can happen is exactly what this article will help you in.
Our brand is a remote working company which means that we have tried and tested practices which make our employees productive and efficient while working remotely.
Let’s get you started.
6 Perks of working remotely
1. Your office location doesn’t matter
That’s right, you could be hanging out on a beach in any country and still finish your work. Remote working doesn’t require the need to work from one place. Here is when co-working spaces, cafe’s or the restaurant down your home can be your friend.
Since we all are working from home right now, your living room or the corner of your balcony can serve as a great place to work. While you complete your workflows, you are surrounded by a view that lets you work in peace.
2. More work is done
This may require some convincing but trust us on this, remote working can help you be productive. Do you know why you’re not able to function better? The reasons could be multiple such as procrastination, missing out on your office buddies, and more. And this gets us thinking and we lose track of time.
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Now, this can be eliminated if you wish to finish your task. There is one way you can conduct it and that is by timing your workflows. What you need to do is:
- Understand what your task is for the day
- Divide it and start with the ones which are on priority
- Set a time such as by 1 pm this task needs to be completed and ensure that it is getting completed
Imagine you applying this, don’t you think your work will be finished quicker? Wouldn’t you be more focused on completing that? This is exactly how productive you grow to become.
3. Lesser distractions, higher focus
In the office, a small sound, someone opening the door, a phone ringing, all of this contributes to a quick movement of your mind away from your work and in turn, leads you to lose time to finish your tasks on time. In remote working, this is eliminated.
You can be in your room on your own or sit at your dining time and work with your headsets on and no one to disturb you. The focus of your work will in turn increase high, making you complete your work in an efficient manner.
4. Comfortable working environment
You remember the back pains and headaches and body pains, which is a big NO in a remote working environment. You could sit on your bed, on your couch or your bean bag, and work just like the way you want.
When you’re uncomfortable with your posture, it becomes difficult to focus on your work. Now that you have a comfortable environment, there are no restrictions or stoppage to your workflows.
Forget gas bills, commute buses, taxis, or cabs. At the comfort of your home, you are not spending any of your revenue for traveling and that helps you save a lot. Traveling gets you exhausted and takes away a lot of your time which can affect your work completions as well.
Since you are at home, the time being used to travel can be used now to complete all your work. Wouldn’t an extra hour or even 30 minutes make a difference in your targets?
6. Technology dependent to measure everything
For meetings, the application Zoom is available, for keeping a track of work, Basecamp, Monday is available, to interact with teams, Slack is available, and just like that there are multiple applications that help you to perform better and stay in touch with your brand.
Remote working makes use of the brilliant technologies being offered. Without them, remote working would be difficult to conduct. The growth in technologies is only making life easier for users like you and in such a situation. Technology is doing its job of connecting multiple users like you to others and helping in conducting any online workflows smoothly.
Now that we have brushed off with the benefits of why remote working is a great solution to a productive working environment, let’s head towards how you can practice it better.
Experience better remote working this lockdown with 17 convenient practices
1. Never be ‘too’ comfortable with your seating position
Yes the couch seems so comfortable and even the bed to just relax and lie down and start typing on your laptop, but after a few hours, when those eyes of yours shut and the laptop falls on one side, that is when you know you are getting into the ‘lazy’ mode. And that is exactly what you need to avoid.
Being comfortable is alright, but being too comfortable isn’t. It is better if you are able to sit up straight on a table and start working. If you don’t have it, then when you sit on your couch or your bed, ensure that you are sitting up straight. When you lie down and work, it makes you more sleepy. Avoiding this can help you focus on work better.
2. Set deadlines for your work
Deadlines are a great way to ensure that your work is being completed in a timely manner. When you don’t set deadlines to complete your work, you tend to push it for the next day and that is how your work quality starts to drop.
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It is easy to set deadlines. For instance, if you have to send campaigns to 30 people, ensure that in a span of 2 hours the work is completed. Trust us on this, when you complete the task the relief is so much better to experience and this thrives you to continue working on such a workflow.
Make short deadlines such as:
- The article written needs to be completed before 5 in the evening
- The email you need to send needs to be done before lunch
- Before logging out, ensure that all the priority works have been completed
3. Communicate often
When Usefyi.com surveyed the number one challenge of remote working, this was the result, ‘’27% of people mentioning it as their #1 challenge.’’ Communication is important in fact if frequent communication isn’t taking place, chances are the room for miscommunication and mistakes increases.
Working remotely doesn’t mean that communication needs to be reduced. As you will be investing your time in several applications that will help you connect better with your peers, communicating on them would be easier. Communication of any kind will be helpful such as confirming your tasks, seeking help, clarifying any doubts, and more.
When you start to communicate in such a manner, your work goes on smoothly and this is exactly what should happen in your current remote working scenario.
4. Connect with your peers
You might be away for some time now, and in times where work is stressful or too much on your plate, a small chat with your peers can always motivate you. You don’t have to interact for hours together, but whenever you feel the need to you can do so. Connecting with your peers who are close to you will help you loosen out your chaotic mind and give you a short break to get started again.
5. Take short breaks
A few of you might have the talent to continuously work for hours together, while this can help you to tick off a lot on your work tasks, it can be awful for your mind and health. Your work will be there and you can complete it as well even in one day, but taking short breaks for 5 minutes will not consume a lot of your time.
Taking a short break helps you relax, calms your mind. When you’re focused on work, you get so engrossed that it stays at the back of your mind until you complete it. Taking short breaks can give you the time off you need to get started with your next task. Short breaks are also a great booster to restart your energy and keep you focused on your next task.
6. Balance your personal and professional life
This is a factor that needs to be followed because a huge number of individuals don’t. Rescuetime states, ‘’on average, workers did at least 1 hour of work outside normal working hours on 89 days of the year, at least 2 hours extra work on 41 days, and at least 3 hours extra work on 20 days. Even worse, 28 of these were on weekends, meaning on average, we spend an hour or more on work during 1/2 our weekends.’’
Where is the time to relax? Where is the time to bounce back and get started fresh? Do you know what are the consequences of such an action?:
- Low health
- More sick days being applied
- More mental health issues
- Constant work thoughts running all the time
We are stuck in such a situation where we have to work from home but if you plan to work round the clock, it isn’t going to help. At PurpleRain, we have an 8-hour work shift where we ensure that everyone is logging in on time and are completing the targets. The targets are set in such a way where the work can be completed in a day.
You need to understand that while work gives you the knowledge and money to build your career, you also need the love of your family and friends to keep sane and healthy. Balancing your personal and professional life isn’t difficult, all you need to do is:
- Fix your work times even your one extra hour
- After your work, switch off it completely and focus on your personal life
- When you’re at work, let every action be work-related, this same applies when you are in your personal life as well
7. Focus on your health
Health is important and as this article just stated above, the more you focus on yourself the better you will be able to work well. For instance, if you are going to constantly work round the clock, what happens to your health? Don’t you think that there will be more chances of you falling sick often?
You need to understand that even if you dedicate an hour for your health, it can work wonders such as keeping you away from stress, calming your issues and tensions, making you feel better from within and more.
To focus on your health and ensure that you are fine from within, you can conduct the following actions:
- Exercising often even if it’s for 30 minutes
- Doing yoga
- Writing a journal and more.
8. Exercise often
‘’Exercise improves your mental health.’’ As stated above, it can be your favourite exercises such as dancing or yoga and even pilates. Another form of exercise can keep you sane and healthy and give you the positivity you need to tackle such a situation. Exercising can enhance your mind in such a way that after you complete it, you don’t feel exhausted, instead, you have a glow and feel so much better.
9. Work closer to nature
If you have a balcony or an open space where you can benefit the pleasures of fresh air and nature, it can be a great place for you to work. It will be calmer and give you the ability to work smoothly. Working in such an environment loosens any negativity and ensures that no matter the workload you are not stressing much on it.
10. See positivity in what you do
Not many prefer remote working and that is fine but thinking about the negatives isn’t going to make it easier as well. While a few companies are getting used to this concept, there might be some who are still new to this due to the current situation demanding the need to stay at home.
The lockdown may continue for long and if you are going to be negative about it it will impact your actions on your personal life and at work. With constant complaints, the mood to work will be switched off, anything you wish to do will have no purpose or value and this is not good.
The times are hard but if you start to see the positives it becomes more bearable. Let’s help you see the positives:
- Instead of ‘I hate working from home’, think how much you are saving from staying at home, that money can be useful for your expenses right now. Also, no more long waits in traffic.
- Instead of ‘Work from home isn’t happening for me’, you can think about how this time is giving you the opportunity to work at the comfort of your home and giving you space to work how you like
11. Create a routine
Creating a routine is another great remote working best practice as you will tend to follow it no matter what. Creating a routine shouldn’t be difficult, you can use Google calendar to help you out. All you need to do is write down what your day will look like such as meetings to be conducted or attend, work to be completed, when will you start working, when will you log out, and more.
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You can also create an after-work routine, where you can state what you will do such as exercises, reading, yoga, and more. Once you get used to the routine, you will tend to continuously follow it without fail.
12. Use secure connections
Since you’re working remotely, there are a lot of confidential documents and files you need to send or receive, and since you are using your connections, there are chances where it might not be as secure or is in an encrypted manner.
In such cases, it would be advisable if you use a VPN or a Proxy connection so that you can get secure all your online activities. This will ensure that no one is spying on your work activities and keeps you away from any minor or major risks that can get you in trouble.
13. Don’t ignore meetings
Meetings are important and giving it a miss is something you need to avoid. Meetings are a way to help you understand your performance and guide you on how you can do better. The times are tough and that is whey attending such meetings can give you the help to work in a more refined and enhanced manner.
If you are a manager or are responsible for leading the team, there are a few practices that you too could apply to ensure the smooth functioning of your workflows:
14. Conducting more video meetings
On a normal audio call, you will never know whether your team is even listening to you is simply distracted. By conducting more video calls you are ensuring that everyone in your team is attentive and also frequent video calls add the human touch which is now lost due to the current situation.
15. Reminding your team about their responsibilities
It is important to make your team understand each day what is their purpose for the brand. When they are aware of it, they will have the fire to work better that day and give their best and this is exactly what is needed when you are working remotely.
It doesn’t have to be much, all your team needs to know is that their contribution matters and that their work can help add value to the brand. This also serves as a good motivation to boost your teams during such a situation.
16. Practicing documentations for everything
Whether it is a work being assigned or tasks being completed, ensure that everything is documented so that any confusion can be eliminated. Whether it is in email or group messages, ensure that every work is being documented so that when discussions take place the work status is easily identified.
This is a great technique to avoid mistakes.
17. Connecting with teammates frequently
Check up on your teammates, ensure that work is being completed. Also, check up on their health as well, ensure that they are taking the necessary breaks, and completing the work simultaneously. Speak to your team often so that work designated is confirmed and any clarifications are conducted.
You can excel in your remote working activities so much better now than you were doing previously.
But we want you to never forget them which is why we have a few examples listed out of how well brands are taking the concept of remote working much better than they expected.
Examples of ‘Remote working’ companies excelling in their remote work culture
Our brand PurpleRain as stated above is a remote working company that has focused on building the ‘future of the internet’ since 2010. With close to 20+ members working from across the globe, PurpleRain believed that remote working is their right decision to grow their brand better.
When we asked our team about their experience with remote working culture and how do they manage working in such an environment, this is what they had to say:
‘’I am new to remote working, and it was tough in the beginning, but it wasn’t that bad as days went on, we started getting used to it ideally. And frankly, speaking tools like slack, zoom and time doctor has always kept me connected and focused on the company and the employees, which did not let me lose my track’’ Neha Shelar, Content Operation Head
‘’When you work from home, your office is where you live. I have a weekly video catch-up with my colleagues where we discuss results and planning – this helps me to stay on track and keep myself updated about what’s happening in the company.”
Syed Nizam, Team Lead/Product Support
‘’Working remotely gives a scope to keep a balance between personal and professional life. Cut down in travel hassles.Provides the provision to take breaks to complete personal commitments and continue and complete office work thereafter.’’
Banashree Paul, HR recruiter
‘’I have been working remotely since 2018. I really like working remotely because it gives me freedom over how I spend my time. Besides you can work from anywhere, it also gives me the opportunity to meet new people every day. Ultimately, I am more productive when I’m working remotely (from home or co-working spaces) than commuting to an office and wasting time stuck in traffic.’’
Sari Harasti, Product Manager
Automatic is another great remote working team that is valued at more than $1billion. It developed WordPress.com along with products and services which will compliment WordPress. It has a 400 person team that works from around 40 countries across the globe remotely.
The CEO of the company, Mr. Matt Mullenweg had to say this about the culture,
|‘’This has been amazing for the company in that we can attract and retain the best talent without them having to be in New York or San Francisco or one of the traditional tech centers.”|
Basecamp is another great example of remote working culture. Basecamp ensures that all work tracking facilities are taking place in one place and that too in a simpler manner. For them, working remotely emphasizes on making life better.
The way Basecamp manages its remote working culture is great to be applied:
- When the team was asked how do they get their work done
|‘’Either a time of day (early in the morning, late at night or on the weekends), a place, location or room (porch, kitchen, certain chair), or a moving object (plane, train – on a commute). No one said the office with their team.’’|
- When the team was asked how do they stay motivated
|‘’The key is to encourage people to work on the stuff they like and care about with the people they like and care about. They believe work should be challenging, interesting and engaging, which motivates people to focus no matter where they are.’’|
- More advice on remote working from the Founders of Basecamp themselves
|‘’Suggest changing out of your pajamas, even if it’s into something just as comfortable or having “work slippers” and “play slippers.” They also suggest designating a certain part of your house for work only. All with the understanding that routine will prevent overwork and burnout.’’|
As we reach the end, it would be unfair if we don’t help you with another factor.
The tools that you can use to conduct your remote working activities.
Bonus tip: Ever since COVID 19, there have been multiple brands that are offering their services for free and are also upgrading for the same.
Luckily for you, we have got your covered.
Top 16 softwares to conduct efficient remote working practices during the current situation
Slack is considered as a great medium to engage with one another. You can direct contact or message someone and even add them to groups. You can also find when a person is available and more. Slack is now offering their services for a free upgrade to all their paid plans. This offer applies to media houses who are covering COVID-19, publications being managed by science and those groups or organizations that are working on the research and response of COVID-19. For all the nonprofit organizations, Slack has eliminated its ‘250 user cap’ on its Standard Plans.
TechSmith indulges in recording and sharing video content. In times like these, video content can help many students and brands to conduct their activities in the right manner. Understanding this TechSmith is making its solutions ‘TechSmith Snagit’ and ‘TechSmith Video Review’ completely free for its users till the end of June. No added costs are required, all you need to do is increase the use of digital learning via solutions like TechSmith so you are not stopped from conducting any of your activities. Fill out this form and get started on TechSmith.
Threads are one of the solutions that offer the right tools to incorporate conducting remote working efficiently. Its main focus is team collaboration and communication which is why they are offering the ‘Pro’ feature for free till July 1st. With their ‘Pro’ feature you can engage up to 100 individuals without any hassle.
Vidyard is another video messaging service where they are offering their service for free till June 30th for all brands to communicate with their employees during this work from home process. Vidyard is doing its bit to help employees and employers to engage better as well as share video messages for a better understanding of what needs to be done and conducted according to the workflows being conducted.
Zoho’s main focus is to ensure the cloud-based productivity tools are enhancing the way brands or users conduct their activities. With such a virus spreading about, there are small businesses who can be impacted in a negative manner with lower customer engagement and conversion rates. To avoid this from happening Zoho is ensuring that they support such small firms. Zoho has introduced a program where the expense of the applications will be waived for up to 20,000 brands for 3 months. For those small firms that really need assistance, Zoho’s founder, Mr, Sridhar Vembu has ensured it will be supported. Also, Zoho has released free new applications that can help enhance the process of remote working in an efficient manner until July 1st.
Zoom is a common name that comes to mind when we think of the best video conferencing tool. Zoom has conducted quite a few advantages for their service use such as they have eliminated their 40-minute meeting limit on their Basic account so that the educational departments can conduct an easy interaction of students and teachers for all K-12 schools.
To ensure that the educational department gets instant access, Zoho has partnered with a popular ‘single sign-on service’, Clever. Also any Zoom meetings being conducted by K-12 schools with students who are living in countries where COVID-19 is being impacted, the time limit for the meetings have been eliminated. The educational groups can fill out the form here to get started.
7. Open Phone
OpenPhone too is engaging to help brands communicate better with their peers and customers. OpenPhone is asking brands who indulge in a landline or a desk phone to port with them for free for up to 3 months. This will be helpful as brands can retain their number and use it either on their mobile and computer no matter where their location is. All you need to do is email your recent phone bill to ‘email@example.com’ and mention in the subject of the email ‘3 months free’. The rest will be taken care of by Open Phone itself.
Makenotion too is helping its users in such a crisis time by upgrading their service for all the government agencies, researchers, grassroot organizers and others who are working to help people during such a time. All you need to do is email Notion at ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ and mention ‘COVID’ in your subject line. The upgrade will take place for free.
Boxcryptor is a great security for all your cloud usage. In the current moment, it is extending its free trial of the services it is providing to its users. This will be helpful for all the time spent working from home or conducting any activities, users can easily store their data on their secure cloud platform.
ThoughtExchange is a solution that works on connecting people more closely. On this note, they have ensured that their service is access free and also free to use for all their users. Brands can now communicate to all their employees better and also conduct open-ended questions in real-time as well. Get started here.
ClarityWave is a solution that focuses on delivering exceptional employee engagement software. Its software helps to conduct multiple efficient actions for any brand who incorporates it such as improving the work environment, increasing employee engagement, motivating employees towards an effective productivity approach, and more.
This solution is of great help to the situation we are facing at the moment. With everyone working at home, this solution can help in conducting productive and better working space with all the employees at your workspace. ClarityWave is also offering three months free access to their software without any limitations. Get started here.
Panopto focuses on the creation of video content. Panopto Cloud is offering its service to the educational teachers and high executives to record and share video content no matter how much content will be streamed or created by them. This is offered for free for three months. This is great because no students will have to miss out on any education since teachers can easily record vital information and share the same with their students without any limitations. Sign up here.
Salesforce’s main focus here is cloud-based health system and data plus team collaboration where they have joined hands to offer free access to their ‘Health cloud’ service for all those impacting the COVID-19 crisis such as call centers, response teams, care groups and more. Salesforce is also giving away their basic ‘Quip team collaboration software’ available for any of their customers or nonprofit organizations till September 30th. Also, their Tableau department has ensured that any corona related resources are free to access.
ServiceNow helps brands to conduct their workflows in a digitalized manner. Hence they have released many new applications out of which one is incident response workflows. This has been created for free so that agencies can make use of it. Also, the other applications of ServiceNow which could be accessed for free are now available for their non-customers as well to make use.
There are also other workflow applications where brands can make use to share any COVID-19 related information which can help employees to understand the risks, precautions, and situations related to the virus.
Why should you miss out on connecting with your prospects since you’re working from home? With Limecall, easily connect with your prospects and convert them into a sales lead by catering to them at the right time. While you work from home, let Limecall help you to connect with your prospects on the spot so that you never miss out on any of your potential leads.
Limecall offers you their free feature where you keep a track of your calls and connect with your leads via a call widget. Sign up for Limecall today.
Loom offers video messaging services to its users. It is now offering free its premium Loom Pro service for free for up to 14 to 30 days. Also previously there was a limit of up to 25 users to make use of their video messaging service but now they have scrapped that off as well. Loom is also offering its free service to the educational front for all students and teachers at k-12 schools, universities and any other institutions without any time restrictions. All you need to do is sign up for Loom. You will first start to use the Loom Pro 1 month trial pack until they verify the educational details you’ve mentioned. After the verification, your account status will change to education and you can then commence.
The Bottom Line…
See, didn’t we tell you that remote working isn’t that tough. For proof, our brand and multiple other brands have stated the same.
To tackle the present situation, staying at home will protect us. And to tackle the working situation, conducting or rather applying the above practices will help you be productive in your workflows.
The current situation is tough and we hope to come out of it soon.
Till then, be safe, stay home.