Working remotely has become the new norm for businesses and employees alike. As more businesses and individuals opt down this path, many lingering questions remain. Most of these questions can be boiled down to – how can we be more efficient? This article will cover five different ways you, as an individual business leader, and the business as a whole, can improve efficiency levels when working remotely.
In order for your remote business to run smoothly, you and your team will need to have specific digital tools in operation. In most cases, this will come in the form of software. There will be essential software that is needed, such as communication tools, which come in the form of email and team communication apps.
There will also be plenty of other types of digital tools that you and your team will be able to benefit from. Some of these tools will help with day-to-day responsibilities and save time, depending on what sort of work you’re conducting. For example, most businesses will benefit from a PDF compressor tool, as well as document management tools in general.
Document management tools will give you and your team the freedom to create and manage various documents. Another type of tool that will work well here comes in the form of cloud storage software. This allows you to save all your documents, and save on you having to use all of your own physical storage. There will be plenty more digital tools you can use, and you should ask your team if they have any idea about the sort of tools that will benefit them.
Working in a remote business will mean you and your team need their own set-ups. Many elements will make up a remote set-up, and you may find that some of what would be ideal for your set-up won’t work for everyone. Of course, there will be some elements that will be an absolute must for your set-up.
We will talk about the hardware that you will need later, but for now, we will focus on why you and your team will need a private set-up. If you live in a shared household, then you will likely be familiar with why a private set-up is ideal. A private set-up helps you distinguish your work life from your personal life, allowing you to stay motivated and avoid distractions.
It’s important that you have your own set-up away from others and that you encourage your team to do the same. Of course, this may not be entirely possible for all people, but if you can encourage your team to find somewhere to work privately when working, then this will be beneficial.
As well as ensuring you have a private set-up, it will be in everyone’s best interest to have a comfortable set-up. A comfortable set-up allows workers, and yourself, to work without being impaired by anything out of their control. In most cases, this will refer to you having a comfortable ergonomic chair, which will help with motivation levels as well as boost your overall health.
Some businesses will offer employees financial help to help set up their workspace, so that they can find comfortable solutions. If your business isn’t in a position to be able to openly offer this to employees, then you should instead offer ideas and incentives for them to pursue this themselves.
It isn’t just the chair that refers to a comfortable set-up, but the equipment that you use too. For example, if you have a clunky and mechanical keyboard, this may be uncomfortable to use and could cause discomfort and pain in the wrists! Your ideal comfortable set-up may be different to the rest of the team, so you should find out early what sort of equipment and bits and bobs will be ideal for them. From there, you will be able to work together to find an ideal solution.
We promised we would get to the hardware eventually! In order to run an efficient remote business, you and the team will need high-quality hardware that is related to your business. The hardware that you need will depend on your industry, but there will be some key pieces of hardware that every remote worker will need.
For example, all workers will need access to a computer or a laptop, and they will need to have a solid internet connection. A microphone and a headset will also be ideal, but again it all depends on the industry in which you find yourself in.
Similar to the comfortable set-up section, your business should ensure that the team has the hardware it needs to operate. While it will surely be ideal for them to have their own hardware already, they should be offered the tools they need to succeed ahead of time. In a physical office, they would surely be provided with equipment, so this shouldn’t differ for home working.
If you do happen to work remotely, and there are people living at home with you, then you should clarify your work schedule. This helps you set boundaries and should be something you encourage your team to do as well. This way, it helps everyone have set working hours so that they can work with minimal distractions, if any.
If you have a more flexible and interchanging work schedule, then you should still do what you can to inform your household of your hours. For example, you may be given your hours for the week on the prior Friday, giving you ample time to inform those you live with. You could even stick this on the fridge so that it’s clear to everyone.
On the topic of your schedule, it’s also worth pointing out that you should still give yourself regular breaks. You may feel like you have more to prove when working remotely, but that isn’t the case. Try to prevent yourself from burning out, so that you can keep your mental health strong and be productive at work at the same time. It’s also good to take time away from the screen!