Remote work tips and tools: A how-to Guide
Remote Work: An idea whose time has come
With predictions that at least 20% of us will be working from home in the immediate future, it presents a dramatic shift for both individuals and teams who are forced to become suddenly remote.
As creators of a remote collaboration tool that is used globally by more than 500,000 users and fortune 500 companies, we have always been strong proponents of remote work. So if your team is transitioning to remote work or you have found yourself suddenly working from home, the one thing you can feel confident about is that the infrastructure for remote work is already there so you can continue doing the work you need to do.
Remote Work Tips
We’ve used our vast remote collaboration expertise to compile a list of 5 helpful tips you can incorporate into your workflow today!
Tip #1: Create a comfortable working environment
Set up your workspace so it’s comfortable and welcoming. If you can, take your screen, mouse, keypad, headphones and mouse pad home from your regular office. At the least clear a space so you have a clear working area, and a comfortable chair. Hang up some photos or posters, and bring in a pot plant. It will help keep the space bright and calm. If you can close the door to family or housemates, even better.
Tip #2: Videoconferencing
Use video (we recommend Zoom) as much as possible for group calls, but stick to the phone for one-on-one chats to reduce the pressure on internet bandwidth. This will help you stay connected and reduce the feeling of isolation. If you’re not used to video calls, try to welcome in natural light and keep the camera at eye level or higher to improve angles. Which leads us to the third tip.
Tip #3: Establish a routine
Start your day with a morning routine. Whether this is your morning shower and a coffee, or catching up on the daily news. While we don’t believe you need to put on a suit and tie, at least changing out of your pyjamas will help you feel like you are still working and may improve your productivity.
Tip #4: Stop being social(on social media that is)
Log out and close down your social media tabs. It’s easy to waste time and get distracted when you constantly see notifications pop up, so close the tabs and limit yourself to one or two checks per day at specific times.
Tip #5: Stretch your legs
Keep on top of your physical and mental health by exercising and eating healthy. If you can, a daily walk outside will help you clear your mind, welcome in fresh air and stretch your legs. If you are not allowed outside, download one of the many workout apps, yoga videos on YouTube and mindfulness apps. Reduce the amount of unhealthy snacks you buy, and purchase extra healthy snacks such as veggie sticks, hummus, nuts and fruit to fill those snack cravings.
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Remote Work Tools
Thanks to a plethora of remote tools at our disposal, we can drastically reduce feelings of isolation and experience the same levels of productivity we would while sitting in an office. No strangers to remote work ourselves, we’ve curated a list of remote work tools we use most often. For a more comprehensive list, check out our additional post on free remote tools that elevate your productivity.
Tool #1- Conceptboard
Conceptboard is a multi-dimensional tool that can fill that visual collaboration void. If you want to run a brainstorming session, edit a document together, host an idea, or fill out business development plans such as Customer Journey mapping, crafting a Brand Identity or completing a Priority Matrix. Conceptboard can help you complete all those tasks, individually or as a team. Simply sign up for a free account, create a new board or use one of our existing templates, and then share the link with your team members so everyone can draw, write, add comments or share images in real time, just like they would in front of a real whiteboard.
Tool #2- Zoom
We’re now in the zoomer generation, so wide reaching is the popularity of the video conferencing software Zoom. Why is it so popular? Because it’s reliable, fast, affordable and up to 1000 people can join a call.
Tool #3- Slack
Slack is the best way to keep communication channels open, track tasks, and stay on top of projects in a remote setting. For teams used to working from inboxes, it will revolutionise the way you work.
Tool #4- ProofHub
With an easy-to-use interface, ProofHub is an all-in-one project management tool with powerful collaboration features. It replaces the many tools you and your team have to use for task management, team collaboration, project tracking, file sharing and reviewing with a single tool. It even has a dedicated space to carry out real-time discussions and thus get rid of long messy email threads!
Tool #5- Toogl
Toggl lets you track the amount of time you spend working on particular tasks, saving your time and energy on reporting and invoicing. This will also help managers keep on top of their team’s working hours in a non-obtrusive, helpful way.
Tool #6- Trello
Highly user friendly, Trello is a Kanban app which helps teams manage workflow with the clear design of the project boards, where projects move from To- Do, Doing to Done. Best of all, Conceptboard can integrate directly into the software and create a direct link back to the Trello card.
It’s important to remember that some people may feel liberated working alone from home, while others may struggle with motivation and isolation. So be kind, be patient, give structure to your day and be willing to experiment with your own tools and techniques to keep you happy and healthy in this time of crisis.
For more great technology solutions you may not know about, take a look at Tech against Coronavirus. If you want to learn more about remote work, check out our other articles on Remote Meetings, Virtual whiteboarding, and dealing with conflict in remote teams. A Team Charter Template is another great way to establish team direction and alignment on goals.