The meetings may be virtual, but the work and the discipline are real.
As a remote worker or a virtual team manager, mastering the space requires more than just a stable internet connection.
In this post, we give you 24 excellent habits that help bring out your A-game.
24 RemoteWorker “Best Practices” For 2024
#1 Have a dedicated workspace.
In an office setting, you have a dedicated real estate, room, or desk to work from—allowing you a personal space to do your thing
Having a place to always return to to do your work is one of the most important things. When you work at home, the lines between your professional and personal life blur, and you don’t always know when you clock out.
So configure a special place that serves all your work requirements. Have everything you need within easy reach, for example. So yes, create an “office” from which you hold court and play consummate professional.
#2 Set clear boundaries.
Focus becomes a premium when you’re working from home and sharing the space with your family, pets and neighbours.
Minimise and manage distractions by informing the people around you about your working hours. These are the times when you are in “work mode” and are not to be disturbed. Give them specific blocks of time when you’re “off limits” so they can act accordingly.
It’s not going to be easy, but set firm boundaries so that when you do come off work after a productive day, you can enjoy that quality time with the family.
#3 Follow a “Game on” routine.
The best athletes follow a certain routine before they step on the court. They follow a specific series of behaviours that get them in the zone. Their mental prep might involve, for example, a specific pre-game meal or listening to some type of music.
What things do you do to get yourself in the mood for work?
Maybe you eat, then shower and then make yourself a cup of coffee beforehand. Or maybe you go for a run and then take a shower to get to that kind of headspace. Whatever it is, follow a routine that lets your brain know that it’s “Go” time.
Doing so helps you dial in and become more focused and productive.
#4 Establish task priorities.
The best remote workers are pretty crystal clear on what the most important aspects of their jobs are. They know that not all tasks are created equal, so they tackle the most important and the most urgent ones first.
This means that their best energies are dedicated to the most meaningful and impactful of tasks.
#5 Be open and flexible to changes to your routines.
I know I just told you in #3 to create a routine that prepares your body and mind for work. But there comes a time when this routine becomes stale and dry. You’ll get diminishing returns and your creativity will sag.
Know when to break your routines to get a breath of fresh air. If you work the same day every day, change it up. If you work at the same place all the time, go to a different corner of the house or plop down your laptop on a different desk. These little things can make a huge difference.
#6 Schedule your breaks strategically.
Schedule breaks at natural breakpoints in your work, such as completing a task, reaching a milestone, or finishing a section. This eases the transition smoothly between work and breaks.
Other things to consider are your productivity peaks. Know those times when you are super productive and when you’re practically just going through the motions.
You can also use breaks to do simple personal tasks or chores. The mental shift can help prevent burnout by shifting your brain’s attention.
By being mindful of your breaks and putting these factors into consideration, you become a more prolific professional.
#7 Emphasize results over hours.
The best remote workers are independent self-starters, doing wonderful work even when nobody is looking over their shoulders. They also understand that the value, the true value of a worker is not in the number of hours put in, but in the quality and quantity of output.
It’s very easy to mimic a “busy” office worker—(who can very well be just waiting for the clock to strike 5.)
It’s much harder to fake results.
#8 Communicate clearly and concisely.
Being a part of a virtual team means you will be collaborating with other people who may live in a different time zone, and have a different culture and unique set of expectations.
This situation can be rife with miscommunication.
Prevent that by being simple and clear in your communications. This means:
- using simple language and avoiding unnecessary acronyms and jargon
- structuring messages logically
- using bullet points, numbered lists and headings
- breaking down complex information
- providing background information, and rationale for any action
- avoiding unstated assumptions
#9 Communicate consistently with your team.
You only really succeed when your team succeeds.
Check-in regularly with other members of your team. You might be tempted to be a “lone ranger” professional, but the best teams interact with one another even outside the context of a project.
They fire messages even when the formal work is done.
Why do some teams succeed while others silently whither away? It’s exactly because the latter team is “silent.” Studies have shown that “the best predictors of productivity were a team’s energy and engagement outside formal meetings.”
Meaning, super teams talk.
#10 Be open to feedback.
“Feedback” is synonymous with self-improvement—which, in this ever-changing world, has become value more valuable than gold.
Some remote workers get better at their jobs faster than others because of their receptiveness to different perspectives. They’re eager for input, even when it’s not so pleasant to their egos.
They appreciate insights from other people and integrate those quickly.
Feedback? It’s the greatest hack there is. People are serving their hard-learned lessons on a silver platter to you.
#11 Always be on the lookout for ways to streamline tasks.
In the digital realm, speed is at a premium. Companies compete based on who gets the job done first. Cycle times have drastically shortened, while client expectations have heightened.
The best remote workers are ever on the hunt for smarter solutions and faster fixes.
How can things be done quicker?
How can things be done better?
How the team be more efficient and effective?
Solutions are quickly implemented into the work process and systematised.
The remote worker who uses the same tools and has a static work process will likely, and very soon, be left in the dust.
#12 Be on top of tech.
Technology has made remote work possible. So the space will always be tracking the changes and evolutions happening in tech.
In general, no app or software is ever unchanging, and the best remote workers are attuned to the added firepower in their repertoire of tools.
Being on top of tech includes practices like:
- updating software to their latest versions.
- getting hardware upgrades to increase speed, power and capacity
- If warranted, choosing the paid versions of apps
- upping cybersecurity
- setting up Google Alerts for certain news, trends and technologies
- subscribing to industry blogs and newsletters
That’s 12 down and 12 to go!
We’ll continue this list of 24 “Best Practices” for 2024 in the next post.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing knows what makes a great remote worker. We’ve been helping companies around the world find remote professionals for their businesses and organisations.
We have a pool of over 4 million Filipino remote professionals from lawyers, accountants, and engineers, to software developers, graphic artists and social media managers.
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Our clients do not only get to hire world-class talents, but they also enjoy considerable savings while doing so.
Do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or if you want to explore this opportunity for your company.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.