We are in a crisis. Markets are tanking, major economies are struggling, healthcare is under stress. I can go on and on, but we know there’s a global crisis wrecking havoc.
I have been working remotely for the last 4 years. Indiez, a remote work community of 15,000+ community members from all over the world. My experience of building and scaling a remote company, I know how remote works.
And the way we are working together right now is definitely not the remote work. In fact, this is the worst time to be working remotely.
Over the past few weeks, we have received hundreds of queries from our community members on working remotely. They were working from the office and they had to suddenly adapt to remote work methods.
All of them said one thing – “ Remote work sucks and they really miss office! “
This made me think that what if we can recreate the office environment for them. I spoke to a bunch of CEOs of remote companies and what they shared change my perspective.
Why do we need to recreate the office atmosphere?
As a CXO my first question would be if the team is still efficiently producing good work, is there a problem if it’s disconnected in other ways? Do people need to be connected?
Short answer – Connection is IMPORTANT.
Long answer – People who feel connected to what they do for a living do great work. Those who believe in and align themselves with their company’s values, mission, and purpose are the ones who move the needle. They’re the type of employees who can quickly become a culture champion across your entire organization.
On the other hand, if employees don’t feel connected to each other and the company’s purpose, the company is doomed to fail.
Prolonged isolation could also potentially impact on morale and productivity. Dealing with work stress day in and day out is hard even if you’re enjoying your job. That’s why we suggest teams try to sustain a semblance of normalcy and in unconventional ways, be it virtual water cooler or remote luncheons where people dial in and connect on Slack or Skype.
Keeping the spirits up
Virtual interaction with the employees is as important as the growth in productivity. Their work will make your industry rise. First, you need to create a positive atmosphere at your workplace. Make sure you make friends with your employees. Arrange everything from happy hours to meditation sessions remotely in an effort to keep employees feeling connected and lift up their spirits. They must see you as their leader, and they must follow you naturally.
We’re in this together
If you can’t relate and empathize with your coworkers, especially now when we’re essentially all in the same state of suspended motion, you probably never can.
The virtual office experience
One experiment we’re trying out ourselves to keep up with the isolation and the challenges of remote work – simulating an office environment by staging a virtual office.
Our core team has been logging into and staying on a Hangouts call the whole of our working hours. We mute ourselves while taking meetings or turn on ‘away’ when we’re not to be disturbed, we cut the video when we step away. This has been working out great for us!
Setting up your workspace
How can you be productive with your own work set-up? Your workspace quickly becomes your comfort corner at home, and you should stock it with all of the items you need to be an efficient employee and a happy human. Keep all the needed items like notepad, chargers and adapters, headphones, water bottle, and snacks to stay productive during work hours.
Log in when you’re ready
Before starting any meet make sure you’re ready. Suit yourself to comfortable outfits and sit with the proper internet connectivity. Keep the background area neat. Make sure your workspace area has no interruption from any outsider (your family members).
Meet and greet, or not
Working remotely might leave you feeling isolated if you do not meet your co-workers often.
Other than having virtual meeting sessions try conducting small get-togethers and recreation activities. These little gatherings motivate employees to work as a team and work for a team. This will help in creating a bond stronger than usual which is also a benefit to the company.
Step into your zone
It is obvious to feel distracted and unengaged in your work with kids and other responsibilities at home. Henceforth, you should know how to manage everything. Schedule a time table accordingly or you could come up with different ways to deal with both- responsibilities and work-life, together.
- Get your household work done before taking meeting calls.
- Engage your kids in other activities involving mind games instead of asking them to watch television or playing video games.
- Put together a ‘boredom’ box. Stock it up with things that will excite your child.
Take plenty of breaks:
Your breaks will remain breaks and not turn into binge sessions or naps when you’re connected. But you can perform these things in the form of breaks.
- Take plenty of coffee/snack breaks to freshen yourself.
- Chat with your colleagues other than office related.
- Exercise for some time to feel fit and fresh.
- Calm down your wailing kid and spend some time with them.
As there are endless benefits of working as a remote team, it has created a hype in the industry. Once you start taking these steps, you’ll start to understand if done in the right way remote teams can be more effective than any in-house teams. All you need to do is get started and try your best.
If you have something new in your mind, you can drop your ideas in the comment section below. Also, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.