Working from home has countless advantages for both sides. Employers and employees unquestionably feel the beneficial influence of remote work. This type of employment used to represent a perk. And now – working from home is the new normal. However, achieving desired goals and remaining productive when performing daily tasks remotely can sometimes give us headaches.
That’s why we must stay updated on the latest remote work trends and do everything in our power to make working from home smooth and efficient. Let’s discuss the ultimate tips to stay productive while working from home you’ll need in 2021.
Remote Work – Benefits
The phrase “remote work” represents quite a hot topic.
Nevertheless, misunderstandings still occur. Some people mistake freelance jobs and interpret them as remote jobs.
Others reduce remote work to a narrow definition – making it equal to working from home.
Still, remote work definition suggests that this term means changing the location of work away from the typical office workspace.
With an increased number of remote workers in the US (the growth is 159% from 2005 to 2017), we can’t help but define the advantages of remote jobs that led to these results.
Companies can obtain:
- A large talent pool
- More productivity
- Autonomous and goal-oriented employees
- Better employee engagement and employee experience
- Enhanced employer brand
The advantages of remote work for employees include:
- More flexibility
- Better work-life balance
- Healthier habits
- Fewer distractions
- Better outcomes and increased motivation
Stay Productive While Working From Home [Tips]
According to Forbes, there are seven actionable tips that will help you stay productive when working from home.
The first one they have included is setting up a working environment that will enable you to focus.
Additionally, you should:
- take breaks and go outside
- listen to music
- stick to your schedule without working extra long hours
- create some routines that suit you
- and stay social.
Nonetheless, there’s more to explore to maintain productivity and efficiency when working remotely.
- Use remote collaboration tools
- Choose a methodology (and its frameworks) that match your team and scope of work
- Organize activities that promote the company culture and boost team spirit
Let’s see how each of these tactics works and how it will improve working from home in 2021.
Remote Collaboration Tools List
The usage of tech tools makes remote work possible. Some communication and project management remote tools are indispensable. Their features enable us to achieve optimal results while working from home.
Some of the most popular communication tools include:
- Slack – the ideal instant messaging tool
- Zoom – the most widely used video conferencing tool
- Google (Gmail, Google Hangouts, and Google Chat)
The best project management and team collaboration tools you should use in 2021 are:
Other helpful remote tools
If you need an AI-powered tool that will complete your home office, Krisp is the one. Krisp helps you mute all background noise with just one click. It can support basically every communication platform you use. An app like this is something every remote worker needed at some point. Give it a try.
These tools enable you to record and share your screen with peers. Some noteworthy platforms you can utilize to screencast are Loom and CamStudio.
Storing your passwords manually isn’t a thing you should rely on in 2021. However, using an app that will store and manage them for you while preserving your data is a tool you should get a hold of this year. A tool like this is particularly suitable when you cooperate with an outsourcing company.
One of the main concerns business owners contemplate when seeking a BPO partner is security. More apps like 1Password can save you much stress and potential breaches.
Remote Work and Methodologies
One of the first things to deal with when striving to stay productive while working from home is picking the way your team operates. Choosing a suitable project management methodology is invaluable. The main three include Kanban, Agile (Scrum), and Waterfall.
Kanban for Remote Teams
Kanban and Agile methodology often go hand in hand. This project management style is popular among Agile practitioners too. Kanban sees each project as a sum of several working parts. It provides a view of what every component represents and the stage it is in. Why is Kanban the right choice for remote teams? It offers extensive coverage.
Kanban can be implemented into basically any project – regardless of the type, size, and duration.
Pro Tip for Remote Teams:
Make the most of this methodology by exploring and choosing the best tools out there (such as Trello).
Agile (Scrum) for Remote Teams
If speed and adjustability are your prime aims, Agile is the best option. This method is iterative. It allows swift changes and decision-making at any point. Although Agile seems more suited for in-house (and inside the office) teams, it works excellently for remote teams and outsourcing collaborations. If this project management tactic becomes your chosen organizational tool, make sure to keep the communication going.
Conferencing is mandatory. Weekly sessions, one-on-ones, daily stand-ups, and everything this methodology implies, in fact, fits the remote work and complies with it. Additionally, fairly frequent online meetings will contribute to building, strengthening, and refining your team culture.
Waterfall for Remote Teams
Waterfall involves creating sequential steps and progressing throughout various phases. Compared to Kanban and Scrum, Waterfall is relatively slower. This disadvantage makes it less prominent among companies that embrace remote work. It is a bit demanding, and it requires having clear documentation all the way.
However, the clarity it offers stands for one of Waterfall’s prime perks. Moreover, all deadlines and requirements are crystal clear too, which makes Waterfall a reliable accessory to remote teams.
Bonus Tip: Agile Call Center
Adaptive planning and learning, the keystone of Agile, transfers from development to the domain of call centers and customer support. This methodology drives more flexibility. More importantly, it allows customer service reps and call center agents to spot disruptive consumer behavior changes and respond rapidly and adequately.
You can build a stellar team to deal with your customers’ needs once you grasp that:
- You should hire according to the willingness to learn and grow
- Technology matters, but it can’t replace human interactions
- Your employees must strive to add the extra value
- Objectivity and acknowledging weak points helps long-term
Whether you decide to build an in-house team or to outsource, keep these facts in mind. A correctly implemented Agile approach does wonders for every call center. More importantly – it drives the optimal outcomes while working remotely too.
Promoting the Company Culture
Fostering an exceptional team culture when collaborating with remote workers or outsourcing companies sounds tricky. However, it doesn’t necessarily represent an impediment. A traditional office landscape doesn’t have much to do with tradition nowadays. It means that it’s time to rewrite the company culture promotion rules.
Creativity at Its Finest
There are some unquestionable ways to maintain and advance the company culture while working from home. These familiar tips involve:
- Having excellent communication
- Building trust
- Providing the employees with positive feelings and vibes, such as safety and appreciation
- Acknowledging the employees’ struggles and preventing burnouts
- Asking for feedback
However, an essential part of a remote culture includes non-work-related meetups. Now, let’s see what we’ve got on our plates.
Non-work-related Meetups – Ideas
As a large outsourcing company, Morph Networks had to deal with specific business aspects when switching entirely to remote work. Aside from the physical part of the relocation, there was a zero missed calls policy that needed to be fulfilled. Luckily – we reached all our aims.
In the meantime, preserving and advancing the company culture was an integral part of our plan. One of the activities we’ve organized makes us incredibly proud. It combines socializing with humanitarian work.
We’ve organized an online Counter-Strike tournament, and the funds collected were given to a family in need. And, since we’re huge fans of gaming, movies, and trivia quizzes, we’ve gathered on several occasions. The extra activities are what makes us stay productive while working from home.
Choose what you love and let it guide you through the world of remote jobs.
Be Productive While Working From Home
As we said – remote work has countless benefits. Just remember the ground rules:
- Pick the most suitable tools to enable clear and timely communication and assignments distribution
- Rely on the project management methodology that matches your necessities (mix it up a little if necessary)
- Have fun while doing so; Disrupt the ordinary work-associated topics and meetings with your teams’ interests, passions, and hobbies.
Once you cover all three – you’re good to go. Productivity while working remotely is real and achievable.
If you want to learn more about working remotely, you can also check this useful guide. It focuses on remote workers who are based in their own homes, and the unique challenges this presents. It has become a more popular way of working as there are plenty of benefits for both employers and employees.