The way we work dramatically changed due to the pandemic, with many people facing the challenge of working from home or remote locations. As we continue to adapt, remote work has emerged as an increasingly popular option for businesses seeking to offer more flexible and inclusive workplace cultures. Remote work has obvious benefits such as no lengthy commutes to and from work, greater flexibility, and better work-life balance. However, there are also drawbacks such as feelings of isolation, difficulties communicating with supervisors and colleagues, and a blurring of work-life boundaries. Therefore, it’s become more important than ever to make remote work both engaging and enjoyable
Tip 1: Create a Dedicated Workspace
A designated workspace is one of the most essential factors for remote workers. It serves as a psychological reminder of the separation between personal life and work life. Without it, the boundary between the two can become blurred. Ideally, the workspace should be in a separate room, away from distractions such as televisions or noisy family members. Having a quiet space with appropriate ergonomic furniture and lighting is also essential for physical comfort and reducing distractions. By doing this, remote workers may be able to train their brains to associate this space with productivity and focus, making work more enjoyable.
Tip 2: Communicate Regularly
Regular communication is the cornerstone of remote work. When you’re working outside of a traditional office environment, it’s important to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Use technology to your advantage and work with your team to establish the best way to communicate based on project needs. The method of communication may differ depending on the situation, and may include phone calls, video conferencing, email, or instant messaging. Clear communication prevents misunderstandings and helps to maintain alignment within teams. Regular communication is one of the easiest ways to keep everyone engaged and part of the community.
Tip 3: Build Bonds With Co-workers
When we work remotely, the chance to build relationships with colleagues and coworkers is significantly reduced. We do not have the opportunity for regular water cooler chats or after-work drinks. Therefore, building bonds with your colleagues becomes even more important. Regular informal check-ins, video calls, or even virtual lunches can go a long way to helping to create and maintain relationships. Having regular video calls and team building activities like virtual escape rooms, online game nights, and virtual team-building activities can help to build relationships and maintain employee engagement.
Tip 4: Establish Clear Guidelines
Setting clear guidelines and expectations is critical in any work environment; it becomes even more important in remote work. Employees need to be clear on what is expected of them, what the deadlines are, and to whom they should direct their questions. Remote workers can save time, reduce anxiety and stay focused when they have a clear understanding of their responsibilities. Documents outlining guidelines for remote work including communication guidelines, performance expectations, team goals and other documentation are essential in priming remote workers to be productive, efficient and engaged in their work.
Tip 5: Take Breaks
While we all need a break, it can be challenging to know when to take one when we are working remotely. Some may find they work for longer hours because they do not have the same office distractions or that they work in an environment that is not conducive to taking the proper breaks. Taking breaks can contribute to higher productivity, increased creativity, and better overall well-being. A best practice for remote workers is to take a short break for a few moments every hour and a long break for 30 minutes midday. It’s crucial to track time and ensure that any outside distractions do not seep into our work time.
Tip 6: Create a Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive work environment is valuable in keeping remote workers engaged and motivated. Managers can help create and encourage positivity by establishing recognition programs, enabling open and transparent communication platforms, and providing regular feedback. Encouraging collaboration through virtual whiteboards, shared project management apps, and other collaborative tools can also foster a positive work environment. It is essential to celebrate accomplishments and provide constructive feedback to remote workers, as it will keep them motivated and feeling valued.
Tip 7: Take Professional Development Seriously
Continuous learning and growth are important to everyone’s career, no matter where the workspace is located. Managers can help facilitate employee development through various online courses, certifications, and workshops. Virtualized cross-functional work can also provide new learning opportunities. By investing in employees’ growth and development, companies can help to foster engagement in remote workplaces, as they will be learning new skills that improve their value as a part of the organization.
Tip 8: Maintain Work-Life Balance
Balancing work and personal life can be difficult for all of us, but it’s crucial in remote work. Without a clear division between work and personal life, burnout and stress levels are likely to increase. Setting boundaries related to specific work hours, the projects you will work on per day, and the hours that you will commit to for specific tasks is necessary to keep work overflow from impeding on our non-work life. Due to the absence of the usual office cues like co-workers going home, it’s essential to take charge of our work-life balance when working remotely.
Tip 9: Have Fun
Finally, having fun should be a part of remote work. It’s vital to have something to look forward to, whether it’s an office game or virtual team-building activities. Encouraging recreational activities surrounding company culture, virtual celebrations and team competitions help remote workers feel connected to their colleagues and more engaged. Fun activities like playing online games, team trivia, or virtual pizza lunches provide opportunities for remote workers to bond and collaborate in a more relaxed environment.
Remote work presents unique challenges, but specific strategies and tips can make the experience more enjoyable and engaging. Creating a dedicated workspace, communicating regularly, building bonds with co-workers, establishing clear guidelines, taking breaks, creating a positive work environment, taking professional development seriously, maintaining work-life balance, and having fun are key to making remote work fun and engaging. By following these tips, remote work can continue to be productive, fulfilling and energizing, regardless of what the future holds.