How Can You Work Effectively Remotely?

    These days terms like “remote workers,” “work from home,” and “remote teams” are becoming increasingly popular. During the COVID-19 pandemic that forced stay-at-home lockdowns, more people had to work from home. Thankfully, there were a lot of platforms that could facilitate remote meetings and remote work. It might just be that this global experience has revolutionized how we perceive work from now on. Therefore, in this article, we will closely examine what remote teams are and how you can be effective even while working from home.

    What is a Remote Team?

    A remote team essentially refers to a group of individuals working to achieve the same purpose from different geographical locations. When we think of work, it is conventional to imagine people working together in the same office building or space for the company that owns or has leased that space to allow its staff to get work done.

    Picture it this way: You have a marketing team for your business, but instead of a space designated for marketing in your office building, you have team members working from London, New York, and San Fransisco, all to promote your brand awareness and increase your sales. That is a remote team. With a remote team, the physical contact among coworkers drastically reduces, if it even exists.

    A major feature of remote teams is a heavy dependence on electronic communication methods. Since team members cannot meet physically often due to the geographical distance, it is only to be expected that they rely on communication, file-sharing, and collaborating software to make working easier.

    How to Work Remotely?

    As we mentioned earlier, technological advancements have made it a lot easier to work remotely today. Back in the 70s, to work remotely, most people relied on the telephone to keep communicating with other team members. Today, with the mass availability of laptops and mobile phones, workers can carry out tasks from their homes or even while on a trip as long as they have a good internet connection.

    Challenges of Working Remotely

    However, remote teams are not without their challenges. Some of these challenges are:

      1. Achieving a Work-Life Balance:  According to the 2022 Buffer State of Remote Work, a considerable number of remote workers have trouble unplugging, so they end up working more. This eventually creates an unhealthy work-life balance. Sometimes, the problem might not be the inability to unplug, but when you work with team members across different time zones, you might be required to work outside your conventional hours.

      1. Communication: Communication among members of a remote team can be quite tasking. Since all team members are not physically together, managers could forget to pass certain information. And even when information arrives promptly, it could be easily misunderstood. As with any other team, remote teams rely on information, and miscommunication could result in delays.

      1. Loneliness: A shared workspace allows workers to bond over lunch or coffee. But with remote workers who do not share physical contact with other coworkers, loneliness could quickly arise. Multiple studies have also shown that lonely workers are less productive and more likely to miss work, which can be a serious challenge.

      1. Security Breaches: More often than not, remote teams have less secure networks than teams that work together in an office. With vulnerable wi-fi connections and workers that leave their computers unattended, remote teams make companies very prone to security breaches. In 2020, 35% of IT companies in the UK admitted remote workers put their companies at risk of a data breach.

    With all these challenges in mind, how can remote workers function effectively?

    How to Work Effectively Remotely

    Here are some tips that can help remote teams combat whatever challenges they face while working from home and remaining productive. It is important to mention here that where these tips are adhered to, it helps remote workers live up to their potential. After all, remote workers are generally more productive.

      • Be very Conscious of Your Time: When you work remotely, you should have set office hours that you adhere to. It also helps to let your coworkers and family members know what times you would be committing to your work.

      • Follow General Security Protocol: To prevent exposing your company to security threats while working remotely, you must take the basic steps to protect company information. For instance, before connecting to public wi-fi, make sure you are allowed to work on public wi-fi. Managers will also need to occasionally remind the team what not to do to ensure a secure environment.

      • Communicate Properly and Promptly: When passing information, it is important to use very clear and concise language that clearly communicates what you mean to your colleagues. Also, whenever you do not understand an instruction, do not hesitate to ask questions. Also, your team should not hesitate to jump on quick calls to ensure everyone understands what is required of the other.

      • Socialize: Outside of work, it helps to hang out with friends and generally socialize. Managers can also organize events that help team members living in the same vicinity to come and hang out together. Virtual team-building exercises can also help a lot.

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