Working remote can certainly be difficult, especially when it comes to the lack of social connection and group collaboration that you often find with a disconnected team of colleagues around the country/world.
We’ve compiled a simple list of tips that can help you shake off the dust and really be productive with your team mates, even over long distances.
1. Time Sync
Getting some solid time together with your team mates is one of the most important things you can do as a remote team but the questions still stands, “What about timezones?”. Often I’ve found that even a few hours of overlap between team members can be constructive but only if used wisely.
If you find yourself with only a small window of opportunity to work together, use your time to discuss the work that’s been done and what needs to be done in the future. Make sure you’re on the same page about the business’ priorities. A well informed team is a productive team and most of the time, if your team is on the same page, you can use the dark time that’s not synced to actually execute on the plan you previously discussed in your overlapped time.
2. Choose Your Environment Wisely
There are a number of places to work remotely but how do you know where you’ll be most productive? The fact is, everyone is different so there’s no real definitive answer. You can start finding the perfect remote environment by running through the following thought processes:
a) Sound Profile – Does ambient noise help me work or do I require pure silence? What about background music played over the speakers? Finding the proper noise profile to fit your personality is an important part of being productive in a remote environment. The consequences of not finding the proper sound profile is to potentially become annoyed and distracted.
b) Furniture and posture – As of late, I’ve been slightly picky on where I work simply because of the sitting situation. It’s important to focus on this aspect because if you’re anything like me, when you find a place to work, you spend hours upon hours in that one location. This can not only strain your back but it can also make you wiggle and fidget which destroys any hopes of getting things done. Finding a chair that is soft and can handle your bum for long periods of time is a fairly straightforward process but choose wisely!
c) Follow the hackers/designers – I believe that smart people follow smart people so naturally, they usually end up at the same place. Whether it’s co-working spaces or coffee shops, if people are hacking away at cool and unique projects, it’s probably a good idea to join them. You never know who you’re gonna meet! I’ve met some of my closest startup friends in very similar situations just because of the shared interest and mindset that co-working offers.
3. Change of scenery
Whether you’re working on a startup or hacking away at a fun project with some buddies, it’s important not to get in a rut with your daily routine. Shake things up and move around! Go work in the park, take a drive to the suburbs, walk to the next block or even work at a friend’s house. One of the major benefits of remote working is that you have the liberty to change it up every day.
If you find yourself working at the same desk in the back room of your house every day, then you’re doing something wrong. You will be a happier person by owning your environment and changing it every day. Another great way to do this is by living the travel lifestyle, but that’s another blog post. :-)
In summary, there are a ton of ways to stay productive but it all boils down to owning your life and working on your terms. I’m sure there will be many more blog posts on this subject but until then, cheers!