The impact of technology is felt by workers across the globe — from 5G connectivity to unified communications capabilities, the next generation of technology is rapidly evolving to support workers of all ages, locations and levels of expertise. Many workers rely on working outside of a traditional office every day. However, employees who do not have flexible work woven into their company’s culture may find it intimidating on day one of their remote work journey.
While optimizing remote work requires a company-wide effort, employees can take practical steps today to create a positive workflow in any work environment. As a standard practice at Fuze, we are constantly evolving the ways in which organizations and their employees can most successfully scale and adapt to flexible work.
Whether it's a temporary situation or a long-term initiative, here are our top five pro tips for first time remote workers:
1. Plan ahead
No physical office means you must be strategic in the items you chose to carry with you, the places you chose to call your work space, and the meetings secured on your calendar. Think through the absolute necessities. Wifi, hotspots, chargers, and video meeting backdrops will all need to be considered the day before you dive into remote work to ensure you are prepared for anything that comes your way.
Pro tip: Laptop too much while you’re on the go? Take a step into the mobile-first workforce and lean on your mobile phone or tablet as your go-to device for the day.
2. Prioritize team communication
Time zones, access to a phone or computer, and working preferences are all crucial information that you should communicate to your teams. Over communicating to a new-to-remote-work team plays a critical role in creating an experience that mimics in-office work and helps to increase camaraderie and decrease isolation.
Pro tip: Be clear about your availability to eliminate confusion and manage expectations surrounding when you’ll be available and when you’re out of “working hours.”
3. Don’t panic, think flexibility
Remember that anything can happen while on the road so think of a Plan B. Phone service and Wi-Fi options are not always reliable so learn to operate under the assumption that things will change, like ensuring you have a hotspot available or a backup work location in mind. From there, you can begin to adopt a truly flexible mindset and champion remote work.
Pro tip: Productivity doesn’t have to come to a standstill in the face of Plan B. Instead, be flexible and take each day one step at a time, understanding the ways in which you can continue to have a productive day even when the chaos piles up.
4. Build a workspace that feels comfortable
When you’re comfortable where you are, you can focus on getting your best work done. From kitchen tables to coffee shops, mapping out your day while remote means finding spaces to create your makeshift office. No matter what, always be sure to have a quiet space in mind in case of ad hoc meetings.
Pro tip: Think about more than just the space you’re in, but the tools you’re using. Invest in the right hardware and gadgets, take the time to find the perfect headset, and create an environment where you can feel comfortable.
5. Use technology to your advantage
There are countless ways to communicate with your distributed teams thanks to modern workforce technology like communication and collaboration platforms. Carrying a conversation from chat to phone to video can be a seamless escalation. Be sure to take the time to learn how to best use these tools, helping you to fully embrace remote work and increase productivity.
Pro tip: When managing remote workers, think about the ways in which you can encourage relationship building, open communication channels, and transparent calendars. Use technology (ex. open calendar settings) to get creative in bringing teams together when they’re physically a part.
At Fuze, we see remote work as the foundation of all workforce policies, a fad-turned-principle that is leading us into a world where work is truly an action and not a place. As working from a non-traditional office becomes a reality for more and more modern workers, learning how to best stay engaged, productive and balanced should be a priority for business leaders and employees alike.
To learn more about remote work, visit our Ultimate Guide to Remote Work: