You probably wouldn’t believe us if we said that remote working can be tough, would you? Admittedly having the freedom to type away from the comfort of our respective homes or while sipping on a much needed coffee from whichever cafe is currently our favorite is undoubtedly a dream situation, but hold your horses – home office work has its pitfalls, too, you know. It requires its own special kind of approach if you want to be able to keep up with your tasks.
But isolation is the hardest issue to solve. The constant jabbering of coworkers might grind your gears sometimes, but being alone all day comes with its own challenges, too. It’s important for any business that offers remote working – whether on a permanent or flexible basis – to ensure its employees are motivated, dedicated and content. And so there are some things that can – and should – be done on both a company and an individual level to make home workers feel like active members of a team.
Don’t Cut Off From the World
Working as a freelancer or remote employee means that you are free from annoying coworkers or nagging bosses that might break your concentration at every possible opportunity. But trust us, if that changed you’d soon start missing them after a few months. If there’s no office to share with others, then nor is there anyone to provide a brief moment of levity by sharing a joke, no ways to bond with coworkers during lunchtime, no new people to meet and talk to or even for an office romance to flourish.
Being isolated all day long is no joke. It can seriously strain your mental health and even lead to degrading your people skills or adding to anxiety and depression. In that sense it’s good to surround yourself with friends and family who you’ll be able to have a lunch with or a quick break here and there. Or alternatively, relocating your workspace to a cafe will give you that feeling of human interaction that you might miss from the office as well as provide just enough background noise to help you to focus but not so much that you might be distracted.
Aim for Open Communication
Most articles about remote work will tell you about the importance of being transparent, having regular meetings and developing a suitable work schedule. These are no doubt useful to keep yourself on track, but what truly matters is to have a welcoming corporate culture where team members are encouraged to help and listen to each other.
Think of these as small watercooler moments that replenish mental energy. While working, you might come up with a funny joke or a tongue-in-cheek remark regarding a topic, and having brothers-in-arms to listen to and reply to your messages positively will surely lighten the mood. Team members can also play an invaluable role during tough times, too, and knowing that you aren’t alone when a problem occurs and can receive help from colleagues is a great confidence booster.
Meeting in Real Life
Chatting online is fine but it’s not worth nearly as much as putting a face to the name. Here at clovio we are lucky enough to often have team building events on a semi-regular basis, which further strengthens the friendship between colleagues. In cases where employees are separated by country borders – or even an ocean – then a video call will give that personal touch.
The bottom line is that there is a difference between working simultaneously and working together. A remote team functions best when the participants are interested in one another’s vacations or hobbies and are always open for discussion, and anything a business can do to facilitate that can only make remote working happier.