Guest blogger Liam Donoghue is here to share a survival checklist for remote working. Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success in a remote working role by brushing up on some essentials: what kind of mindset is important? What about the digital tools necessary? Read on to find out!
Remote working is a relatively new phenomenon. The advent of the internet and instant messaging has seen the practice of working from home grow steadily in the past 15 years. It’s a strange time for a graduate to enter the jobs market and working in isolation adds another dimension to finding a career. And nobody really prepares you for remote working.
At Passion.io, we’ve been a remote company since 2016 and we have team members based across the globe running our app creation platform for coaches, tutors, and trainers who want to take their skills online. We love remote working and think, in many ways, it’s the future of work. We’ve found we’re more productive when we’re at home and if we can share that productivity with others we’re all for it.
Use this remote working checklist as a guide or refresher whether you’re taking your first steps into a remote working role or you’re a seasoned pro looking to brush up on the basics.
The Survival Checklist
To make the checklist easy to digest we’ve separated it into two categories; mindset & digital tools.
Before you start typing away from your kitchen table it’s important to check you’re in the right headspace for work. It can be easy, when working from home, to convince yourself you’re being really productive, but it’s important to help yourself get into a genuine work mindset.
Prioritise – If you often jump from task to task quickly you could find that you’ve reached the end of the day and finished nothing. Prioritisation, perhaps using lists or a schedule, will keep you focused and accountable for your own work. Also when you finish a task you get a nice endorphin rush – there’s nothing like looking at a checked-off list at the end of the day to remind you that remote working isn’t impossible.
Discipline – You’ve had a stressful morning, and your lunch break has flown by. Why don’t you just give yourself an extended break? Well, that’s fine, you can just add an extra hour of work onto the end of your day… right? Be honest with yourself about your working habits and set up a routine that can remove your negative impulses. If you’re not a morning person start slightly later in the day but make sure you’re fully committing to work when you do.
Clean – Get rid of the clutter before starting work to ensure a zen calm whilst replying to emails.
Workspace- To get yourself in a work mindset it helps to have a dedicated workspace at home to use. Free this space of non-work-related distraction and put your phone out of arms reach (We’re serious).
Once you’ve got the right mindset for a day of remote working you’ll need to master the tools that make doing your job possible. This isn’t a complete list as there are 100s of tools out there. We’ve listed the most important ones that 99% of remote companies will be using. When you’re starting a remote role make sure you familiarise yourself with the tools below to fast track your way to success.
Video Conferencing platforms –Whether it’s a Microsoft Teams or Zoom call or Google Hangout, mastering the use of video and audio conferencing platforms is essential for remote workers. Not only is it nice to see your colleagues, but video conferencing let’s whole teams get on a call together. These technologies also offer support for flexible working, from live captioning speech and the ability to add neutral virtual backgrounds, if you feel uncomfortable to show your real surroundings on video.
Cloud-based virtual work environments – A lot of remote companies use project management and collaborative tools to get things done. This could be Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Drive – you name it. Feeling confident to use these platforms ensures that you can easily collaborate with your remote team and stay connected.
Don’t forget the virtual socials – There are plenty of fun virtual platforms out there for games to play with remote teams. Haxball is a browser-based foosball game and a favourite at our company. It’s a great way to socialise with your colleagues and have a break between working. We’re sure other online games are available but we love Haxball as a way to strengthen team bonds and unwind after a busy day in the (remote) office.
Are you ready to transition to work? King’s Careers & Employability is here to support you – from meetings and phone etiquette advice to making a great first impression on your first day, explore our “transitioning to work” pages on Keats!