We’ve spoken a great deal on Remote Justice about how working remotely can be a major boost to productivity for many workers. A new study from Flexjobs.com found that only 7% of workers felt most productive in the office– leaving a whopping 93% open to the productivity that comes to working remotely from home, a coffee shop, or elsewhere out of the office. We’ve had the qualitative evidence, but this study brings some quantitative evidence into the mix.
Forbes summarizes these findings with a few other stats about the benefits of remote work, including why people find working remotely to be more productive and how the option for remote work makes employers more desirable for potential employees.
The Forbes article also quotes remote worker Brie Reynolds, “Another critical point is the ‘snowball effect’– the more people work remotely, the more companies become comfortable with the concept and therefore allow more people to work remotely. It’s a cycle that supports growth.”
What are your thoughts on remote work and productivity? Leave a comment for us!
We love scouring the web for different tips and tricks on how to be successful at working remotely, so we were naturally thrilled to find Lifehacker’s new article “Eight Proven Strategies for Better Remote Work.” From productivity tools to starting your day off on the right foot, this article walks you through building your own remote work routine to stay happy and productive.
There are many different articles discussing various tactics at boosting your morale and performance while working from home, but this article goes in depth to eight key points, breaking down each one into manageable tasks and examples.
We’re big into evaluation and data at Provide, so one of our favorites on the list is #7: Track and Gamify Your Productivity. But if you’re looking for more of a quick tip, we recommend #4: Keep Your Work and Personal Spaces Separate.
This helps set the frame for improved productivity. When you enter your home office, you don’t expect to take a nap or watch TV. Your brain gets spatially wired to think of the office as the place where work happens.
You get bonus points if you dress up in office attire (or at least something more formal than PJs) when you’re working at home.
Plus, the separation creates a mini “commute.” Simply walking from the bedroom to the office signals that you’re physically moving between work and personal space. Your brain automatically switches into productivity mode when it starts seeing the work area as a place to get things done.
Read the full Lifehacker article here, and don’t forget to leave us a comment letting us know if any of these strategies work for you!
There are a lot of myths about remote work, so you can imagine how happy we were to see some of them being debunked on the Huffington Post last month! From applications to promotions, this article tackles five of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to this type of work.
Our favorite is Myth #5: Remote work is bleak and lonely.
I’m not saying that nobody in the world has ever felt lonely while working remotely.
Sure, when you don’t go into an office every day, you miss out on a lot of spontaneous interaction. Here’s the thing, though: Many companies use instant chat communication tools, so even though you won’t see your coworkers in person, you can still ping them anytime with questions.
And if you ever want to get out of the house (for the sake of your sanity), you can work at a nearby cafe or check out a coworking space. Some companies even offer stipends to employees who prefer to work at coworking spaces.
At Provide, we are in constant communication with one another through technological tools such as Skype for Business and Yammer. There are lots of ways to keep communication and responsiveness throughout the team, and we are grateful to be able to utilize them!
To read the rest of the myths debunked by the Huffington Post, click here!
When companies and organizations shift towards an incorporation of remote work, it is oftentimes up to workplace leaders to take the first steps. Thankfully, Forbes has released a four-point guide for these leaders as they guide their workplace transition.
We especially like #3: Make Video Your Friend! Here at Provide, we have a weekly staff check-in via video to give our whole team a chance to pop on screen and update everyone on what they’ve been up to. We also utilize lots of video calls into smaller team and one-on-one meetings! Thankfully, Forbes agrees:
Make conference calls video teleconferences. This includes an added bonus: When people are on video, they can’t multitask as easily as they can during a teleconference. So they will be more focused, and your meeting will be more successful.
Turn regular updates into video updates. One powerful way to remain visible to your team is to record brief video updates on a regular schedule. You need not book yourself into a video studio. Producing a one- to three-minute video update each week and sending it to your team will keep them apprised of what’s going on and help them feel more connected to you.
To see all of Forbes’ tips and tricks for leaders in a remote workplace, click here
We’ve talked a lot on Remote Justice about how to be a productive remote worker and managing productive remote workers– but how do you actually find and hire remote workers? Thankfully the Society for Human Resource Management has you covered! Their article “How to Hire Remote Workers– And Keep Them Productive and Happy” gives you the low-down on this process.
We especially appreciate the feature on unique challenges organizations can face while hiring remote workers– how do you handle a potential technological learning curve? How can you assess a job candidate without actually meeting them in person? We love this great trait that Kaplan Test Prep looks for in their remote workers:
The one trait Kaplan does especially look for in its remote workers? A willingness to ask for both feedback and help when it is needed. “Someone can’t walk by and see that you’re struggling with something” when working from home, Kent said. For this reason, the company seeks employees who willingly “raise their hand and say, ‘I don’t know how to teach this,’ or ‘I’m struggling with this student.’”
Once you figure out your organization’s hiring norms for remote workers, the article gives some good tips on how to keep them productive! Read the Society for Human Resource Management’s full article here.
We launched this blog about two years ago (how time flies!) and have had incredible readers who both work in remote organizations or are looking to make the transition. We’ve talked a lot about topics that specifically pertain to the former, but today we’ll be addressing those who are looking to make a shift in their workplace to include remote work.
Forbes recently released an impressive article detailing four ways companies can start to include remote workers in their staff. We really like how they frame work– both remote and in the workplace– as not a one-size-fits-all kind of territory. Different workers need different things to be successful, and that is absolutely okay! They recommend providing the option of remote work for employees.
All of their tips are great, but we especially love #4: Don’t Discriminate:
When you offer flexible work options within the organization, ensure that all individuals have access to those choices: whether your people are parents with families; young millennials, men or women. For example, if parents are afforded a couple of “work from home” days to be near their kids, make sure the work from home options is made available to factions of the organization who don’t have kids or are single. Avoid preferencing one lifestyle choice over another, or your people will begin to view the offering as favoritism.
To read all of Forbes’ great tips, click here. Let us know in the comments below if you’re planning on integrating a remote work culture into your company or organization!
In Fast Company‘s recent article, entitled “6 Ways to Make Virtual Work More Human,” Lou Solomon gives remote organizations and managers tips on how to keep remote workers feeling connected to the work while working at home. This is something that we at Provide strive to achieve and are consistently working at– keeping our staff connected despite geographic location.
All of the tips in the article are wonderful, from being intentional with communication and creating teams that establish trust within one another. One of our personal favorites is #3: “Build Genuine, Personal Connections.” This is a key method to keeping the work human, and can be established in many different ways. For example, hopping on Skype with a coworker to chat about a project rather than emailing back and forth about it puts a face to the work and allows more genuine conversation than could be established over text.
Want to learn more of Fast Company‘s tips on keeping your remote work culture human? Check it out here.
In an article from the January/February 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review, Nicholas Bloom discusses working with Ctrip, a Chinese travel website, to test out telecommuting for the staff. The results blew everyone away– not only were employees happier and less likely to quit, but they were actually more productive when working from home!
The results we saw at Ctrip blew me away. Ctrip was thinking that it could save money on space and furniture if people worked from home and that the savings would outweigh the productivity hit it would take when employees left the discipline of the office environment. Instead, we found that people working from home completed 13.5% more calls than the staff in the office did—meaning that Ctrip got almost an extra workday a week out of them. They also quit at half the rate of people in the office—way beyond what we anticipated. And predictably, at-home workers reported much higher job satisfaction.
Want to learn more about the Ctrip case study? Check out the article here.
Guess what? You can maximize productivity simply by re-organizing your workweek.
Jeremiah Dillon, the head of product marketing at Google, released an email on Fast Company in December that he sent to his staff on productivity.
He stresses that energy levels follow a pattern each week and breaks down how you can plan your week accordingly to maximize all you get done during the week:
Monday: Energy ramps out of the weekend — schedule low-demand tasks like setting goals, organizing, and planning.
Tuesday, Wednesday: Peak of energy — tackle the most difficult problems, write, brainstorm, schedule your Make Time.
Thursday: Energy begins to ebb — schedule meetings, especially when consensus is needed.
Friday: Lowest energy level — do open-ended work, long-term planning, and relationship building.
We don’t know about you, but we’re heading off to re-arrange our schedules!
Happy National Clean Off Your Desk Day, Remote Justice readers! Yes, you read that right. Apparently there is an entire day in January dedicated to clearing up your workspace to make room for a productive new year.
Keeping a dedicated space for your work is imperative for productivity– and so is keeping that space clean! So, in spirit of this holiday, we’re rounding up a few of our favorite tips to help you get organized!
- Use a three-tray system for organizing your papers— Important, To File, and To Read. This minimizes the space that your papers take up on your desk but also leave them accessible to you throughout your work day.
- Make your own desk tray to organize your supplies! You can purchase these from office supply stores, but if you don’t want to spend the extra money and want to add a personalized touch to your space, check out this great list of different DIY trays!
- Hide the cords cluttering up your space. Your line of vision will be clearer and will help you get into more of a work headspace. Click here to find out how one woman tamed her office cords.
- Lacking space but need storage? Check out this ingenious way to create floating bookshelves that will fit in narrow spaces!
Do you have any other tips on how to keep a clean remote work space? Let us know in the comments!