Working Remotely = Working Productively

Working Remotely = Working Productively

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!

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8 Productivity Hacks for Remote Workers

8 Productivity Hacks for Remote Workers

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!

Debunking Myths About Remote Work

Debunking Myths About Remote Work

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!

How do you hire remote workers?

How to Hire Remote Workers

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.

Making the Transition to Remote Work

TRANSITIONING TO

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!

Maximizing Productivity by Organizing Your Workweek

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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!

How to Keep a Remote Staff Running Smoothly

How to Keep a Remote Staff Running Smoothly

We spend a lot of time here at Remote Justice covering how to be a productive remote worker– but today we’re going to shift our lens over to the managerial side of things. How can you keep a team running smoothly if there is no one physical place in which you and your employees all work together? This is one of the biggest concerns for many remote managers, but thankfully Entrepreneur.com released a list of “4 Ways to Keep the Team Working Together Without an Office.”

With lots of tips and tricks on creating a cohesive work environment (albeit not a physical environment) for your workers, this article shows that strategy can bind a team together just as much as a physical office space.

One of our favorite tips from the piece is #4: “Set overlapping hours.” In most remote work settings, workers have the freedom to choose their own hours. Are you a night owl? Sleep in and schedule time to finish that report in the evening. Do you get your best work done in the morning? Wake up at 4 AM and get started an hour later! While choosing working hours is a major plus side to remote work, it’s also important to schedule at least a few hours in which the staff are all remotely working. That way, you can tackle projects in real time and include everyone on conference calls and Skype meetings!

Interested in reading the full article? Check it out here!

The Ten Commandments of Remote Work

Ten Commandments of Remote Work

Even though remote work culture has been increasingly prevalent in the past few years, it can still be tricky to navigate a workplace that does not subsist in a face-to-face office environment. Thankfully, the wonderful people over at Weekdone.com have created this incredible resource for remote workers, managers, and organizations alike: The Ten Commandments of Remote Work!

From “Thou Shalt Embrace Technology” to “Thou Shalt Provide Feedback,” each of these tricks and tips are vital in creating a productive and communicative remote work environment.

One of our favorites here at Provide is “#9: Thou Shalt Build Trust”:

Always remember that there is a breathing human being on the other side of virtual conversation. Do not exclude anyone from important information. Share details about what is happening in the company, keep others informed and engaged.

The best way to create a true sense of team spirit is to schedule regular get-togethers in person. Enjoy some bonding time and talk about something other than work for once. It also feels very good to finally put a face to the name.

Do you integrate any of these commandments into your own remote work? Do you have any tips that could be added to the list? Let us know in the comments!

The High Cost of Multitasking

The High Cost of Multitasking

Multitasking can be a challenge in any professional setting, but is especially prevalent for remote workers. When you’re working from home! Not only is it easy to attempt to multitask work projects, but it’s also fairly simple to slip into the mindset of, “Oh, I can answer these emails while walking the dog/doing dishes/etc.!”

In this wonderful article from the Huffington Post and infographic from Fuze, the costs (mentally and fiscally) are laid out.

The High Cost of Multitasking

by kikikarpus. Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

5 Ways to Make Working Remotely Actually Work

In this fantastic Fast Company article, Carson Tate gives a run-down of five major tips to being a successful remote worker.

“In some places, telecommuting is already at the heart of the employee experience. About 43% of Aetna’s employees take part in work-at-home and other virtual arrangements, which the health care company has allowed for the past two decades. The software company GitHub boasts a fully distributed workforce of over 260 people working across the globe.

Those and other organizations see telecommuting as a great way for employees to keep a healthy work-life balance. But that flexibility can also create a few new challenges. Here are five strategies for working effectively while you’re telecommuting.”

To read the entire article, click here.