A Better Remote Working Experience for You and Your Team

01 Sep - 31 Oct 2020


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Complaints about stunted productivity are all too common during these times where many of us, accustomed to working in the office, are now required to do so from home. And if that wasn’t challenging enough, a large majority of us aren’t just working alone, but in teams. But when there’s a will, there’s a way; or in this case, many ways to overcome the physical distance between team members. Here are some ways to ensure remote teamwork will make your dream work.

Apps and tools for team optimization

Standardize your productivity tools of choice. Common options include Google apps such as Drive and Calendar, and Microsoft Teams. What’s great about both Google and Teams apps is that they are multi-functional and designed to facilitate team collaborations, providing essential features such as video conferencing, whiteboards for brainstorming and shared file storage. Then of course, there’s Zoom that rose to popularity when all of us were first made to stay home. More organizational tools to consider are Asana and Slack, which let you neatly categorize projects and tasks which can then be assigned to members with clear instructions and deadlines. These can be shared with not just your team, but external collaborators and clients as well. With these apps, communication is streamlined and made more transparent so everyone you’re liaising with can be on the same page without being in the same place.

Individual measures for staying alert

Image: The Executive Centre

Even with so many useful productivity programs to assist us, a huge aspect of successfully working remotely stems from self-management. Granted, it’s challenging to focus on your job when you’re at home because you’re conditioned to relax in that environment—and rightfully so. Here are some quick tips to help you work more efficiently!

  1. Try to simulate your office space at home as much as possible with a desk or a room dedicated to work (if you haven’t already), in essence creating your very own mini workspace or studio.
  2. Dress up as if you were heading out. Working in your pyjamas would probably keep you in sleep mode. So dress up and/or put on some makeup or hairspray for a little more flair.
  3. Kickstart the day with a morning workout. Go for a jog or do simple exercises for an energy boost.
  4. Invest in a co-working space membership with The Executive Centre or Servcorp, which provide teams and individuals alike with co-working spaces at affordable rates in Marina Bay Financial Centre and One Raffles Quay. Working in a conducive environment in the heart of vibrant Marina Bay could certainly provide the mood boost you need to keep hustling.
  5. Vary your working environment. If you’re feeling a little restless, consider recreating your travelling routine by commuting to your favourite coffeehouse where you can be inspired or get work done in peace.

Team measures for smooth sailing

Image: Nenetus

When it comes to teamwork, communication and mutual understanding are major contributors to efficiency.

  1. Set clear expectations and guidelines for the team with regards to workflow, and the dress code for online meetings to create an appropriate working atmosphere.
  2. Create a straightforward schedule that everyone can follow, so everyone is in the loop. Again, this is where your team apps like Google Calendars or Asana can come in handy. For instance, group meetings can be scheduled on your shared calendar. Use these apps or your work chat group for regular progress updates. This minimizes uncertainty or confusion among the team, which is especially important when you aren’t mere rooms apart.
  3. Adhere to a set time for lunch and take short breaks to avoid burnout. Assign teammates to smaller groups or pairs as well. Conducting peer reviews on progress and checking up on personal well-being help each member to stay on their feet and reduce the feeling of isolation, especially if you’re typically working on your own in an empty room.

Now that we are in Phase 2, you can choose to meet in-person for work or catch up over a meal even if the office isn’t open yet, for that all-important, in-person interaction. Just don’t forget to adhere to the recommended safety guidelines!

Drawing the line between personal life and work

Image: DragonImages

Set clear boundaries between what’s professional and personal. Adjusting to the new working culture isn’t the only concern on our minds, especially since our personal lives are affected as well. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure everyone’s on the same page with regards to any non-work routines or affairs that may have to take precedence over work related tasks. That way, your teammates will know how and when to cover for you, should you be unavailable at any given time. Remember that everyone needs some personal time to themselves and keep work-related conversations to designated work group chats or apps.

While it’s natural to feel daunted by the ongoing pandemic’s effect on the economy, take it in stride as a valuable learning experience. Individuals and businesses that emerge from these arduous times can expect to be better equipped to tackle future challenges.