Gallup’s most recent data shows that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely (at least some of the time) rose from 39% to 43%. More recent projections suggest that 50% of the U.S. workforce will soon work remotely.
Whether you’re a full-time remote worker, have a flexible work arrangement, or are eager to work from home, here are 3 tips to help you rock your work setup when you’re out of the office! The first tip is from me (Katie).
- Create a communication plan. With all of the ways to communicate—text, phone, Slack, email, intranet—make sure you have a communication plan that everyone is aware of. Choose 2-3 communication tools or platforms, identify how you plan to use each one, and stick to those platforms. At Sayge, we only use email to communicate with external customers or partners, and Slack for internal communications. (Text is our internal backup.) Create a clear strategy, otherwise nothing gets done and everyone is chasing each other. There’s nothing more frustrating than someone sending you the same message through multiple channels and trying to figure out how they are different, or which one to respond to.
- Be proactive and responsive. “I’ve been working remotely for six years. Responsiveness is really important for remote teams. When your team can’t see you working, it’s helpful to regularly communicate the status of projects. When you’re out-of-office, you need to be more proactive if you want to be seen and heard. Anticipate questions and always keep your team in the loop.” —Devin, Marketing Consultant
- Match your environment to your working style. “What do you need to do good work? Natural light? Music? An ergonomic chair? When you work from home, it’s tempting to work from everywhere—floating from your couch to your kitchen table, but it’s also helpful to create a designated workspace. And when you do venture out to a coffee shop, make sure you find a spot that meets your needs, accounting for everything from outlet proximity to table height to temperature.” —Laura, Writer
How can you improve your work-from-home setup?