Like with most other companies, Tenacity Works began working 100% remotely for the first time, mid-March.
Our established business model; working with clients, partners and employees from all over the world, has meant that for the most part, we already had systems in place to manage everyday communication and collaboration challenges involved with remote working.
As a team, we plan to use this time to elevate our communications, strengthen relationships, and to focus on the health and well-being of everyone we interact with.
If you’re new to the remote working lifestyle, due to the Coronavirus or not, you’ll need to consider a few essential elements to make this transition a smooth, successful and enjoyable one.
Collectively, the Tenacity Works team have given their top 10 tips to working remotely:
1. Establish a dedicated workspace
Whether it’s in the corner of your bedroom or a home office that you’ve created in your spare room, ensure that this space is set up to encourage maximum productivity. It should have a lot of light and your furniture should be comfortable. If there is one thing you should avoid at all costs, it’s working from your couch!
2. Be tech-savvy
Be, and we cannot stress this enough, prepared. Make sure your laptop (or PC) is in good working order by checking the screens, keyboards, battery life, audio/mic settings etc. Order that additional screen if you need to and above all else, ensure you have fantastic Wi-Fi.
Some of our favourite apps (and we have pretty much tested them all) to stay organised and efficient, are:
- Zoom for video conferencing
- Slack for chats
- Asana and Basecamp for our to-do lists
- Google Docs for spreadsheets, docs and presentations
- Dropbox Paper for collaborative docs and notes
- Spotify for remote working playlists
3. Set up a daily routine
The most important thing we can suggest is getting up at your usual time (as if you’re going to the office) and not working in your pyjamas.
Your daily structure is critical. Have a schedule that outlines every task before you begin and aim to complete them all by the end of the day.
4. Discover Your High Productivity Periods
Most of our team have found that we are most productive in the mornings. We are fresh, enthusiastic and ready to tackle anything that comes our way. Our energy tends to dip slightly after lunch, and then we hit a complete lull by late afternoon.
Choose the more important or challenging tasks when you know you can complete them best. Leave the smaller jobs for later in the day when not much of your energy is required.
5. Meal and snack prep
We suggest this only to avoid the “I’m starving” or “I have nothing to eat” scenario which, we promise you, will happen. You will find yourself standing in front of your fridge more than ever before.
By prepping your meals and snacks the night before (just like you would when you’re going to the office), you will not only save a lot of time by not having to make anything, but you’ll also avoid snacking too much and ending up with more than just an empty fridge…if you know what we mean!
6. Take short breaks
By taking a break now and then, you not only avoid getting stuck in front of your laptop or computer screen for hours on end, but you also give your eyes and mind a much needed (and essential) rest.
We’re not saying that you should stop when you’re in “the zone”, or being ridiculous about the amount of time you’re away from your desk. Just be sensible and avoid ending your day with tired eyes and a pounding headache.
7. Listen to music
At Tenacity Works, we have created “remote working playlists” on Spotify and shared it with our colleagues on Slack. It may not be your taste while working, but you never know, someone could share music that you could listen to when you’re meditating or exercising.
If you’re not into your colleague’s playlists, then, by all means, create your own. Just have something playing in the background that keeps you motivated and getting the job done!
8. Check-in with co-workers
This is probably one of the more important tips on this list.
It’s very easy to start feeling isolated or lonely when you’re used to being in an office with colleagues. Our teams have regular Zoom check-in’s scheduled in our diaries to create our virtual “water cooler” moments.
9. Exercise and stretch regularly
As with your daily routine, we encourage you to stick to your regular exercise regime as much as you can before, during lunchtime or after work. Use the time that you would’ve been stuck in traffic to get your heart rate up.
We’ve mentioned previously that taking short breaks throughout the day is vital to avoid strain on your body. Standing up and stretching at regular intervals is encouraged to prevent neck or back pain or worse, tension headaches.
10. Limit the use of social media
We are all guilty of it, and it happens before you know it. You open Facebook, Instagram or Linkedin for a quick check-in, only to find yourself scrolling for ages and resurfacing an hour later.
Try limiting your social media time to only a few minutes at the start of the day while sipping your morning cup of coffee, at lunchtime or even better, at the end of the day once all your work has been done.
Whether you’ve been forced into a remote working situation by the COVID-19 pandemic or not, we encourage you to stay positive and see the silver lining of the situation.
Think about it, in a few months; you’ll more than likely be back at the office, complaining about your early start, the awful traffic and worst of all, having to smell your colleague’s leftover fish that they’ve microwaved for lunch!