You already use two of the best communication tools in your daily life: email and telephone. You can use both of those tools when you work in a remote team, but chances are you might need additional tools to make sure everyone is on the same page. This is especially true if you've encountered any communication challenges within your team.
Slack is far and away my favorite of all communication tools for teams larger than one person. It basically lets you organize your communication in a way that is user-friendly and searchable, which is awesome.
When you sign up for Slack you either join or create a workspace. The workspace is usually for an entire company or organization, but that could be different depending on your situation.
In each workspace you have channels which are designated by hashtags, like #sales, #tech, #general, #hr.
When you invite your team members to use Slack, you add them to the channels that relate to them. For instance, you...
Tell me this has never happened to you: You were hyper-focused, and you finish up an important project. Then you decide to check your phone or social media as a quick mental break. 30 minutes later, you’ve gone down the internet rabbit hole and you realize you’ve just wasted a huge chunk of time. In the amount of time you spent following meaningless links, you could have gone through your inbox, provided some feedback to another team member, started another project.
If this happens every now and again it’s not that big a deal—if your schedule is flexible, you can tack on time to the end of the day to make up for lost time. The problem happens when this kind of slacking off happens repeatedly and it affects your performance. Believe me, I understand the temptations of social media! But there are ways to keep temptation at bay.
There are tons of tools out there that can help you get more done. These include time tracking tools like Harvest, timers, or productivity trackers. My absolute favorite tool is a time budget. A time budget is just a simple spreadsheet that tracks two things:
There is a finite amount of time in a day. And no matter how much you want to, you can't fit everything into the 16+ hours you're awake. So to make sure you actually have time to:
It's way too easy to get burned out because we underestimate how long tasks will take. Also, we tend to overestimate how much time is in a day. Sometimes, this is because our time gets eaten up by meetings and interruptions.
If you use a tool like this, you're setting realistic expectations for your day. When you have realistic...
If your company has a history of allowing telecommuting, then your conversation will be pretty straightforward. Since there is already a precedent for this practice, you can refer to specific examples or to that particular policy if it exists in writing.
If there isn't a history of telecommuting in your organization, then it's a little less straightforward. But that doesn't have to mean that it's impossible! It just means you will have to put a little more work into making your case.
To actually get your boss to let you work from home, you need to present a detailed plan. You can't just ask, "Can I start working from home?" and expect a positive result. The more prepared you are, the more likely it is that your boss will recognize the importance and feasibility of this option.
Goal setting is crucial for any kind of work, but if you work remotely it becomes especially important. Being able to set and meet goals will allow you to accomplish the work that you're hired to do and also prove your value.
There are many approaches to goal setting. This post outlines how to approach goal setting in the context of projects. Whether you are a freelancer working for clients, or an employee with a boss, you need to know how to break down projects into small, measurable, and achievable tasks.
For tips on how to set more broad, far-reaching goals, visit this helpful resource.
Make sure you completely understand what is expected of you. For a large or small project, that means identifying exactly what the components are. It also means determining what success or failure looks like for each of those components. Finally, figure out when each component needs to be completed.
Putting this information in a simple table will...
Group projects: the bane of every student’s existence because you always knew that at least one person wouldn't do their fair share of the work.
Fast forward to now: all those who never learned how to pull their own weight in group projects are adults, and some of them are working on your team.
So how do you deal with someone who is not pulling their weight when you can’t actually see what they’re doing?
And as usual, we’ll go by the mantra, “It’s not my fault, but it’s my problem.” Which means that even though this individual’s poor performance may not be because of anything you did, it does mean that it affects you, the team, and the company. It's not good for anyone if everyone isn't...
The term “remote work” includes a VERY wide variety of jobs; there are many more types of remote work than you think! In this post we’ll outline the basic types and terms that are used to classify these jobs.
Remote work is defined as any task that can be completed in any location (usually the home), provided you have access to the needed tools and resources. In many cases these days, remote work means that you work online, in other words, using software, tools, apps that are accessible by using the internet. This is also called telework or telecommuting. All of these terms essentially mean the same thing. If a job is location independent that means that you do not have to live in a specific location in order to complete the job.
In a fully remote position you only work from home (or wherever you have access to your needed tools) and you never go into the company’s physical location. This is becoming more and...