While many parts of the world begin to reopen and resume in-person operations, many companies, particularly in tech, have opted to stay remote. Those of us who have been working remotely for the duration of COVID-19 may have gotten used to it, but shifting to working from home permanently rather than temporarily can still be a big adjustment!
Whether you’re just getting started working remotely, or you're an experienced remote worker looking for ways to improve even further, here are some tips for making remote work more effective for you and your team:
1. Use Good Tools
Communication and collaboration while working remotely can be tough to adjust to at first if you’re used to working in an office where you can simply tap someone on the shoulder to chat! Luckily, there are plenty of online tools that make remote work more productive. Here are some tools that the Juno Team uses:
• Google Drive for organizing and collaborating on shared files in the cloud
• Asana for sharing daily tasks and organizing projects
• Lattice for sharing quarterly goals and providing company feedback
When in doubt, over-communicate! Whether it’s asking your manager to clarify an email by hopping on a quick call, or telling your team that you’ll be stepping out briefly to pick up something from the pharmacy and will be offline for 1 hour, communication is key.
At Juno, we have weekly Kick-Off Meetings every Monday, where each team reports on last week’s highlights, and the coming week’s priorities. At the end of each meeting, we set aside time for team members to share special shout-outs and thank yous for each other. This is a great way to keep the team informed and included while working remotely!
3. Establish a Routine
The flexibility of remote work is very appealing for many. When done well, it creates a culture of trust and focusing on results - trust that you can manage your time and deliver great work, in a way that works for your lifestyle.
Whether this means moving back home to spend more time with your family while working remotely or taking a quick break to do an online dance class in the middle of a day with no meetings, the flexibility of remote work means that you can have more control over your schedule.
While flexibility is certainly a perk of working remotely, it’s still important to find good routines that work for you. This will look different for everyone, whether it's an 8am-4pm work day because you feel more productive earlier in the day, making time to go outside for your breaks to get some fresh air, putting your phone on Do Not Disturb, or spending the last few minutes of your work day organizing your workspace and to-do list for the next day. The flexibility of working from home gives you the space to discover what works for you.
4. Balance and Boundaries
Unfortunately, working from home can also make it difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance for some. Many people end up overworking while working remotely, since the line between the "office" and "home" is less clear.
To avoid this, make sure to take breaks from work and looking at a screen - try setting reminders, doing stretches every hour, or eating lunch away from your desk. Juno’s Admissions Coordinator Maryam Rashid recommends eyeCare, an extension for your browser that reminds you every 20 minutes to rest your eyes!
If your job doesn’t require you to be available outside of standard work hours, make sure to fully "sign off" at the end of your work day. If possible, consider snoozing any work notifications or removing your work email from your phone so that you aren’t tempted to check or respond after hours.
It’s also important to recognize signs of burnout: if you’re feeling exhausted, irritable, overwhelmed, and/or scattered at work, take action as soon as you can. Communicate with your manager or someone you trust if you need additional support. Try to unplug and catch up on sleep, exercise, and/or watch your favourite TV show.
At Juno, mental health is of the utmost importance to our staff and students. We regularly encourage breaks throughout the day, and taking personal days if needed.
5. Stay Social!
While working from home, it's easy to start feeling isolated from the rest of your team. To avoid this, maintain a positive company culture by creating opportunities to connect and have fun - team lunches, coffee breaks, and games are still possible virtually!
At Juno, our team members take turns hosting games every week - from Zoom scavenger hunts, guess-whose-baby-photo, to drawing contests, they’ve been a great way to wrap up the week, and connect with one another over non-work related matters!
Looking for more tips?
At the start of the pandemic shutdowns, we asked Juno Alumni who have experience with working remotely for their tips - from WFH setups to creating healthy routines, they shared some great advice!