Remote work is quickly achieving “ultimate life goals” status and many companies are now embracing this concept, with all or part of their employees working remotely from different corners of the globe.
The remote work revolution is changing the way we work and fully virtual companies are on the rise.
Today, according to FlexJobs, there are approximately 170 companies in the US that operate 100 percent virtually. Remote work is on the rise and a couple of well-known examples of virtual companies include Buffer and Toptal. However, many are still skeptical about remote work.
When telling people that you work remotely, some common questions are: “how do you manage your time?” or “don’t you get bored working from home?” Similar questions arise for companies with virtual teams that hire remote workers: “how do you trust or get to know your employees?” or “how do you engage and encourage productivity? Are remote jobs only for software engineers?”
Many say that remote jobs are only for IT professionals. Well, here’s a myth buster: there are remote jobs outside of technology, including ones in marketing, design and education to name a few.
As one of the world’s largest virtual companies, Scopic Software has over 250 employees working across the globe in software development, marketing and sales, operations, human resources, and more.
While remote work is not for everyone, its growing popularity shows that many people are shifting to this lifestyle. However, before jumping into a remote work opportunity, it is important to know if it is the right fit for you.
Remote work may have its challenges and many people have their doubts. So, let’s dig into the ways employees of fully virtual businesses like Scopic can stay on track with tasks and projects, and also boost team morale.
Communication Is Key
Staying in touch and getting on with tasks when your colleagues are in different time zones can be tough, but being a part of a multi-cultural team keeps things interesting. It can help you become a better communicator when you make the effort to give clear briefs and keep everyone in the loop. It also means you have friends in almost every continent!
Your mornings may be someone else’s nights, but that’s where tools like Slack, Skype or Teamwork come in handy to record your projects and discussions. These tools allow you to instantly message coworkers from many different locations and accommodate the communication needs of clients in different time zones.
Staying on Top of Tasks
As a remote worker, keeping track of your workload and making sure you don’t fall behind may depend on what type of worker you are. Find what it is that helps you keep up with your tasks, unscramble all the to-dos in your head and list everything down where you can see them.
Some people prefer the traditional Post-it notes on their desks, but if you’re the type of worker who needs to be reminded of deadlines and meetings, then Todoist or Wunderlist are great apps to help you stay organized and prioritize your tasks.
Your Remote Job is a Real Job
At times, you will find yourself missing the norms, routines and social interactions that you used to have in the workplace, and then your remote job suddenly starts to seem less “real” to you. Working remotely may not give you the structure that you need, so make your own! Here are some tips and tricks to keep your chin up on tougher days. You may find that it could give your career and wellbeing a boost.
- Don’t stay in your PJs all day
Sometimes not having a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning can become quite unexciting, but try to treat your remote job like a real one (because it is still a real job after all). You would be surprised at how getting yourself in tune with a weekday routine can change your daily outlook completely and can also boost your productivity.
- Set a time to start and finish your work day
A common misconception of remote workers or “digital nomads” is that they work on-the-go as they travel the world. But in reality, there is so much more to remote working than posting beautifully edited Instagram photos of you walking away into the distance of an infinity pool at sunset.
Quite often remote workers feel as if they can never leave their work, let alone travel, because there is no place to “leave” from. Coworking spaces or working from a café can help when it comes to setting boundaries and reminding you that it is time to switch off and call it a day.
- Build rapport with coworkers
While your personal social networks may alleviate some of the boredom of working alone, try and build a relationship with the people you chat to the most at work. Keeping things nice and friendly always helps to make the working experience better – not just for you, but also for your team. In a recent study by AND CO and Remote Year, 30% of 3,700 participants say that a lack of community is what lowers their remote worker satisfaction the most. Why not sneak in that joke or emoji into your chats to make it more personal and brighten up someone’s day?
Here’s something to keep in mind: while hiring remote workers, social skills are also an essential quality that many employers look for. So, don’t lose your charm and make the effort to socialize. Employers often see your ability to get along with your peers as a sign that you are a good fit and will easily adapt to the company.
- Hit the refresh button
A little change of scenery can go a long way. Remote workers often feel isolated and it’s easy to feel that way when you sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time. Spice things up a little and try working from a different city or country, and explore new places during your work breaks.
According to Buffer’s ‘State of Remote Work 2018’ survey, 81% of 1,900 freelancers and remote employees venture outside of their home cities to work and travel at the same time.
- Stay Positive: Think Like A Proton
While working remotely isn’t for everyone, let’s take a moment to remember that the rising numbers of remote workers are good for the environment!
Squad’s research on remote work shows that Xerox saved 40,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions by allowing their employees to work remotely – and that’s something to celebrate.
So, are you thinking of taking the leap into remote work? The key takeaway here is to find out if remote work is a fit for you. Making a shift towards remote work could be what you are looking for and if you feel that you are ready to explore this option, have a peek at our open positions and see if any of them interest you.