remote team Archives - Appointment - Online Appointment Scheduling Software

Get It Together – Ways to Use Google Calendar for Remote Teams

By | Scheduling, Time Management | No Comments
google calendar

Remote teams can take advantage of online calendars such as Google Calendar to better manage their time. If there was a way to keep your team on track and improve their focus, wouldn’t you give it a try?

Google Calendar has several great features that remote teams can utilize to stay organized and plan ahead. Additionally, it can increase your team’s productivity and help with collaboration.

When your remote team has the tools to work as efficiently as possible, you instantly notice results. Google Calendar is one of the most popular and accessible calendars available for teams worldwide.

In this guide, we will show you several ways you can empower your team by using Google Calendar. This includes using features such as appointment slots for better scheduling. You can also create an advanced search to help you track down any specific event on-demand.

Let’s dive in and explore how Google Calendar can help your remote team thrive.

Empower Your Remote Team with Google Calendar

To thrive, remote teams need to be equipped with the right tools. After all, remote work wouldn’t even be possible without the technology we have today.

It’s time to step back and consider which tools you’ve given your remote teams to date. For example, do they have a reliable planning tool like Google Calendar? What collaboration tools are they using most frequently? By understanding their needs, you’ll be able to help them move forward.

In the sections below, we’ll explore Google Calendar’s best features for remote work. You’ll learn how each of these features can benefit your team and what their best use cases are. Let’s begin!

Set up appointment slots

Appointment slots are a powerful Google Calendar feature that lets you block off specific periods for appointments. Instead of having someone send you a meeting invite and accept, these time slots make things much easier.

When you create appointment slots on your calendar, these become “reservable” blocks of time. Anyone who has access to these slots will be able to book a time to meet with you.

This has been used by professors looking to create reservable office hours for their students. It’s a great way to let others know your availability each day and allow them to choose a time.

Appointment slots were created as a way to offer teams maximum flexibility with their schedules. Instead of being required to schedule events wherever they “seemed” to fit, it provides a better solution. Your team can see the exact blocks they can reserve, take action and reserve them, or ask for time modifications.

If your team hasn’t been using appointment slots up to this point, let them know it exists. This excellent Google Calendar feature gives you a good amount of time flexibility.

Use calendar meeting rooms

While remote work is gaining in popularity, hybrid work is also increasing. A hybrid employee is defined as someone who works several days in the office and the remainder remote.

If your team is only remote a fraction of the time, setting up calendar meeting rooms may be worth setting up. This feature in Google Calendar lets your organization create and label meeting rooms. Every room you create can then be added to calendar events and meetings and is shown to all participants.

Based on who you invite to an event or meeting, Google Calendar will help you choose which room fits best. This is established on the data you’ve provided about each member of your team.

Find anything with advanced search

Google Calendar’s advanced search functionality makes it easy to find any event or meeting. If you’ve never used this search feature before, it can be accessed from the magnifying glass. Once you click on the magnifying glass, a menu will drop down with multiple parameters.

Based on what you’re trying to find, enter the appropriate search parameter and wait for your results. For example, even if you’re trying to find a meeting years ago, if the record still exists, Google Calendar should find it.

This is a feature your remote team should consistently use to find past communications quickly. We see duplicate efforts being completed fairly frequently, meaning someone did additional work. You can save both time and money with your remote team by teaching them to use advanced search effectively.

Online and offline notifications

When team members are working remotely, it’s essential to know when each of their coworkers is available. This is made remarkably easy with Google Calendar and the Google Suite of tools.

Whenever a member of your organization is online, they show up as available. This lets other team members know they can finally reach out and ask a question.

When somebody is busy in a meeting or away from their computer, an appropriate status will be shown. If you want your remote team to be as effective as possible, don’t forget to enable online/offline notifications.

While it may not seem like a big deal at first, remote teams can have trouble communicating effectively. If you’ve just recently put together your remote team and begin to run into issues, these notifications help facilitate communication. There’s no faster way to save time and get your questions answered straight away than making the most of notifications.

Zoom out with a year view

Most of your planning will be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, but not an entire year. Has your team ever sat down and planned an entire year ahead, time blocking important events and activities?

Google Calendar features a year-long view of calendar events, helping you see where you spent your time the most. You’ll also be able to look further ahead and make better decisions based on how projections change into the future. If a holiday or critical event is coming up, you’ll have everything you need to plan around such events with sufficient time.

Your remote team should understand your company’s vision and the value your company is providing by the year-long view. Scheduling events in this manner ensures nothing gets missed and makes sure you plan around major holidays far in advance.

Concluding Thoughts

Google Calendar can be an excellent tool for remote teams, improving both their productivity and efficiency. If you have a team that needs to collaborate and work together, ensure you give them the right tools.

We’ve walked through several ways to use Google Calendar within a remote team for maximum effectiveness. This includes setting up appointment slots, where anyone interested can schedule a time to meet or chat.

We discussed using the meeting rooms available in Google Calendar for ease and simplicity. Additional features were the advanced search function, enabling online and offline notifications, and zoom out to a year view.

All in all, Google Calendar is an excellent tool for remote teams to utilize to maximize effectiveness. It can help remote workers become more efficient and improve productivity substantially over the long run.

Image Credit: Caio; Pexels; Thank you!

Get It Together – Ways to Use Google Calendar for Remote Teams was originally published on Calendar by .

9 Collaboration Mistakes You’re Making With Your Remote Team

By | Business Tips | No Comments
9 Collaboration Mistakes You’re Making With Your Remote Team

According to Upwork’s “Future of Workforce Pulse Report,” by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely. That’s an impressive 87% percent increase from pre-pandemic levels.

“Our research shows the long-lasting impact that remote work and COVID-19 are likely to have on how hiring managers think about their organizations,” says Upwork Chief Economist, Adam Ozimek. “As businesses adapt and learn from this remote work experiment, many are altering their long-term plans to accommodate this way of working. On work marketplaces like Upwork, we can already see this shift underway with increased demand for remote professionals.”

For many, the support of work from home jobs should come as welcome news. After all, people tend to be happier and more productive when working from home. It also allows you to tap into a larger talent and save money since you don’t have a large office.

But, there are also drawbacks to remote work. Loneliness is often cited as the biggest challenge. However, it can also be a struggle to meet deadlines and communicate effectively.

How can you solve all of these problems? By making collaboration a priority. And, to get started, make sure that you aren’t committing the following nine mistakes.

1. Creating teams just because.

There are over six decades of research that have show that individuals are more creative than teams. What does that mean? Well, when it comes to creative tasks, like generating ideas, you might want to scrap the brainstorming session.

“Please don’t create a team just for the sake of creating a team,” says Leigh Thompson, the J. Jay Gerber Professor of Management and Dispute Resolution at the Kellogg School. “People hate that.”

In addition to sparking creativity, having “me” time can be incredibly powerful. Solitude has been found to relieve stress, give you a chance to reflect, and practice gratitude. Moreover, this aids in planning and can strengthen your relationships.

Related: Why You Should Schedule Dedicated ‘Me Time’ If You Don’t Get Enough Right Now

2. Lack of a common purpose.

“Like many parts of leadership, this is not rocket science,” writes Ben Brearley BSc. BCM MBA. “It is not meant to be a detailed, exhaustive list of roles and responsibilities.” Rather, “purpose simply acts as a guiding vision for your team.”

`Brearley adds that team purpose should contain the following three elements;

  • A “functional statement about what your team does.”
  • Why your team is important and are doing what they do.
  • How your team delivers.

When you have all three parts, and clearly let them be known, you’ll be able to decide “whether you are in (committed) or out (choosing not to take on the work),” states Brearley. Additionally, it assists in modeling the right behavior and connect to a higher meaning.

3. Ignoring time zones/schedules.

Let’s say that you reside in the Eastern Time Zone. By 9 a.m., you’re ready to tackle the day. So, you start sending out Slack messages, emails, or even prepare for a meeting at 9:30 a.m.

The problem? Several of your colleagues are out on the West Coast. It’s unreasonable to expect them to respond to your messages or attend a virtual event when it’s only 6:00 a.m. or 6:30 a.m.

Even if you’re in the same time zone, be self-aware that working remotely means having different schedules. You might be a morning bird. But, others could be night owls and might not be online when you are.

Tools like Calendar by handling availability across time zones. So, when you’re scheduling an event, you can see what time it is for your team members before adding it to everyone’s calendar. You could also poll your team to figure out the best time for everyone to get together.

4. Building brick walls.

Are you not listening to others? Do you allow your team members to share their opinions or ask questions?

In other words, are you being stubborn and not accepting different points of view? If so, then that’s not exactly a supportive, positive, and collaborative environment. It sounds more like a dictatorship.

Let everyone voice their opinions and input. Encourage them to ask questions. And, make sure that not only listen to them but act on their suggestions.

Most importantly? Grant autonomy and let your team do things their way.

5. Over-participating.

“Over-participating and taking on too much within a team can stifle group collaboration by sapping the oxygen in the room and making team members feel unheard and excluded,” writes Sabina Nawaz for HBR. But, you can avoid overtaking the group by taking the following steps;

  • Find your unique contribution. It’s 4th, and 10 and your football team is on the 20-yard line. You wouldn’t call in your linebacker to kick a field goal. Have the right people playing the right positions.
  • Redefine what it means to be helpful. When it comes to groups, figure out where you belong. Sometimes you might just be an onlooker from the sidelines or helping out with busy work.
  • Stay quiet. “Mute before you refute to see how the discussion goes,” states Nawaz.
  • Negotiate a realistic timeline. The team should all agree on deadlines that work best for everyone, so that aren’t any bottlenecks.

Related: How to Focus Employees Who Are Too Helpful With Their Ideas

6. Not creating channels to share ideas.

If you go by the dictionary, then sharing ideas would count as collaborating. But, that’s not always the case in the real world.

Think about when you have your best ideas. It’s not when you’re forced or put on the spot. It happens more organically, like when taking a shower or going for a walk.

As such, provide multiple channels throughout the day for your team to share their ideas when the iron strikes hot for them.

To be fair, this would be much easier in a physical workplace. For example, there could be in-person lunches or drop-bys. But, you can still do this remotely by;

  • Planning virtual lunches and water-coolers.
  • Shared docs or dedicated Slack channels for ideas.
  • A process for vetting ideas.

7. Using the wrong tech.

Just because you’re an Apple devotee doesn’t mean that everyone is as well. With that in mind, it wouldn’t make sense to schedule all video calls on FaceTime. Instead, you would choose a platform that all of your colleagues use and are comfortable with.

Furthermore, make sure that you’re using the right communication.

“Having a surplus of communication and collaboration tools is great,” writes Deanna Ritchie in a previous Calendar article. “At the same time, you don’t have to collect them all. We’re not talking about Pokemon here.”

“Instead, limit the tools that you’re using,” Deanna recommends. “Besides decreasing distractions, it prevents everyone from bouncing back-and-forth between tools. And, it can also help avoid information overload.

8. Getting too comfortable.

Routines can kill creativity. How can your team be innovative when everyone is nice and cozy? By that, I mean working with the same people on familiar tasks day-in-and-out.

Rather than digging you and your team into a rut, push everyone out of their comfort zones by;

  • Creating a more innovative climate. Encourage your team to take on new roles that they find exciting and challenging. You can also push them to work on side projects.
  • Assemble diverse and inclusive teams. You can do this by having a team that is comprised of people from various backgrounds, geographical settings, and/or business units.
  • Shake-things up. As opposed to a tired, virtual team meeting, freshen it up. For example, you could host something like a hackathon to get the creative juices flowing.

Related: Beyond The Comfort Zone: Building A Model Workforce

9. Your team has become a victim of natural pitfalls.

According to renowned author Patrick Lencioni, “companies fail to achieve effective teamwork because they unknowingly fall victim to five natural pitfalls that progress like falling dominos, one after another,” notes Jody Michael Associates. These include the five following dysfunctions;

  • Absence of trust. “In this context, trust is the ability of team members to make themselves vulnerable— essentially revealing weaknesses without concern about repercussions,” add the authors. To achieve vulnerability-based trust, use personal histories and team effectiveness exercises. And, profile personalities.
  • Fear of conflict. Don’t run away from healthy debates. Conflicts can encourage open-mindfulness and prevent groupthink. It’s suggested that you use tools like the Thomas-Kilmann conflict mode instrument (TKI). You can also encourage them to be “miners” and encourage engagement.
  • Lack of commitment. Commitment is simply “a function of clarity and buy-in.” You can accomplish this by reviewing key decisions, establishing deadlines, and discuss Plan B.
  • Avoidance of accountability. “In this context, accountability refers to the willingness of team members to call out their peers on behaviors that might hurt the team,” state the authors. To ensure that this happens, publish objectives and standards, have a progress review, and reward your team.
  • Inattention to details. “Avoidance of accountability creates an environment in which team members put their individual needs (such as career) or even divisional needs (such as status) above the team’s need for results,” they write. To avoid this, publicly declare your desired results and align team members’ rewards to specific outcomes.

How to Foster a “Connected Culture” Remotely

By | Appointment | No Comments

While the COVID-19 may have resulted in more people working from home, the truth is, working from home was already having its moment. In fact, between 2005 – 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. And, regardless of what happens when there’s hopefully a vaccine, the majority of people who have been working from home would like to continue doing so — even it’s just a couple of days per week.

And while there are flaws, those who work from home tend to be happier and more productive. However, if you want to take it up a notch, then you need to foster a “connected culture.” According to a survey from RingCentral, “58% of employees who said their companies are attempting to help them connect said they feel physically healthy.”

Furthermore, “75% of employees reporting high levels of emotional well-being said they feel more connected to their colleagues.” In short, if you and your team want to thrive in a remote world, then you need to make this a priority. And you can accomplish this feat by taking the following steps.

1. Culture is more than just ping-pong tables.

“The first thing to realize is that your culture has to be built around more than ping pong tables,” writes Wade Foster for Zapier. “Games and other group activities that lend themselves to being in person are simply not a possibility on a day-to-day basis for remote teams.” As such, “your culture has to be built around something more than playing table tennis to unite the team.”

Instead, Foster states that culture is about how you work. Specifically, it should be rewarding. And, most importantly, it should be built around your mission and values.

2. Promote clear, open, and frequent communication.

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” — Paul J. Meyer

Communication is, without question, the cornerstone of any healthy and productive community. In addition to making collaboration possible, this helps everyone get to know each other better. And, more imperative, this is how you share your company’s values and expectations.

What’s more, you need communication to give and receive feedback and address conflicts. And, it’s the only way that you’re going to keep everyone in the loop.

Tried and true solutions, like email, project management software, and conference calls are a start. But, you should also think outside the box. Some ideas would be:

  • Before your weekly Zoom team meeting, have everyone go around and recap their weekends.
  • At Buffer, team members share an aspect of their personal life they want to improve on Hackpad. You could also kick off each event by acknowledging a team member’s work or give them a birthday shoutout.
  • Host a weekly AMA (ask me anything) — make sure it’s the same time and day.
  • Plan a virtual lunch or after-hour events, such as a movie or game night.
  • Encourage virtual water coolers using tools Donut.
  • Have different Slack channels, like #Pets or #Music, so that your team can connect over common interests.
  • Create virtual clubs, like a book or film, for your peeps to bond over.
  • Schedule one-on-ones to check-in with your people.

And, to recreate an open-door policy, set your status to available on platforms like Slack or Hangouts. If others see that you’re online, then that’s when they can ask you quick questions or share a concern. If this will be a long time commitment, then share your calendar with them, so schedule a one-on-one.

3. Save teams from information overload and burnout.

Information overload, as described by Calendar co-founder John Hall, “is exposure to excessive amounts of information or data.” While not exactly a new phenomenon, we use media for an average of 12 hours and 9 minutes per day. Moreover, since we’re working from home, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to unplug.

As if that’s not enough, we’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information being consumed. As a consequence, this is making us more stressed. It’s also negatively impacting our relationships and productivity.

While communication is critical, you also don’t want to over-communicate with your team. For instance, to avoid Zoom fatigue, you could replace video meetings with email, Slack, or whatever text method you prefer. Since this requires some extra effort, you’re more likely only to share relevant and essential information.

You could also follow in the footsteps of Help Scout. The company switched their weekly all-hands call with a video recap that’s sent every Monday.

“I love the Monday video updates,” states Nick Francis, Help Scout CEO. “They’re a great way to keep our remote team connected, celebrate accomplishments and update everyone on company news. The weekly team update has turned into something we all look forward to and talk about over the course of the week.”

4. Create psychological safety.

“A culture of psychological safety enables employees to be engaged,” writes Jake Herway for Gallup. “They can take risks and experiment. They can express themselves without the fear of failure or retribution.”

“Juxtapose this type of culture with one where employees feel too intimidated to speak up or share a new idea,” adds Herway. “It’s hard to imagine these employees can mentally allow themselves to be engaged at work.”

How can you cultivate psychological safety among remote teams? Start with the following techniques:

  • Share your mistakes, struggles, and weaknesses with your team.
  • Encourage feedback and ask for suggestions.
  • Invite them to challenge your ideas.
  • Rather than pointing fingers, use mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Find ways for quieter members to contribute. For example, if they’re not comfortable speaking in front of others, they can share their ideas with you through email or one-on-one.
  • Let all team members be involved in the decision-making process.
  • Grant autonomy by letting them work when and however is best for them.

5. Overcome a challenge together.

While this may seem impossible when apart, you and your team can still bond over a challenge remotely. At Calendar, we’ve set up health and fitness challenges over Slack. Groove HQ has also done this with a 30-day push-up challenge.

“It may sound a bit odd, but right away, it felt energizing,” noted CEO Alex Turnbull. “Like we had just developed a deeper relationship across the team in a matter of hours.” In fact, over the next month, “tackling a shared goal has helped us connect on a deeper level than we do in our regular day-to-day work.”

The challenge was also “another touchpoint for our team to communicate with each other on,” says Turnbull. And, it helped counter the dark side of working alone.

“Even those of us who prefer to work ‘alone’ can struggle with that isolation every now and then,” he writes. “That’s why it’s so important to take breaks, play, have a social life, or do whatever it is that keeps you sane.”

6. Create a mentorship program.

One study found that mentors were more satisfied with their jobs and committed to the organization. Additionally, mentoring programs can develop new leaders, increase diversity, and retain your top talent. Also, they create a learning culture, promote personal and professional development, and reduce stress and anxiety.

Best of all? You can use your existing communication methods. For example, you could pair a new sales team member with a seasoned vet. From there, they could have weekly video meetups or quick chats with instant messaging apps or MentorcliQ.

7. Listen to Bill and Ted.

Finally, as William “Bill” S. Preston Esq. famously said, “Be excellent to each other!” How you decide to be kind and show gratitude is totally up to you. It could be something as simple as letting a colleague vent or offering to help them solve a problem.

You could also randomly send them a handwritten note or text thanking them for all of their hard work. If you have the budget for it, you could also send them snack boxes or goodies for their families, like books or dog toys.

And, if your entire team knocked it out of the park this past month, throw a pizza party. Just pick a time and then order some pies from their local pizzerias. Once you arrived, you could hop on Zoom for your virtual celebration.

12 Tips for Motivating Your Remote Team

By | Business Tips | No Comments

Even before COVOID-19 forced more people to work from home, there was already a surge in working from home. In fact, from 2005 – 2017, there was a 159% increase in remote work. That figure would come out to roughly 3.4% of the population.

And while that’s all well and good, for both your productivity and health — it’s also challenging to motivate your team from a distance. The good news? There are ways, such as the following twelve tactics, for you to achieve this goal.

1. Check-in with them frequently.

“Human beings are social creatures by nature, which is inherently in conflict with remote work culture,” writes Ryan Bonnici in a previous Entrepreneur article. “And for every study that demonstrates the efficiency of remote work, there are medical and social scientists revealing the enormous consequences of social isolation,” he adds.

How can you help reduce this psychological toll on your team? Well, use technology to touch base with them often. Tools like Zoom, Highfive, Slack, and Microsoft Teams allow you to collaborate and stay connected with your remote team. There’s also Marco Polo. It’s an app that lets you send video messages to others that they can check when they have the availability.

2. Trust them.

Not everyone is cut out for remote work. But, those who prefer to work from afar do so because of the flexibility. So, go ahead and grant them that.

That doesn’t being completely hands-off. You still need to clearly define responsibilities, expectations, and deadlines, as well as checking in on them. But, beyond that, there’s no need to be micromanaging them. Get out of their way and let them do their thing. It’s a simple way to keep them engaged and motivated.

Another way to show your team that you trust them? By emphasizing what is produced instead of focusing on when and how much.

3. Implement a recognition program.

Creating a culture of recognition should always be a top priority for you. After all, it’s a surefire way to retain top talent, boost engagement, and encourage high performance. But, you already knew that. The problem is that you may not know how to implement this virtually.

Well, that shouldn’t be a concern if you use the following checklist from Justworks;

  • Identify the behaviors, which should be aligned with your values, that you want to reinforce.
  • Determine who is eligible for rewards and how often they’ll be given.
  • Have a structure in place to help you select candidates.
  • Select the type of award you want to give out.
  • Let your team know about the program through a group email or meeting.

4. Help them solve their time management problems.

It’s hard to maintain your motivation when time management is an issue. After all, when you struggle in this area, you aren’t producing your best work, more likely to miss deadlines, and unable to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

The solution? Help them with any of their time management problems by:

  • Stress the importance and benefits of time management to them.
  • Set goals together.
  • Focus on quality, not quantity.
  • Help them identify what’s causing their time management problems so that you can come up with solutions.
  • Reward their success through incentives or even just a handwritten thank you note.

5. Invest in their skills and development.

A key driver in retaining and motivating your team is helping them improve or learn new skills. In a perfect world, you could do this through mentorship or providing in-house training opportunities. Since this isn’t possible, you’ll have to do this via online learning platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, or LinkedIn Learning.

6. Create a virtual water-cooler.

Water-cooler chats often get a bad rap. But, they’re beneficial. Studies have found that these personal interactions make work more enjoyable and meaningful. They also foster a healthy and collaborative work environment. And, these informal conversations can boost productivity, spark creativity, and help people practice their conversational skills.

Of course, when you have a team working from all over the world, these water-cooler talks aren’t possible. But, you can create a virtual water-cooler by;

  • Always be friendly in how you communicate with others. It also wouldn’t hurt to convey your emotions through animated gifs and emojis.
  • Create events like video presentations and webcam hangouts. You could also encourage your team to play online games against each other or start a book club.

7. Create a visual scoreboard.

“Even if your team regularly communicates and has a culture of accountability, they still need a way to capture shared goals,” writes the folks over at 6Q. “Creating a visual that represents progress not only motivates employees with a competitive streak but also clarifies key performance indicators and priorities for the entire team.”

A straightforward way to do this would be to create “a spreadsheet that tracks progress over time or produce a PDF of fancy graphs that represent quarterly goals, choose a consistent method easy to digest for your entire team.” You could also schedule “weekly or monthly meetings to update the scoreboard and periodically realign to be sure the data you measure reflects your business’s initiatives.”

8. Take an interest in your team’s workspace.

You don’t want to overstep your bounds here. But, this shows that you genuinely care about your remote workers and want them to succeed. That’s why Automattic, creator of WordPress, gives its employees state-of-the-art technology and $2,000 to build a home office. At Calendar, we’ve shipped out Autonomous SmartDesks to team members, as well as voice assistants, to help our team members upgrade their home offices.

9. Take the good with the bad.

Research by the psychologist, Roy Baumeister, shows that “people are more strongly impacted by bad events, such as negative feedback,” writes Nell Thayer Heisner. “To avoid letting setbacks hinder the success of a project, managers must address them outright and be sure to counteract critique with positive reinforcement of good thinking and contributions of workers who may have gotten off course.”

“When keeping this in mind, workers will continue to move forward rather than looking behind at past mistakes,” adds Nell. In turn, the entire team will “make progress and effectively collaborate to advance toward the goal.”

10. Always pay them on time.

Besides the legal obligations, this is one of the easiest ways to show your team that you appreciate everything that they do. Sure. There are other ways that you can do this, like writing them handwritten notes or surprising them with gifts. But they need that money to survive. So, if you can’t provide that for them, then they’ll undoubtedly go to someone else who can.

11. Get to know them.

Although this may not seem possible at first, it’s pretty easy—issue surveys and polls. Schedule telephone one-on-ones and solicit their feedback. And, if possible, try to meet with them in-person occasionally — especially when they work for you many years.

Remember, face-to-face meetings are 34 times more successful. If this isn’t an option, at least give video conferencing a try.

Another option? Have your team take a personality test. That may sound a bit much. But, it can help you determine what your team member’s strengths and weaknesses are, communication preferences, and how they make decisions.

12. Cut out the unnecessary.

While you should get to know your team members, there is such a thing as too much communication with them. As such, make it a point to only schedule meetings and phone calls when necessary. If they are, then make sure that they’re short and concise.

The same is true with emails, texts, and Slack. Contacting them too much doesn’t just distract them. It may also be a sign that you’re a micromanager or don’t respect their valuable time.

Why Are Remote Workers More Productive?

By | Business Tips | No Comments

Did you know that, on the average day, 8 million people in the U.S. work remotely? That’s 5.2% of the population.

During the COVID crisis, the number of people working from home may be ten- or twenty-fold greater than the usual figure. But is working in pajamas from the comfort of your home actually productive?

Sure, it’s easy to get distracted by disgruntled pets or your roommate’s blaring music. But studies  show that working from home actually increases productivity. Here’s why:

1. Flexibility 

When you work from home, you have more control over your schedule. If you’re tackling a long-term project, you can dig into it at your own pace. What matters is that you finish by the deadline. 

If you work on a team, it’s important to indicate those preferences on your calendar. Some people work better at the last minute, while others prefer to work ahead. Use time-blocking to tell your team when you’ll be working on each project.

2. Independence  

Nobody likes to be micromanaged. Big brother looking over your shoulder all the time makes most people self-conscious. 

While working remote, take advantage of your independence. You don’t have to report to the office, so you can get started working earlier. Your work space can be as messy or as clean as you like. You don’t even have to work at a desk. 

Most importantly, working from home allows you to take breaks on your schedule. Try the Pomodoro Technique. With this technique, you focus intently on one task for 25 minutes or so, followed by a 5 minute break.

3. No commute

You know what it’s like to wake up late: You grab the clothes nearest to you and throw them on. You run out of the house with coffee in hand, heading for a 45 minute commute. By the time you get to work, you realize you forgot your lunch. There’s another half hour gone to find food out.

When you work from home, there’s no commute. All your food is but a room away. And working a little late isn’t a big deal because there’s no rush hour traffic to worry about.

When you save time, you can work on new projects and further your career. Take a free HubSpot course on content marketing. Learn how to code. Read a book on personal development. 

4. More free time

When you work from home, you have more free time. People who have more free time tend to be happier, and happy people are more productive. 

Try scheduling a little fun in the middle of the work day. Watch a TV show, take a walk, or exercise during your lunch break.

If you decide to try time blocking, it’s important to block out your entire day. Relaxation and family time are important, too. Blocking out your entire day might look like this: 

5–6 a.m.: Morning routine 

6–7 a.m.: Eat breakfast

7–7:30 a.m.: Email & social media

7:30–9 a.m.: Deep work

9–9:30 a.m.: Break

9–10 a.m.: Conference call meeting

10 a.m.–Noon: Lunch and exercise

Noon–1 p.m.: Lunch

1–1:30 p.m.: Email

1:30–2:30 p.m.: Remote team meeting 

2:30–3:30 p.m.: Available for phone calls 

3:30–4 p.m.: Email

4–5 p.m.: Personal development

5–9 p.m.: Quality time with friends & family

9–10 p.m.: Wind down for bed

5. No Office Distractions

With remote work, you can say goodbye to office distractions. You don’t have to worry about your deskmate asking you every question under the sun when a deadline is looming. Your work friend won’t randomly stop by to chat. You won’t freak out when the break room is out of your favorite coffee.

Fewer distractions means more productivity. But it’s still important to be an effective remote team member

  • Keeping up to date with company culture
  • Looking into coworking memberships 
  • Keeping communication simple 
  • Complimenting your coworkers  
  • Keeping information security front of mind 

Not every worker is more productive while remote, but many are. It’s all about choices: Choose to use saved time to better yourself. Keep distractions out of your home office. Enjoy — but be responsible with — your flexibility and independence.

 

Register Now & Get a 30 Day Trial Register Now