Since the pandemic began, our workdays have changed dramatically as we’ve shifted to remote work environments. While remote work comes with perks (work in your pajamas or sitting poolside), it’s also causing a lot of stress.
Many people have struggled to adapt to working in a different setting because their in-office workflows don't translate well to a remote work environment. As a result, workdays have gotten longer and longer, causing the line between work and home to blur. Stress caused by remote work contributes to worker burnout, high employee turnover, and poor work-life balance. Adapting your workflows will reduce stress and support long-term company success and worker well-being since remote work is here to stay.
1. Set up a workspace
Creating space for you to get your work done can help you focus and stay on track. Liven up your workspace by working near a window or adding a few succulents. Research has shown that sunlight and plants can have a positive effect on our productivity and happiness. Instead of a windowless desk or cubicle, you can enjoy a more personalized setup. A dedicated workstation can also make it easier to log off and walk away at the end of the day.
Companies can take advantage of services like FirstBaseHQ.com, which delivers tech hardware and provides IT help. Companies can empower their teams by providing this type of support so workers don’t feel like they’ve been left out to fend for themselves. When teams have the space and tools they need, they can focus on their work and maintain healthy boundaries, which reduces stress and burnout.
2. Manage expectations
In a project or team with a lot of moving parts and different people, managing expectations is key to remote work because it clearly defines roles and tasks, so everyone knows what their responsibilities are. Since remote work environments rely heavily on good communication, keeping everyone updated is critical.
Tools with task board features let other people see your workload and track the progress of your projects. You can check on a project’s progress and keep an eye on anything that needs more attention. You and your team can avoid unnecessary interruptions while keeping everyone in the loop and up-to-date. Managing expectations establishes workloads and assignments, which is key to the clear communication that remote working requires. When you and your team know what to expect, you can rest easy.
3. Make the most of documentation
Staying organized is crucial to working in a remote environment because it helps you stay on top of your priorities. Updating and documenting information ensures that nothing gets lost or forgotten. Decisions happen quickly and informally, which is great as long as they’re documented. That way, companies can make sure that everyone is on the same page.
For workers, accessibility is key with documentation; information won’t help many people if they can’t find it. You can take advantage of the Notes feature in Rock or keep information in Google Drive. Workers and team members can reference the documentation to revisit a process or decision. You can summarize a meeting and make the notes available to everyone in Google Drive so anyone can catch up on the latest or use it as a reference. Keeping thorough documentation helps reduce stress by closing communication gaps and keeping everyone in the loop.
4. Use asynchronous communications as much as possible
The communication methods you used in office environments don’t translate well to remote work environments. Asynchronous communication doesn’t rely on getting immediate responses from clients or team members. That means fewer things will get stuck or siloed. It’s also a less demanding way of communication for everyone.
Switching to asynchronous communication can reduce the number of meetings and messages that pile up. In Rock, asynchronous communication can be done with the Tasks, Notes, and Files features. They’ll keep information available to everyone so it’s easy to stay up-to-date on the latest. Your team can use synchronous communication for the things that are urgent or complicated. By using synchronous communication only when you need to, your team will feel less burned out by meetings, calls, and messages. You’ll feel less overwhelmed and your team will have more time to get things done. Asynchronous communication is a great way to convey trust to your team, a necessary part of successful remote work. When your team knows that they can count on each other, collaboration is smoother and less stressful.
5. Celebrate your victories
With a team that’s working from a bunch of different places, it can be hard to celebrate your wins. Highlighting your team’s wins can be as simple as an email celebrating a team member’s hard work or a happy hour to wrap up a big project. Research has consistently shown that positive feedback makes a big difference to remote workers. Making sure workers are valued is a great (and easy) way for companies to retain their talent and invest in their workers’ overall well-being.
Encouragement also makes workers and team members feel more invested in their work and in their roles. You’ll feel more valued when you’re recognized for the work you’re doing—whether it’s a big project or a personal accomplishment. Make sure to pat your coworkers, managers, and team members on the back when they’ve wrapped up a project or finished a stressful week.