What are some tools for remote work? How to create a home office environment?
Comfortable work from home is the dream of many people. Fortunately, the dynamic development of digital technologies has made it possible to be able to work in such a way. Keep in mind, however, that with its huge advantages, remote work also has some disadvantages. You need to be familiar with the tools for remote work, know how to properly create your home office and how to take care of work organisation effectively. You don’t know how to do it? Sit back, relax and find out more in this article.
Remote work – pros and cons
Let’s start with the basics, namely the pros and cons of remote work for the employee and the employer. For both, this way of organising tasks offers certain possibilities, but also restrictions. So before you decide to accept remote work, or outsource it to someone, consider all the pros and cons. This will help you improve the effects and increase its efficiency.
Advantages and disadvantages of remote work for an employee
From the employee’s point of view, comfort and convenience of working from your own home are undoubtedly a huge advantage. Usually these are spaces organised according to your preferences – you have everything decorated just the way you like it. Thanks to this you feel good at work, which in theory should have a positive effect on your performance.
The advantages also include freedom in daily preparations. You don’t have to follow the dress code, and thus, you can work in the most comfortable clothes. In addition, you don’t have to waste time getting to your workplace, which in some cases can mean saving up to several hours a day.
This sense of decision-making and freedom carries some risk, however. First of all, you can feel distracted and have the feeling that you have plenty of time. Consequently, you may end up doing various house chores instead of what you should be working on during business hours.
There will be a sense of extra time, no stress, which will contribute to procrastination. You will start to postpone the tasks for later and at some point you will realize that it is already 4 p.m. and you are far from achieving the desired effects for the day. What will the consequences be? You will finish your work late in the evening … For this reason, self-discipline is a very important aspect that will allow you to work from home efficiently.
Advantages and disadvantages of remote work for the employer
Slightly different pros and cons apply to the employer. Pros include the fact that the employer does not have to organise a workplace for their employee, who works from home. This is associated with much lower costs that employers incur prior to recruitment. But this is not the most important thing. From the employer’s point of view, employing someone remotely is often the only chance to get a good specialist who lives far from the company.
By the way, some specialists even prefer to work as freelancers and do not necessarily want to commute to the workplace, preferring to do their tasks from home. At the same time, they often work for several clients, which in the case of full-time employment is simply not feasible.
Undoubtedly, a disadvantage for the employer is the lack of total control over the employee’s work hours. Furthermore, the employer doesn’t have full control over what such a given specialist actually does at home. So the employee must be fully trusted, which is not always easy and at times it’s not possible, although a lot depends on both the employer and the employee.
The employer also has limited opportunities to influence the shape of relations between individual team members, and thus may have a limited impact on the atmosphere in the company. It is worth remembering that performing tasks is only one part of the organisation of an enterprise – the correct interpersonal relationships are also important, as they must be positive for the company to grow.
Organisation of remote work – how to work conveniently and efficiently
Of course, all the above mentioned disadvantages can be overcome by introducing specific rules. After all, an employee can better organize their work day, and the employer can take actions that will help with building a positive atmosphere. The owner of the company also has various methods of control over employee performance at their disposal, which over time will allow them to develop the necessary trust.
Remote employee performance – how do you look after it?
As a remote employee, your priority is to maintain appropriate discipline. For example, tools for defining tasks that you will set for yourself or in cooperation with your supervisor will help you. Thanks to this, you will know what exactly you need to do on a specific day, and this will allow you to have control over what you have to do.
It is also a good idea to invest in a white board, which you can put in a visible place. Write the most important tasks to do there. With all the items being in your view at all times, you’ll never forget what you need to focus on at a given point. Just take a look at it and see what the most important tasks are waiting for you. Without logging into dedicated tools or setting reminders on your phone.
Tools for remote work
Just knowing how to work efficiently from home is not enough. The tools that will help you improve your daily tasks are of equal importance. The solutions available on the market are dedicated not only to remote employees, but also to employers who decided to cooperate with such specialists who work from home. What are some useful tools for remote work?
How to ensure communication in remote work?
In the event that remote employees constitute individual cases in the company structure, communication will not cause major problems. Then solutions that enable the exchange of messages and files, as well as make audio-video connections will be sufficient. Everyone knows such tools and they include Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Signal or even Skype.
The situation is slightly different when there are more remote employees or the company structure consists of branches from two or more cities. Then you should consider using a group messenger, which will significantly speed up the exchange of information between individual departments. Proven tools in this respect are primarily Slack and Rocket Chat, which include options such as: group chats, the possibility of creating public and private channels, making direct conversations, transferring files, and even creating video conferences.
Tools for video conferencing
If you don’t need such advanced communication platforms, then you can use other solutions. One of them is Jitsi, which allows you to create group video conferences for multiple users. There you can share your screen, talk in audio-video mode, and write in the built-in chat. Google Hangouts also works very similarly and basically has identical features.
An alternative solution is to use one of the tools that was created for webinars. Those include above all: Zoom, LiveWebinar, GetResponse or even MyOwnConference. All these platforms work in a very similar way and have more features than Hangouts or Jitsi (such as video conference planning with automatic sending of reminders). Access to significantly more features is unfortunately paid, although Zoom allows you to create a video conference for a maximum of 20 participants in the free package.
Task management tools
Remote work does not only create the requirement of developing appropriate communication processes. It is equally as important to manage tasks to make sure that everything goes according to plan. For this purpose, you may need, for example, Asana, Trello, TMetric, Invision or Bitrix24. What connects all these applications for company management is the possibility of creating tasks to be performed, assign people responsible for their implementation, and define milestones so that no important task will escape anyone’s attention.
How to work remotely and not go crazy?
Remote work has its pros and cons. It is worth remembering that not everyone is able to work efficiently in this mode. Work from home requires a very high level of self-discipline so that you are not tempted to do house chores instead of work duties. However, there are tools for remote work that will enable you to improve communication processes, take care of tasks or create group video conferences for all company members. The development of digital technologies has made remote work the perfect solution for many people, as well as for entrepreneurs who want to attract good specialists. The most important thing is to remember the specifics of such work and do as much as possible in order to make it more convenient and effective.