It seems from all of the new trends in 2021, such as ordering your groceries through Instacart or your dinner on UberEats, that managing remote teams that work from home is most likely a trend that will become more mainstream, if not the new norm. According to the Boston Globe 20% of the United States population worked from home prior to Covid 19 and that number has tripled as the pandemic continues.
Given that companies both large and small are undergoing this massive cultural shift from conducting business in beautiful skyscraper offices to working remote, we decided to compile a list of home office productivity hacks, along with the best work from home productivity tools to keep your teams productive and trendy with the ultimate home office setup kit.
Managing remote workers is different in many ways to a classic in-house team. According to Andriy Haydash, a freelance WordPress expert with multiple years of experience, communication is crucial when managing remote work: “From my experience, the biggest challenge in working remotely on a team is communication. It’s much easier to talk to someone who sits right next to you in the office then to have to schedule a call with a person.
While remote work provides a lot of benefits and flexibility, it tends to make some processes less seamless. This is where a good project management tool can come in and be really effective”. In order to be productive as a distributed and remote team, your team members’ mind set is crucial for being a successful remote worker.
Managing Remote Teams: Top 3 Tools
We’ll start with a list of my favorite, easy-to-use remote collaboration softwares that can help distributed teams optimize their efficiencies and shortcomings by keeping track of daily tasks and creating a collaborative remote office culture that encourages proactive communication.
Rated the easiest to use project and product management software by G2 Nifty is the worlds #1 remote work solution used by thousands of forward thinking agile teams. Nifty enables you to think big with its milestones and roadmapping, manage daily and recurring tasks, collaborate directly with individuals and your team as whole.
Each project in Nifty contains a designated discussion module that enables you to communicate with anyone invited to your project. Lastly, Nifty also has built in docs and a two way Google integration allowing teams to access their Google Workplace directly through Nifty itself.
Pricing begins at $39 a month for a team of 10. Guests work for free and are not counted as paid users.
Google’s remote work ecosystem — also referred to as GSuite — is incredibly easy to use and provides teams with secure docs, spreadsheets, files, Google SSO as well as its own chat tool — google hangouts that many teams use to manage all internal communications. For marketing and analytical teams using google analytics and data studio GSuite blends in very well those products and makes creating reports significantly easier, providing a boost of productivity to any business.
Pricing begins at $6 per user a month
Although predominantly used by smaller teams and freelancers, Notion is an excellent software for teams working with databases and wiki style workflow structures. Customers also tend to use Notion for note taking and documentation given the multi level layer of organization provided. Notion offers Kanban and task functionality, however they are difficult to use and function more as a todo list than an agile task management solution.
Pricing begins at $4 per user a month
How to Stay Productive While Managing Remote Teams
In order to be productive as a distributed and remote team, your team members’ mind set is crucial for being a successful remote worker. Here are some valuable tips for working virtually with the correct mentality that has also proven to assist in preventing employee burnout by more than 30%.
- Set a Schedule — Consistency is so important, especially when you no longer have a commute in your daily schedule. Setting aside set times and calendar blocks to have breakfast, lunch and dinner are a great example of this and can ensure that ones personal life has certain structure in place. Every morning before I begin my workday I make a coffee like many others. However, I have found that building a routine of a morning walk with my coffee was very beneficial and allows me to feel nostalgic about my commute of the past, while creating an additional aspect of routine to my workday. If you have trouble setting up your routine, consider using a daily free schedule template.
- Exercise — Although many gyms are closed or open at minimal capacity, there are so many ways that you can exercise at home. My personal favorite is the Peloton Strength and Yoga Classes . A quick thirty minute workout during my lunch break makes all the difference in my afternoon. If your shopping digital exercise programs I would also take a look at Mirror and Obe fitness I stuck with Peloton primarily because of the awesome community, instructors and the speed at which they upload new classes.
- Socialize — Networking and having a social life may be the most important part of making sure you stay sane remotely. At Nifty we have done some fun team building activities over Snack, munchies and beer courtesy of Snacknation. I also have begun to utilize Apple’s GamePigeon portion in Imsg and have been connecting with old friends and family over high stakes games of 8 ball pool and battleship.
Having a remote work setup that encourages productivity is important as well. Just like it would be difficult to work remotely from a beach in the Bahamas, working from a supportive remote office is an important aspect to enhance one’s personal productivity. I compiled a list of tips and tricks one can do to provide a professional and comfortable home office wherever they may be.
- Necessary Equipment — Having the proper equipment and hardware to work remotely is so important. Since I bought my monitor and am able to have a two screen setup I was able to save more than an hour each day due to no longer needing to jump in and out of different tabs and applications. I would advise taking a look at First Base HQ for your remote office needs. They are very helpful, and have everything that one would ever need to work efficiently from home.
- Be Comfortable and Professional — Although psychological research shows that one should maintain a “professional” dress code out of the office. That does not mean that one cannot have an added sense of comfort when working from home. If you’re looking to splurge on work from home attire I highly recommend getting the ABC pants or leggings from Lululemon, or if you’re looking for a more economical option take a look at fabletics . For comfortable tops and shirts that are presentable, yet not over dressy I would take a look at Twillory and Untuckit both have great selections and are fairly well priced.
- Have a Designated Space — Research shows that workers who have a designated workplace in their house tend to be 30% more efficient than those that hop from room to room. Working in an environment like a kitchen or living room can be detrimental to your productivity and should be avoided if possible, due to the constant distributions that can occur.
Managing remote teams working from home is not as easy as we all thought, but it can be made easier with adequate preparation. As employees and employers continue to settle into remote work, certain aspects of the office are definitely missed, and will likely be reintroduced in the form of a hybrid work setup.
Enterprises and startups alike will look to rent very open office floor plans where employees can have the opportunity to go in for training and seminars etc., while still spending the bulk of their time working remotely. I guess only time will tell how that prediction plays out!
Ready to setup your digital workspace in the cloud? Try Nifty for free today — thank us later! 🚀