Are you a fan of remote working? Well, you might be and you might be a manager that really hates managing a team full of remote workers. Let me start by telling you my story.
I have been a hybrid worker for the better part of my career life, and having a home office to do everything from was just amazing. Yes yes, this was long before COVID19 hit us hard, long before it became a worldwide trend. I could work from anywhere I pleased, within reason of course. This was all fun and games until I became a manager. And then I started managing remote workers.
Let me tell you something, you can’t expect everyone to be as serious as you are, especially when they’re working remotely. I have met many hard-working remote workers, but the thing about remote workers is that they’re at a high risk of developing some really bad habits that would ruin the team culture that you’re aiming for.
5 Bad Remote Work Habits To Avoid
Here are five habits that can hold you back and keep you from being as effective as possible online. These habits aren’t inherently wrong, but they create a sub-optimal work environment.
Ignoring Time Zones
If you’re not careful, you might find yourself working at all hours and talking to people who are halfway around the world. This can be a recipe for disaster, especially if you’re not used to working with people in other time zones. When possible, try to schedule your calls and meetings during the other person’s workday.
Not Having A Set Schedule
This one seems obvious enough: make sure you know when your team or coworkers are available by setting a schedule. This makes it easier for people to plan around your availability and eventually leads to fewer scheduling conflicts.
If you have a schedule, then you can avoid not having time with your team. You may get stuck in meetings that you don’t have time for, but if you make sure to check on the availability of everyone regularly then this won’t happen.
This is especially important if you need to schedule meetings after work hours or on the weekend. When scheduling during these periods, it’s important to make sure people are available and know when they can be scheduled.
Not Setting Boundaries In Remote Work Culture
Believe me! This is bad. I spent my honeymoon answering emails and getting on different calls, until I made it clear that I wasn’t available, and just disconnected.
Most remote workers are expected to be reachable at all times. So what happens when they aren’t? They may get a bad reputation for being unresponsive and not doing their work. Because of this, it’s important to make sure you set boundaries and avoid being reachable at all times, especially during vacations.
If you’re not answering your phone or responding to emails during a vacation, don’t worry about it. Your company understands that people deserve time away from work and won’t write you off for having the audacity to take some time off. They’ll just ask someone else to cover your workload while you’re on vacation.
Not Participating In Hangouts
When you start to work remotely, you miss out on a lot of the face-to-face interactions that are so important in establishing strong team relationships. Having video calls or at least Google hangouts is the best way to overcome this.
Even though it might seem boring, making sure you have regular video calls with your coworkers will help you develop better relationships and understand their personalities. If there’s anything that leads to collaboration, it’s these meetings. Plus, they’re usually a lot of fun to have.
Ignoring Your Company Culture When Working Remotely
The last thing I want to touch on is culture. The culture at your company is important and it might change when you start working remotely. The reason I bring this up is that you’ll have to do several things differently if you want to set yourself up for success in your new role.
You’ll have to learn how to be more independent and focused, in order to be more productive. If you’re not used to working on your own, this can be a daunting experience. I believe that remote work is the best way to develop independence, which is why I think it’s so great for freelancers or people who are struggling with their productivity.