How do I become remote work ready? Some of our experts share their tips, best practices, and stories

Remote work is on the rise. Advancements in technology and cloud-based tools have made this incredible feat possible—you can work, communicate, and collaborate virtually from virtually anywhere. You no longer have to be confined within the four walls of a traditional office. As a Nigerian company, Tranter IT is a big supporter of remote work. We have over 400 staff across the country, with a solid majority working remotely from their homes. We are even able to stay connected using our own digital tools that we’ve created for our customers. Right now, the number of first-time remote workers is on the rise.

And as an IT Support company, we understand that working remotely during this lockdown can be overwhelming for any management, especially as it concerns monitoring and managing teams. 85 percent of our clients have reached out to us to help them strengthen their remote working operations while away from your office and onsite infrastructure. If you are a remote work beginner, we have a few tips, best practices, and stories to share that will help you get started on the right foot. Here’s what some of our experts have to say: Long blog post alert! Bring a cup of coffee, this might take a while. #1 – Have the right tools in place “Even if times are tough to the extent that humanity is challenged, with the right tools, things that may seem remotely possible, can be made possible remotely” – Hariharan Muralimanohar, Head of Marketing – Zoho One

Did you know that our new Zoho Remotely suite was built in less than a week? Even the website went live in just 3 days. We had to manage this whole project with everyone working from different locations following the new mandate to work from home. We were already accustomed to text chatting with peers, but this time, we made frequent use of our video and audio call features to interact with teammates, designers, copywriters, and developers. These cloud-based tools made it possible for everyone to stay working as a unit as the project was progressing. It is best to be prepared with the right set of cloud-based software tools when going remote. I can’t imagine how much more difficult the project would have been without these tools in place. Speaking personally, as a family man with a wife and two kids who were also required to stay at home, I had to keep the focus on work amidst all kinds of domestic noise. I’m grateful that I invested in good noise-canceling headphones! Of course, it should go without saying that it is crucial to have high-speed broadband set up with a powerful WiFi router. So, it’s best to be prepared with the right hardware tools to complement your software tools.

Even if times are tough to the extent that humanity is challenged, with the right tools, things that may seem remotely possible, can be made possible remotely.

#2 – Self-direct: be your own boss (especially when no one is around)

“Put your work in the context of the larger vision, do what you believe in, and make it all a game. Soon you will get to a stage where the only boss you will need is yourself” –Hari Narayanan, Head of Marketing – Zoho Projects and Sprints

Those of us who are used to the buzz and interactions of a busy office may find it hard to stay motivated when they are suddenly by themselves at home. This adjustment can feel impossible for some. If you are one of these people who struggle with the transition, there is no need to fret. There are steps you can take to ease the adjustment period. Over time, you may even learn how to use the focus gained from solitude to get a lot more done.

The key step is to keep your purpose, or “big picture” in mind. The story of the three stonecutters is a great example. When asked by a passerby what each stonecutter is doing, the first says he is chipping stones, and the second says he is earning a living. But, the third says he is building a grand cathedral that will be the pride of the town.

There was even a similar historical incident in which President Kennedy asked a janitor mopping the floor at NASA what he was doing. The janitor simply replied that he was “helping send a man to the moon.”

What is the cathedral your team or organization is trying to build? What is your moon mission? Look at your work not as a series of chores, but as indispensable contributions towards realizing a larger vision.

Do the work you believe in. Do you feel the impact your work creates is in proportion with your abilities? Do you find this impact personally satisfying? If not, it could be that you are overly focused on trying to please someone else, acting out of fear, or “just in it for the money.” None of these options is the best position to be in if you’re looking to find self-motivation.

Often, what the brain craves above all is instant gratification. You can play to this by gamifying your work. Set short term goals, and give yourself rewards that are independent of the outcome of your work. Ex: “If I work for the next three hours on this tough problem, I will watch my favourite show or nap for the next half hour.” “If I can clear my to-do list by Friday, I will go to the spa during the weekend.”

To summarize, put your work in the context of a larger vision, do what you believe in, and make it like a game. Soon, you will get to a stage where the only boss you will need is yourself.

To conclude: set your mind right,  do your part, and the rest will come to you naturally

Remote work really requires a strong commitment. It might take you a few days or a few months to master remote work. Just be professional, and pace yourself. Take the time to learn the ropes.

What do you think?

Join the conversation! Please feel free to share your remote work tips, best practices, setups, and more in the comments section below. 

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