How to Work from Home: 6 Tips and a Bunch of Tools for Remote Teams

Productivity Tips

Fed up with the long and boring commutes to your office? Finding very little time to spend time with your kids and partner? Need to relocate to a new location, but developed too much loyalty for your current organization? Or, visiting office ceased to be an option due to a natural calamity or a pandemic flu outbreak?

Well, you may have your reasons for deciding to work from home. But, the question here is, have you prepared yourself to make a successful transition to remote work?

If yes, then it’s great!

But, if you are still confused and wondering how to make remote working work for you, then don’t worry as we will help you get over this situation.

You’ll be glad to know that some easy-peasy work from home tips will help you to settle down effortlessly as a remote worker.

While working from home doesn’t look much different than working in an office, your perception will be changed forever once you start managing your professional life from the comfort of your home.

Before you start working from home, you are most likely to be unaware of several pitfalls of remote work such as overwhelming distractions, communication gaps, lack of social interaction, etc.

However, by using the right tools, that we are soon going to discuss, you can simply avoid falling into such pitfalls and make sure that your productivity only moves in the upward direction.

So, let’s first discuss the 6 tips that’ll be of great help when you start working from home.

6 WFH Tips To Follow Any Day

1. Create and follow a morning routine

Morning routine works like a charm to help you start your day. You exactly know when you need to get up from bed, take a bath, eat your breakfast, and reach your work chair. A morning routine mentally prepares you for the professional work that you’ll be doing for the rest of the day.

Also, it’ll be easier if you stick to the same routine that you used to follow when you go to the office. You can replace the commuting part with something else like meditation, listening to music, etc.

 2. Mark a specific area as your workspace

Work from home poses a challenge for you to keep your work and life differentiable. And nothing can be more destructive than managing your project tasks while sitting on the couch that usually tranquilizes you.

So, what you need to do is mark a particular area of your house/apartment as your dedicated workspace. Investing in a good comfortable chair and a practical table is another important thing that you should do. By having a dedicated space for work, you can easily make a clear transition from personal life to professional life, and vice-versa.

3. Plan your day in advance

When you have several tasks lined up for the week and you do not feel like scheduling them, it’s quite common to get off track and end up missing deadlines.

Develop the habit of planning your day and identify the tasks that you need to complete by the end of the day. Make to-do lists and highlight the due date of each task to make sure that you complete all your work assignments on time.

4. Communicate with your team

Communication plays a crucial role in the overall success of a team. Thus, staying connected with your colleagues should be your topmost priority when your team isn’t working from a common location. You must know that communication acts as the key to make super collaborative remote teams.

Make sure you stay in touch with your remote teammates and your manager. Let them know what you are working on and discuss important aspects of the project using technologies like instant messaging apps and video conferencing tools. Moreover, you can also socialize with your team in separate fun chat groups or during a remote team-building activity to beat the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

5. Give preference to physical activity during breaks

Taking multiple short breaks throughout the day allows you to re-focus on your work and become more productive. However, you should avoid using your smartphone or check out your social media feed during short breaks as well as during lunch breaks.

The best way to utilize breaks is to do a physical activity like taking a brisk walk or doing a stretching exercise to make sure you hit your daily physical activity goals. You can also interact with a family member or practice meditation while being away from your work table for short periods.

6. Stay focused throughout the day

Losing focus from tasks is a common problem that blocks limit your productivity when you are working from home. Also, when you have very little motion in your daily routine, you tend to feel work out even in the initial hours of your work.

To tackle the weariness, you need to keep yourself motivated and focused on your work. You can follow your idols to stay updated on what they are up to, educate yourself with the latest happenings in your industry, and revisit your long-term goals in your mind to stay motivated at work. Additionally, an outing with your family or friends on weekends is a great way to unwind yourself after a busy week.

Productivity Tools for Remote Workers That are Completely Worth It

Another key thing that you must follow as a remote employee is to make optimal use of technology. Today, thousands of productivity tools are available for remote teams and employees. However, it’s difficult to choose among the large heap of tools to find ones that can work for you.

To help you jumpstart your career as a remote employee, we have prepared a list of the best productivity tools that are as follows:

1. ProofHub

Category: Project Management

ProofHub is a highly flexible project management software that can work with remote teams of any size. The platform combines a diverse range of tools that can help you to manage your projects and at the same time, collaborate with your remote team effectively.

Salient Features:

  • Online proofing and markup tools to collaborate on design and document in real-time
  • Kanban boards allow division of a project into multiple stages and see tasks moving through each stage
  • Upload, share and organize files
  • In-built timers and timesheets to keep a record of billable and non-billable hours

2. ClickUp

Category: Project Management

ClickUp is yet another tool that lets you manage your projects and tasks from a single place. It comes with an interactive user interface that is quite easy to understand. Among the many high points of ClickUp is its ability to add task dependencies using Gantt charts.

Salient Features:

  • Streamline projects and tasks for a better process management
  • Keep track of ongoing and completed tasks
  • Mark start and end date of each task
  • Third-party app integrations

3. Acquire

Category: Customer Service & Support

Acquire is a leading tool that businesses trust to strengthen their customer service, sales, and support. The tool works extremely fine for remote customer support teams who want to interact with customers seamlessly.

Salient Features:

  • Live chat with your customers
  • Provide customer support over video calls and using the screen share feature
  • Make calls and even direct them to other team members

4. Chanty

Category: Team Communication and Collaboration

Communicate and take control of all the information that flows among the remote teams with Chanty. This AI-powered tool also allows teams to share files and documents directly over chats. Moreover, you can search and browse for chats and files that you have shared with others in the past.

Salient Features:

  • Supports high-quality audio and video calls
  • Create and manage tasks using Kanban boards
  • Pin important messages and view them in pinned messages section
  • Connect with other apps such as Google Drive and Mailchimp

5. Troop Messenger

Category:  Team Communication

Troop Messenger is an instant messaging app built to meet all the communication requirements of professional teams. It brings together teams of all types with audio calls, video calls, audio messaging, and screen sharing.

Salient Features:

  • Mark received messages with the respond later tag to remember that you need to reply to them later
  • Allows sharing of files, videos, images
  • Live location tracking

6. Time Doctor

Category: Time Tracking

Time Doctor allows remote employees like you to keep an accurate track of time and see which tasks consumed what amount of time. Managers can use automated screenshots features to track the activity of each team member and identify distractions and inefficiencies that restrict productivity.

Salient Features:

  • Online timesheets let you access your time usage stats
  • Pop-up alerts warn if you sit idle for too long
  • GPS and attendance tracking

7. Kickidler

Category: Time Tracking & Employee Monitoring

Real-time monitoring of employee activities and their work hours is what the Kickidler excels at. The tool generates time tracking reports and timesheets with time details of all activities of employees, including overtime, lateness, coffee breaks, smoke breaks, etc.

Salient Features:

  • Intuitive user interface with square cell appearance
  • Computer screen activity recording and logging
  • Weekly and monthly timesheets
  • Employee productivity analysis using built-in charts

8. Filestage

Category: Review and Proofing

For remote teams who want to collaborate and make content review & proofing an easy-breezy task, Filestage is the apt tool. The online proofing tool eliminates long email threads along with the need to wait for several hours, or sometimes, days to get feedback from a teammate, stakeholder, or clients on a file.

Salient Features:

  • Supports PDF, documents, images, audio, and video files
  • Clients can add comments on files without registering
  • Track the review status of files
  • In-built to-do list

Conclusion

Switching to work from home can be overwhelming if you have little to no prior experience of working as a remote employee. You may find yourself struggling to be productive at work and at the same time, face challenges like excessive distractions and lack of social interaction, etc. This is where the WFH tips and tools mentioned in this article comes to your rescue by helping you settle down to your new workplace in no time.