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Work Remotely The Right Way: A Seven-Point Checklist

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In your shift from the cubicle to the couch, consider these tips to help make the best use of both technology and your time.

From suit to sweatpants? Fantastic.

But there’s more to remote work than leveraging the comforts of your home.

While working remotely, an increasingly escalating trend amid COVID-19, does have its aesthetic appeal, a certain due diligence is necessary for employees to maintain their level of professionalism while maximizing their at-home productivity.

In your shift from the cubicle to the couch, consider these tips to help make the best use of both technology and your time.

A Seven-Point Checklist for Working Remotely:

1. Make your bed.

Sounds silly, right? But not to Admiral William H. McRaven. In his graduation speech at the University of Texas in 2014, McRaven offered some simple, yet sound, advice that applies to anyone who's moving from the bedroom to the office in a matter of steps.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.

"If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

2. Designate your space.

Specify an area that will be free of distractions (pets, children, etc.) and one that will accommodate technology needs — particularly if you’ll be utilizing online meetings. Scott Anderson, Chief Marketing Officer for Unified Communications provider Intermedia, offers this advice:

Often, when you work from home, you might simply take a seat at the couch or the kitchen table. The problem with these options is there are so many potential distractions! That’s especially true if you don’t live alone. Other family members could be in your space and keep you from being productive. It’s a good idea to have a separate, designated area for work, preferably one where you can close the door.

3. Test your technology.

Your wi-fi alone could make or break your remote readiness.

Test your Internet capabilities to ensure that you’re able to stream video and access remote tools like video conferencing. Talk to your technology partner about speed tests (speedtest.net is a great example) that let you know ahead of time what to expect.

Ensure that your laptop has full access to company email, as well as collaboration tools such as Sharepoint, Dropbox, etc. Also test your phone headset, microphone, and web cam before the big conference call.

4. Look the part.

Susan C. Young, author of “The Art of Preparation: 8 Ways to Plan With Purpose And Intention for Positive Impact,” writes:

“An important part of dressing for success is not only wearing something well but making sure it is appropriate for the occasion or the environment.”

When preparing for your remote workday, consider your environment the same as it would be in the office — even if it is a little cozier. This becomes especially important as your team online meeting approaches. From checking the lighting, to the background behind you, to your attire, ensure that you’re visibly dressed for success.

5. Know what's expected.

A Gallup study finds that only 50% of all employees say they clearly know what is expected of them at work.

Add in the element of remote work (when your manager isn't across the hallway), and mutually understood expectations could get muddy. Whether you are a manager or employee, get clarity up front on tasks, procedures and productivity expectations.

And then follow through mightily with checklist item #6, below.

6. Check in frequently.

Don't let your independent work space become an island of isolation. 

Whatever designated tools or platforms your company utilizes, connect regularly with colleagues and managers. Productive collaboration in a remote environment depends highly on regular communication. With the right tools in place, such as file collaboration/screen sharing capabilities, chat, and video conferencing, connecting remotely can be seamless and relatively simple. 

Checking in also includes emphasizing personal interactions.

Leaders, especially those who are not used to managing virtual teams, may feel stressed about keeping the team on track. Under these circumstances it is tempting to become exclusively task-focused. To address these challenges, making time for personal interaction is important. 

7. Embrace online meetings.

Even when a workforce scatters, the meetings must go on.

Virtual meetings can keep teams engaged and employees connected when work-from-home becomes a reality. They can also be a valuable tool for quick conference calls, or interacting with clients and reviewing account details. 

Solutions such as GoMeet, utilizing screen sharing, screen annotation, mobile app capabilities, and real-time collaboration between users, don't just maintain the meeting status quo. They create smarter, faster, engaging and actionable experiences.


Still not sure about what "work-from-home" would mean for your organization? Don’t go rogue with your remote workforce strategy. A technology partner can be a massive asset to your IT or management team in outlining key areas that need to be addressed – likely ones you haven’t previously considered.

A Remote Work Assessment and Remote Work Checklist can be a great start for companies planning for remote working or, if already engaged, for optimizing and improving productivity.

Ready to start planning? Click below!

Click for a meeting to discuss remote workforce planning ›

Topics: Unified Communications Coronavirus Remote Workforce Planning Cloud Technology Remote Work