The year 2020 has seen remote work become more important and prominent than ever. That has caused business leaders and employees alike to wonder how to stay productive while working away from the office. Whether you’re a manager looking for advice to pass on or a remote employee looking to stay at your best, the following tips can help you stay productive with remote work.

Keep a Schedule

To make the most of your remote situation, Carolyn O’Hara of the Harvard Business Review writes that keeping a schedule is essential. Try getting up around the same time as you would for a day in the office. Getting dressed rather than remaining in sleepwear or loungewear can also help you transition into a productive mindset.

Set and Respect Expectations and Boundaries

It’s important to set clear expectations for employees regarding remote work. Managers should make it clear when employees are expected to be available on digital channels and how quickly they should strive to respond to electronic communications.

At the same time, organizations also need to respect the boundaries of employees. For example, if employees are required to be available from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, then a manager reaching out before or after those hours—especially with an expectation of a response—can breed resentment and frustration.

Make Use of Group Chats

Group chats are a great way for employees to stay in touch during remote work. Firing off a quick message to one’s teammates, for instance, can be a quicker way to get an answer than sending an email and waiting for a reply. Microsoft Teams and Slack are two of the many options that facilitate group chats.

Check In from Time to Time

While many employees relish remote work, it’s still important to stay connected. For example, many managers find weekly one-on-one check-ins with their subordinates helpful. Another option is semi-regular virtual hangouts where teammates can chat and bond.

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