Organization in a Remote Team

The average workday for an American fits into an eight-hour shift, meaning a third of their 24-hour day is spent in the office. After a while, it can seem like those cubicles, desktop computers, and fax machines are like a second home. But how can working from one’s own home produce an exemplary level of work? The answer is organization. Remote work culture has an impact on work relationships and productivity (both negative and positive). It also has provided employees with more flexibility and relief from some of the costs of commuting and being in the office in person. Organization is one of the cornerstones of a successful remote team.

Staying organized makes the difference between a successful remote workday and a chaotic one. Your first task is to choose a space in your home that is conducive to the type of work you are called to do. For example, if your workload includes taking phone calls and joining video chats, a room with poor lighting and loud noises from TVs or family members is not an ideal choice. Instead, create a separate office space in an appropriate room or go to a local library or co-working space that inspires you to be productive. A problem you may encounter is lacking the proper resources to create a comfortable space or a built-in office in your home. A resolution to this challenge is finding an environment outside of your home with a stable internet connection that will allow you to perform your work duties. Working remotely may give you the flexibility to ditch the office chair and send emails from a comfy bean bag or truly break in your living room couch. But as long as you’re not comfortable enough to fall asleep, the opportunities are endless in a remote location.

Next, organizing your selected workspace will help eliminate distractions. Filing papers away in a folder or cabinet or creating a digital file naming system to share with the rest of your team is a great way to avoid clouding your physical and mental space. The less time you spend searching for what you need, whether it be a digital report or your laptop charger, the more time you have to get the job done. Once you’ve mastered organizing the things you need, try adding the things you want to your workspace. This can be a nifty fidget spinner to ease anxiety or family pictures to get you throughout the day. Working remotely allows for more personalization in your environment which can have a positive impact on your attitude toward work.

An organized mental space is as important as organizing your physical workspace. This looks like prioritizing tasks you are responsible for based on your work style. When you feel flustered, try creating to-do lists or using calendars and timers to gauge time management. Being organized mentally and physically will inadvertently affect your work ethic. After all, a house that serves as both your home and workplace deserves as much order as a traditional office calls for.

When all remote employees have instilled organization into their workday, the greater task lies in maintaining that structured discipline across the board. This looks like integrating a project management software or workflow system into the company to mimic what a traditional office’s day-to-day exchanges with co-workers entail. Project management software can create a sense of connectivity across a remote team and maintain organization of clients’ requests and internal affairs. If you are in a position that delegates tasks or leads meetings daily, being able to clearly communicate your goals for the business will give everyone a significant achievement to work towards. Even smaller goals for the work week that are explained in an organized fashion will further assist employees’ organizational workflow. The best way to avoid miscommunication is to prepare your speaking points ahead of time and deliver these messages clearly.

For some people, remote work can seem more isolating than traditional work environments. An intentional approach to organization can help teams be more connected and achieve goals together.

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