To help companies in the transition to working remotely, we want to share tips and tricks we have gained through our own experience. In our last blogpost, we gave a tip to managers about trust, which you can read back here.
In this blogpost, we want to provide a tip for anyone who is working remotely. It can be quite an adjustment to exchange a dedicated desk at the office for your dining table in the living room. Besides a change of scenery, successful remote work requires a change in mindset as well: more specifically, a proactive mindset is essential while working remotely.
A proactive mindset means you have to put extra effort into trying to understand what is happening within the team. For example, you can ask what your colleagues are working on and really put effort into understanding the ins and outs by asking questions about the topic. Also, ask about the status of an ongoing task you are expecting to receive: while an update on an ongoing task is easily given in an office setting, a digital update can be easily forgotten. A quick question can avoid frustration and get things done.
Additionally, active communication can help discover when colleagues are stuck on a task, which then provides the opportunity to help each other out and improve both collaboration and efficiency.
Moreover, if you are not sure you know something (well enough), ask your colleagues! One way to do this is to ask colleagues to have a quick call to align your thoughts on a certain topic. In our experience, suggesting these calls are highly appreciated by colleagues, can help avoid miscommunication and can help move a task along. These do not necessarily require a lot of time: a five-minute talk can already be sufficient!
Being proactive also requires additional communication from your side: provide more digital updates on what you are working on, even if no one specifically asked. This might seem unnatural at first, but proactive communication leads to more awareness within the team. It can also encourage other colleagues to share their updates as well.
Proactively asking colleagues to align or receive specific information requires practice. Doing this is easily forgotten: it requires awareness and dedication to be more proactive. Challenge yourself to be more proactive and witness how it can improve your remote work situation!