Teamwork and collaboration are vital in the IT and software industries, particularly for businesses that operate in different time zones and across borders. To complete projects on time without exceeding budget, professionals must be able to share their skills effectively. Agile development and other methodologies also require cohesive teams that can work together efficiently.
Teamwork leverages the skills and experience of all team members and helps to:
- Improve code quality
- Boosts productivity
- Inspires creativity and innovation
- Facilitates transparency
- Instills accountability
- Expands the expertise of team members
The rise of remote work has introduced obstacles that can have a significant impact on the ability of teams to work together.
Challenges of virtual work
Remote work presents positives and negatives for many professionals. Having greater flexibility and saving time and money by not commuting are welcomed by all remote workers. However, loneliness, lack of social interaction, a less-structured environment, and not feeling engaged or included are among the problems that remote workers face each day.
Overcoming the challenges of operating remotely requires organizations to adopt systems and technologies that foster teamwork. Assembling great teams requires going the extra mile by offering training, creating growth paths, and encouraging socialization. Companies should also build corporate cultures and create remote-working arrangements that promote the physical and mental well-being of employees and offer an appealing work-life balance. Taking these steps also helps firms retain and attract skilled employees.
How to work in a virtual world
Employees also have a role to play in overcoming the challenges of remote work. All remote workers have the same primary goal — getting daily tasks done efficiently so projects are completed — but everyone has their own way of working. Finding out what works best for you in a remote role may require a bit of trial and error. These five tips will help you succeed:
Set up boundaries between work and life.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will keep you happy and help you avoid burnout. The boundaries between work and life are easily blurred when working remotely. You can prevent this by starting and ending your day with the same routine. This will help you build discipline and clearly demarcate your workday. Other ways to build work-life boundaries are to eat lunch on a regular schedule and to take regular breaks.
Experiment with what makes you the most productive.
What works in an office setting may not work remotely. Try working in different places: various rooms in your home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. Determine whether you work better listening to music, white noise, or silence. Does wearing pajamas or sweats rather than dressing in traditional work clothes affect your productivity? Once you figure out what works best for you, establish a routine, and mostly stick to it. Occasionally stepping out of your routine is a good way to avoid getting into a rut.
Make yourself visible.
If you feel like you’re stranded on a remote island, take steps to make yourself visible to your team. Keep your manager and teammates informed about what you’re working on. Quickly reply to emails, questions, and requests. Set up meetings with your teammates to discuss projects and issues.
Schedule time for socializing.
For many people, missing out on the social benefits of an office is one of the biggest downsides of working remotely. Going out to lunch, having after-work drinks, or playing softball with coworkers typically aren’t options for remote workers. That means you must actively seek out socializing opportunities. Get a gym membership or enroll in a class. Schedule virtual lunches or happy hours with teammates or friends.
Focus on your physical and mental well-being.
At least once during the workday, go outside to move your body and enjoy sunlight and fresh air. Incorporate exercise, a brisk walk, or a visit to the gym into your schedule. If you’re sick and can’t be productive, take a sick day to recover instead of trying to muddle through a workday.
Above all, remain aware of your productivity and your mood. If you feel either is slipping, take steps to identify and correct the problem.
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