7 Best Practices for Ensuring Success in Remote Work

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Many companies are struggling to keep afloat in light of the current pandemic and its ever-evolving persistent nature. Most employees are already working remotely from home, and this could be a long-term reality to help keep everyone safe.

That said, most tasks are essentially collaborative and need some interpersonal interaction. So, how do we ensure success in remote work?


Laying Some Background on the Future of Work

Percentage of workforce staying in remote work post-COVID-19 | Success in Remote Work

Caption: Percentage of workforce staying in remote work post-COVID-19 who were not remote before the pandemic – 2020 (Source: Statista)

The advent of cloud technology and improved communication/collaboration tools have facilitated more and more companies to move towards remote work. Remote work is essentially work done away from a physical office location. Hence, employees can enjoy more flexibility whether they perform the tasks on the road or at home.

However, remote work faces much resistance from the more traditionally-minded leaders; they believe you aren’t working if you’re not at the office. That said, more and more are opening up to remote work being a viable option as it has its share of compelling benefits.

In general, employees value the flexibility and autonomy that remote work gives them. Studies have found that more than half of employees are willing to change jobs for one that offers them this flexibility. Also, companies benefit from happier employees who are more productive, engaged, and excited to work.

Struggles with working remotely 2020-2021 | Success in Remote Work

Caption: Struggles with working remotely 2020-2021 (Source: Statista)

Like it or not, most work is collaborative. Shoulder-to-shoulder with colleagues is how things get done, typically. There are challenges when working remotely; the most common one would be building and maintaining a collaborative culture in a remote environment.

Many complained of not getting feedback in time, causing them to make assumptions in their tasks. They also may feel isolated, leading to misunderstandings and chaos in the project. Incomplete details can even aggravate the situation.

Also, you can face distractions that are hard to avoid due to increasingly complex responsibilities at home that make it challenging to find a healthy work-life balance. Additionally, many find using the tools not easy.

That said, there are ways to circumvent all this and make your remote work a success. Remember, the benefits you reap from remote work will make your effort to overcome any obstacles more than worth your time.


Best Practices for Ensuring Success in Remote Work

Remote work can be a win-win opportunity for both employers and employees. Both have equal responsibilities for ensuring success when it comes to remote work. Whatever it is, you and your team have to do some proper planning ahead.

Here are some best practices that you can work through any work-from-home challenges that come your way:


Prepare a Conducive Work Environment At Home


Create the Needed Space

Identify a suitable and dedicated space in your home for work. Having a room would be better as it can help ‘program’ your brain the right signals for work. Whatever it is, make sure that the whole setup is quiet, comfortable, and conducive for work.


Infrastructure in Place

Since you’ll be using several tools in your work, you’ll need to have a reliable and robust internet connection. Hence, make sure that your home network is set up correctly with suitable devices and software in place. Also, you need to have a powerful laptop or a desktop equipped with the necessary software to help facilitate your work.


Mentally Get Ready

Working from home means you won’t have to commute to work. Still, it’s better to prepare yourself every morning as if you are. This routine can help remind you that you’re readying yourself for work.


Keep Regular Hours

Everyone needs to stick to the agreed working hours to be more effective and reduce confusion. You’d want the team to reach out in real-time with one another whenever possible. This arrangement can also help your team set firm work-life boundaries.

That said, if some of your team members work in different time zones, then adjustments are required. Strive to have at least some of the work hours overlap with the majority of the team.


Communicate Proactively

Proactive communication is a number one priority. With remote teams, you aren’t physically working together in an office setting, so you can’t just pop in at each others’ desks or chat in the break room to stay updated. Hence, you have to find other ways to communicate proactively and effectively.

Remember, the success of everything depends on having accurate and effective communication. So, work out how your team will communicate and the best channels for different tasks.


Relevant Tools of the Trade

There are many types of tools that can help make remote work effective and efficient. For those of you who get paid by the hour, you’d be interested in time tracker tools. This tracking can help you stay focused on your tasks and produce more quality work.

Aside from this, many digital collaboration and communication tools can help ensure success in remote work. You just need time to adjust to them, and soon, you’ll realize how much easier collaborating with your teammates becomes with the assistance of such tools:



You’ll need to have reliable messenger tools in place to help you all stay connected daily. Choose one primary communication channel and use it. There are many available; you can check out Telegram, Slack, or Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams.



Don’t forget video conferencing tools for ‘face-to-face’ team meetings. You can look into Zoom, Slack and Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams, even Google Hangouts. Generally speaking, they do a great job in facilitating video calls, and the quality is good.

Zoom allows remote teams more personal communication via digital meetings | Success in Remote Work

Caption: Zoom allows remote teams more personal communication via digital meetings (Source: Zoom)

The most popular tool nowadays would be Zoom as it’s secure, fast, and is a reliable solution that comes with features such as polling, breakout rooms, screen share, and more. However, they limit the duration of your meeting if you’re using it for free. You’ll need to pay a fee to enjoy more perks.


Real-time Collaboration & Brainstorming

If you’re handling more of a design work where the tasks are primarily visual, you’ll need to look into real-time collaboration tools. Such tools can help make your meetings more effective and productive so that everyone is on the same board and has the same understanding.

One example of such a tool is Stormboard, a browser-based tool that provides a digital workspace where teams can have meetings, discuss projects, and collaborate on certain tasks. You can also do conference calls, collaborative whiteboards, and project management.

This tool helps simulate a more realistic and personal way of working together, with everyone being able to edit the board in real-time while presenting their ideas to the team.


Track Progress

To ensure all team members stay on track and are always on the same page, you’ll need to have a tool in place to help with this. Asana, one of the top work management tools in the market, offers you many built-in ways to better organize and visualize work.



Calendars help keep everyone informed on everyone’s availability. So, it would be easier to schedule meetings and plan better. Look into using calendars, such as Google Calendar, to help your team sync up and stay updated.


File Sharing

Having a central repository to store and share files with your team is essential. Tools like Dropbox, WeTransfer, and Google Drive, help centralize all your documents and track how your information is shared.


Check In Regularly

It is good to have a consistent check-in schedule to know what to do and expect and have enough time to prepare for the said meeting. This system can effectively keep everyone informed and detect any possible hiccups to prevent them from snowballing into more significant problems.

Hence, you can have a Monday early morning meeting so that everyone is on the same page for what needs doing that week and which tasks take priority. Another meeting towards the end of the week helps share progress updates.

Let’s say you’re given a task of looking at ways to drive traffic to your website, so by the time Friday comes, you’ll already have in hand the effective ways to do so, and you can share with the others, brainstorm, and decide how best to proceed.

Regularly checking in is a good practice that allows you to make necessary adjustments before the project veers too far off schedule.


Set and Clarify Expectations Early

It is essential to provide guidelines, set boundaries and expectations when setting out on a project. Don’t forget to give clarity on priorities, milestones, performance goals, and more. Also, outline everyone’s availability and make sure everyone knows. To do this, you need to have frequent and transparent conversations with your superiors and colleagues.

The management team also needs to keep workers informed on any policy changes and company successes. By doing so, you get to align everyone and avoid frustration, confusion, and misalignment.


Make Sure You Know Your Roles and Responsibilities

Streamlining responsibilities is the key to making sure work gets done correctly. After all, you need to know what you have to do to get the project moving. It applies to both in-house and remote team members.

As the leader, take time to spell out the roles and responsibilities of each of the team members in your weekly check-ins. As a team member, make sure you understand what is expected of you. For example, if you need to promote your store via social or other electronic means, make sure you’re clear on this so you can entirely focus on achieving as such.

Ultimately, everyone needs to know what they’re responsible for and that they can be held accountable for it. Then, you’ll have fewer surprises and missed tasks in the future.



Remote work comes with a critical concern that is security. After all, you are handling sensitive project information, which must be secure at all times. On top of the software you need for work, you’ll need to install a good and reliable antivirus program. This defense system is critical for protecting your files and information.

In addition to this, always practice good digital hygiene. Be responsible and use only safe and secure browsers when going online.

You need to secure the home network adequately. Most homes have a wireless router to which your devices are connected; this acts as the gateway to the Internet. You must secure this device as hackers usually exploit the vulnerabilities present in wireless routers.

VPNs help encrypt data to keep it private in transit | Success in Remote Work

Caption: VPNs help encrypt data to keep it private in transit (Source: NordVPN)

A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is mainly used to protect your privacy and enhance security on the internet. Installing a VPN on your router will give you that added protection while masking your actual IP so that your privacy is assured when online.

VPNs encrypt data, keeping it away from prying eyes no matter where in the world it’s heading. It can also help ensure the integrity of connections toward office servers and offer blanket protection for all your devices. The key to success, though, is choosing a reputable and trusted VPN service provider.


Build Rapport and Foster Strong Team Relationships

A company is all about its people. It is vital to foster a solid company culture via a good team bonding experience aligned with the company’s mission and vision. So, weave in some personal time where everyone can get to know one another. Regularly schedule a virtual meet-up where the whole team gets together for a bonding experience and have fun as a group.

You’d be pleasantly surprised to see the other various sides of your colleagues. Also, this can help keep any isolation and loneliness at bay; they will feel like being part of something more meaningful. Arranging quick virtual breaks and interactive happy hours with colleagues can help foster stronger bonds too.

As a leader, you can arrange separate virtual chats with your team members to ensure they feel appreciated. Doling out praise and encouragement can make a world of difference. Practice some sense of normality, reminding everyone that they’re not alone. The objective here is to have an emotional and direct connection with everyone consistently.



For most companies, remote work is here to stay. Also, employees are increasingly expecting more flexibility and remote options. Hence, company leaders will have to adapt to this new normal for managing remote teams. However, remote work does come with its set of challenges.

Fortunately, we now have many tools that can help ensure success in remote work; with the right technology and employee engagement solutions, these can prove to be exceptionally useful to make this work. Bear in mind that the success of remote work depends not only on us making accurate sense and optimum use of the tools we use but also on the human relationships we develop.

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