Having face-to-face collaboration and office setup will always be better for businesses and companies in terms of productivity. It has been the status quo for employers and employees working together. Clocking in and out, sitting on a desk from 9 to 5 with immediate superiors doing rounds from time to time, recognition and promotion for a job well done, pulling teams to a meeting… These are just some of the things office workers have been used to since time immemorial.

Although most studies suggest that 2020 will be the year of gradually embracing remote work, the whole world did not anticipate that there would be a need for everyone to work remotely from the comfort of their own homes as early as the first quarter of the year.

With the World Health Organization’s recent declaration of the coronavirus as a global pandemic, we all wonder how a company can adapt to a remote setup, especially knowing its importance to ensure continuous productivity and business operations. It’s not just the need to adapt but the need to succeed that is crucial. Sure, people will eventually get used to working outside of the office. But how will success be measured and achieved?

Transitioning from an office environment to remote working doesn’t happen overnight. There is a need to restructure processes and to change the culture itself. But with the current crisis in global health and the urgency of working from home, companies and businesses need to act quickly for their employees to adjust.

For us, the Digiters, performance and output have been our key focus regardless of the physical or virtual presence. We are a team of digital masters from around the world who bring value to organisations by offering our tech, creative and marketing expertise. So how do we reach our expected result and achieve success even if we are countries and time zones apart?

The top secret is proper communication. Effective and ongoing communication is crucial to our work and is an integral part of our business. Other secrets include maximising the use of technology as work tools, sharing the same level of passion in our own fields and merging our individual uniqueness into one culture. Knowing that we can rely on each other all the time is already an accomplishment. There is no such thing as barriers or borders. We are digital masters but we make sure we don’t lose our human touch. As we always say, #GoDigitalBeHuman.

Being a growing group of purely remote workers makes it easy for us to continue with our operations even in the midst of a pandemic. All we have to do now is to make sure we stay healthy in the comfort of our own workstations.

We have been operating with this setup for three years now. Yes, things were not easy at the beginning but we are growing and learning from trial and error. Our objective is to create an environment where we can all bring out our natural best wherever we are. So part of our mission is to help introduce this possibility, where a business or company can operate successfully even if the team members are not physically together in one room.

To help you prepare to start working remotely, here are some of our key learnings while running a digital-first, global team:

Trust each other

All team members should learn the importance of trust. If they are used to seeing each other and watching how they complete their tasks in real time, it’s time to put trust and have faith that everything will fall into place and succeed. This will only be possible through proper planning, project management and constant communication.

Discipline yourself

You can gain trust from your remote team by having self-discipline. Even if you are not working in an office, practicing proper etiquette such as reporting to work on time or submitting deliverables before the deadline goes a long way. When you are highly disciplined, you are capable of making logical decisions and finishing tasks right away. There is no room for procrastination.

Set goals and expectations

Working remotely where no one can see you does not mean you are free to do nothing. It also doesn’t mean you can escape your job. It is important to have goals and daily tasks so that everyone is clear on what output to produce. Always remember that you still need to accomplish something even when you are not in the office.

Embrace flexibility

One of the perks of working remotely is having the flexibility in terms of time. This can also be applied in the choice of what productivity tools to use. Make sure you all collaborate only on the platforms you need such as video conferencing, virtual office, messaging apps, cloud-based file repository and task management tools.

Be passionate

Of course, working remotely will not work well if there is no passion. You have to love what you’re doing or else, you might have the tendency to disregard productivity altogether and eventually achieve nothing at the end of the day. Without passion, there is no focus. An employee who is used to an office environment might suffer from lack of enthusiasm when working remotely and end up being a couch potato at home.

Learned a thing or two? With all things considered, how prepared are you to work remotely? Share your experiences with us!

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