Everybody works remotely sometimes. Now, lots of us are suddenly facing full-time remote work—and that's different. You'll almost certainly want to make some adjustments, or you'll end up feeling frustrated and unproductive.
BuildPlane does make it easier for commercial construction Project Managers. We pull together all documentation in a single place. We give you a single portal for exchanging information and a single place to track financials and workflows. Simply put, we give you easy access to—and control over—disparate information that otherwise becomes a lot more scattered when you lose personal contact with the rest of your world.
Long-term remote work also offers challenges that aren't industry-specific. Here are 5 tips for making it go more smoothly, from people who do it all the time:
- Take some time to get your workspace the way you want it. Set up a good keyboard, a big monitor (or 2), a chair with good back support, pictures of your kids you can look at when you need to smile—whatever will make your work easier. You're going to be spending a lot of time here, so be sure you're comfortable. Get organized so you can find what you need when you need it, like in the middle of a call with someone you've been trying to track down for a week. Spending a little time up front to get it right will save you lots of time and frustration later.
- Manage distractions. Set up a system so others in the house know when you can be disturbed and when you can't—even something as simple as an open or closed door. A good set of headphones or earphones can help you tune out whatever else is going on. Set specific times to check emails, return nonurgent texts, and catch up on the news, and stick to that schedule. To help get into work mode, some work-from-home veterans actually dress up in their work clothes, whether it's a suit and tie, a shirt with the company logo, or whatever. It's a weird trick, as those clickbait ads say, but a lot of people swear it helps.
- Make sure the members of your team have the tools they need. You may have to get them laptops, software, mobile devices, even a high-speed internet connection. They may need training or at least a little time to get comfortable with technology that's new to them. Check in with them every day, and make sure they know exactly what you expect of them. We're all in a new situation; everybody needs to know what the new rules are.
- Take breaks. You'll get more done if you get away from whatever you're working on every 20 minutes or so for a cup of coffee or a bit of fresh air. Then you can come back to the job fresh. Set your phone to remind you. You're going to be a lot less physically active than you're used to, so get out several times a day and walk around the block, play with the kids, throw a ball with the dog, or anything else that gets your blood pumping.
- Stay connected with people. Exchanging information by email may be more efficient, but go ahead and call sometimes, too—especially with people whose company you enjoy. Even better, connect via video (FaceTime, Zoom, etc.). We're all experiencing a double whammy of isolation: working remotely while also losing almost all opportunities for in-person socializing. Humans are social creatures. We go a little crazy—literally—if we don't maintain personal contacts.
And here's a tip that we guarantee will pay off: Check out BuildPlane, a dashboard that, as we like to say, gives superpowers to commercial construction project managers. Learn more at buildplane.com, try it for free, or request a demo today!