11 Remote Work Tips and Tools Backed By Expert Remote Workers
by Thom Brown
If you’re just starting your remote work journey, then it can take some time to adapt to this new mindset. The great news is that you now have complete control over the structure of your workday and can tailor it to what works best for you. If you need support doing this, then take inspiration from people who are already killing it as remote workers.
You need the perfect combination of working habits and digital tools. That’s why we’ve created this ultimate list of working remotely tips and tools, as recommended by expert remote workers.
- Inoox: Smart Collaboration for Remote Teams
Ali-Reza Omidvar, a philosophy student at Oxford, is on an endless search for better working practices. Having emigrated alone from Iran to the UK at just 14, Ali is a passionate pursuer of his dreams. His business is unique in its aim of connecting the study of human consciousness with remote working solutions.
Ali is particularly concerned with the dehumanization of remote workers. When we work online, we become faceless, often treating each other more poorly than we would face-to-face. To rectify this, Ali-Reza founded Inoox, an AI-powered communication platform. This automates the monitoring and management of virtual teams so that entrepreneurs can get on with more personal tasks.
- Kitchin Table: A Female-Only Home Workspace
As with all areas of business, the remote work of female nomads can be unfairly overlooked. Laila Dupuy has sought to address this by creating a digital tool that connects women who work remotely. Kitchin Table is a mobile app that helps users foster professional and social relationships.
The main aim of Kitchin Table is to offer all the benefits of a coworking space with the convenience of working from home. Described as the first all-female social network, this app helps women engage in the networking required to succeed as tech entrepreneurs.
- GitLab: The Ultimate Development Tool
Darren Murph has been described by CNBC as an “oracle of remote work” and serves as Head of Remote for GitLab. With over 1,300 employees across more than 67 countries, GitLab is perhaps the world’s largest fully remote company. They have no physical offices and their platform is designed from the bottom up to be the best tool for remote development teams.
Darren has written over 10 million blog posts – a Guinness World Record. If anyone can be trusted to offer advice on working remotely, it’s Darren. Sign up for GitLab if you’re a coder looking for the fastest management platform for your fully remote workforce.
- Buy the Most Comfortable Chair You Can Afford
In his pursuit of optimizing productive output, Tim Ferris has received many words of wisdom. In Panama, a kindly older woman advised that if he spent his money on anything, it should be on the most comfortable pair of shoes and the most comfortable bed. That’s because, at any given moment, you’ll always be in one or the other.
While this is excellent advice, Tim realized that he also spent many hours a day at his desk, sitting in a chair. If you work remotely, then you may find yourself in coffee shops or at home on less-than-ideal seating, causing back pain. Tim’s research into the perfect office chair led him to six potential solutions, which you can learn about here.
- Don’t Neglect Email
With new coworking tools popping up all the time (several of which are on this list), it’s easy to forget about traditional communication methods. While you may be up to date on the most efficient way to operate, many of your clients, customers, and business partners won’t be. That’s why digital nomad, Sharon Gourlay, has written a blog post explaining email marketing.
Everyone uses email. If you want to succeed as a remote worker, make sure you’re always reaching out via this method. Whether it’s to sell more products, land new clients, secure funding, or just get some advice, email is often the best way to go.
- AndCo: Work Remotely From a Hotel
With remote work becoming increasingly popular, Tom Wordie’s mission is to help businesses diversify and accommodate such workers. He’s also helping those who need a high-quality workspace find the right location. Tom’s company AndCo offers hot desks in pubs, cafes, and hotels for a fraction of the cost of a designated coworking space.
Using AndCo comes with added benefits but it proves that there are many options for remote workers that don’t involve renting an office. When it comes to digital nomad work options, think outside the box. Hotel lobbies often offer comfortable seating and free WiFi. Alternatively, you could book a cheap hostel just to use its designated workspaces, saving you money and connecting you with other travelers.
- Track Remote Team Tasks to Spot Patterns
If you’re working as part of a remote team, then you’ll know that it’s not always obvious who is and isn’t pulling their weight. Sometimes, someone’s poor performance can fly under the radar and the whole business suffers as a result. This is one of eight problems discussed in this article. Eliza-May Austin is CEO of th4ts3cur1ty and is experienced in dealing with a remote workforce.
Her advice is to have a system of tracking tasks including what the task is, who’s responsible for it, when it’s due, and whether they completed it on time. If you’re tracking every single task like this, then eventually, you’ll start to see patterns. This helps you identify a weak team member so you can take steps to improve the situation.
- Immerse Yourself in a Remote Work Community
It’s been said that you’re the aggregate of the people around you. If they’re successful, you’ll be too. Matt Kepnes is a blogger and world traveler. In his how-to guide for becoming a digital nomad, he advises that wherever you locate yourself, make sure you’re among a community of creators and entrepreneurs. This isn’t about networking, though, but rather about helping you achieve a healthier work-life balance.
Matt says “When you’re working online, it’s easy to get lost in your work…This is where I see a lot of people go wrong. They fly all the way to a place like Bali and then never leave the coworking space.” If you’re part of a community, you’ll have people around you encouraging you to take breaks and attend social events, helping you stay on top of your mental and physical health.
- Freedom: For Deep Concentration
A common pitfall for remote workers is failing to focus on the task at hand. This issue is the concern of Fred Stutzman, a productivity and digital wellbeing expert. Freedom is an app that’s designed to block distractions, allowing you to focus on engaging in deep work.
Freedom is an interesting brand name for a remote working tool. It refers to freedom from the addictive nature of social media, online shopping, and games. These are all designed to keep you hooked, while Freedom aims to break this addiction and make screen time more productive.
- Digital Nomad Coach: For One-On-One Mentoring
Having the right digital tools can help you succeed as a remote worker but never forget the value of people. Working remotely may seem solitary at times but your success is dependent on your ability to network. Therefore, you might consider working with a Digital Nomad Coach like Dina.
Her journey will inspire you to follow your own path and build a life to be proud of. Becoming a digital nomad requires self-confidence, technological know-how, business acumen, communication skills, and many other qualities. Find a coach who can help you in whichever area you’d most like to work on.
- Find a Creative Hobby
The hustle and uncertainty of remote work can harm your mental wellbeing. You may feel guilty for not pushing yourself to achieve more. Therefore, many remote workers are choosing to spend more time exploring their own psychology. Josh Hogan, a psychotherapist, recommends taking up a creative hobby.
He likes drawing landscapes but you could learn guitar, write poetry, or try coloring in. Hogan notes how this can bring inner calm and a feeling of accomplishment. Art is particularly useful if you experience anxiety or depression. It also helps the brain to think laterally, which is often the key to solving problems you’re struggling with.
These working remotely tips and tools have the backing of those who’ve found success as remote workers. However, they won’t all work for everybody. Try out different systems, constantly tweaking which tools you use and how you use them. You’re in the driving seat so get excited about creating a remote career that works for you.
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Born in Oxford, UK, Thom has been a digital nomad since graduating from the University of Sheffield in 2016. He’s a freelance writer and founder of Thom Brown Travel. Thom specializes in minimalist, ethical, and meaningful travel writing.