Are you working from home, struggling to find the balance between working and living? Do you have toddlers vying for your attention as you desperately try to meet your deadlines? Remote work is a new experience for many people all around the world. But it doesn’t have to be stressful. Learn to thrive while working from home and how to make the best of this new reality.
Sharon Koifman has over two decades of experience running companies 100% remotely. He is an expert in remote work. With so many of us thrust into this new working environment, we’re looking for guidance from seasoned professionals like Sharon. His new book, Surviving Remote Work, is releasing soon, and it can’t come quick enough. We asked Sharon to give us his thoughts on working form home.
In your experience, is working from home more productive than working in an office setting?
Absolutely. There is more and more research done on this. People working from a more optimal working environment with less distraction, which drastically affect productivity
As companies struggle with whether to open back up or continue remote working, what is your suggestion to help make the decision easier?
One of the biggest obstacles of remote work and management is the perception. If after these few months, you or your team feel that working remote is a compromise and you are only doing it because you have to, and you don’t believe the research that people are more productive, you and your team are doomed to fail. For people who see it in a more optimistic light, this could be one of the best decisions the company can made.
What advice do you have for a remote worker struggling to stay focused?
Make a working station that is dedicated strictly for work and is located in a distraction free environment. When you are not working, don’t hang out in that station. If needed you can get noise cancellation headphones and face your desk so that you can’t see any distractions. If you are distracted by social media and apps, block them (yes it does work). And if you must attend to distractions, like kids, agree with your partner for a chunk of undistracted time. Always remember that every time you get distracted it takes 25 minutes to come back to focus.
Many parents are struggling with remote work while taking care of young children, do you have any words of wisdom for them?
Absolutely, first of all these days, there are tons of phone or tablet apps that are educational and can keep your kid distracted and busy without rotting their brain. Also, make sure to book a chunk of hours with your partner, like this you can have undistracted work for few hours and give your partner the turn. As shocking as it may seem, an average employee in an office only produces about 2 and 53 minutes of work in an 8-hour shift. I explain this in my book. In difficult times, if you can produce 4 hours of productive work you are in good hands.
What was the most challenging part of writing or researching for Surviving Remote Work?
The biggest obstacle is dealing with all the new realities that come with Covid. There is no question in my mind that most people are more productive when they are remote, but suddenly we bring kids to the picture with no daycares and no outside help. I have research that remote people are happier and more independent. A difficult question for me to uncover was, are people who are forced into the reality of remote work also happier?
It’s 6PM, my family and I just sat down to dinner when I hear the familiar ring on my laptop, it’s my boss. Should I leave the dinner table to answer?
Yes, you should. Answer the call to find out if it is an emergency. If you answer and it’s not you will learn that your boss does not have respect for your work/life balance. When you answer the call you can nicely let the boss know that you picked up the phone during dinner. If the boss calls apologetic, then it’s fine, if you are boss is not respecting you and your time, then figure out the next move. Potentially looking for another job.
What is your favorite passage from Surviving Remote Work?
So what is culture in a company? For me, it means connection
Now, why am I discussing culture so much in a remote job book? Even more importantly, why am I discussing connection?
Well, it’s because remote employees tend to be the most disconnected people in your company, and if your company is completely remote, there’s a bigger challenge when it comes to connection. Culture is all about connection, and remote employees are the most disconnected people. That’s why culture has to become an even greater point of emphasis if you are moving to a remote working environment.
Why should readers choose Surviving Remote Work?
My book takes on a heavy subject, with a fun casual tone which I feel is rare for management books out there. I think people will find this book incredible refreshing and easy to read. My goal is not to change you, I really feel that you know what you are doing. I’m just here add on what you know already.
Want to learn more? make sure to pre-order your copy on Amazon.