By now, you are probably feeling off work sometimes, right? Working from home can be hard, especially if you are a recent remote worker. But don’t worry, we all get stuck occasionally. Find out what Luis has to say about it!
How can you start your remote workday right every day? So, Luis suggests the best way is to start by reporting to your manager through your common communication channel with four key points:
- What did you do yesterday?
- What problems did you face and couldn’t solve?
- What are you doing today?
- Why do you need your manager’s advice?
Watch the video to discover more about these keys!
Here’s the key to starting your remote work day right. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Good morning. This is Virtual Coffee Chat With Luis. That’s me your host and this is my coffee. Today, I’m having a lovely, lovely espresso. And yes, it’s the key to starting my day right, any day right, but it’s not the key to starting the remote day right. Hmm. I love me some coffee.
Some people like to start their day off with tea. Fair enough. I hear that that’s the thing. I don’t approve, but to each his own, but I’m talking specifically about remote work. If you’re working remotely, if you just started working remotely lately, you might be feeling something is a bit off. Now, I’m going to tell you how to start your work day right, every day. It’s quite simple, but it’s super effective and there are all kinds of benefits that I’ll go into instant.
So, the first thing you do is, you go to whatever platform your company, your team uses as a default for communication. Could be email, could be WhatsApp, more commonly it’s Microsoft Teams or Slack or whatever, and you message the person that you report to directly, your manager, if you will.
You message them saying four things. The message should have four components. Number one, “Hey, here’s what I did yesterday.”
Number two, “I run into these problems I couldn’t solve.” And here you get bonus points if you actually tell them how you tried to solve them.
Number three, “Today, I’m going to do this.” And obviously, this doesn’t need to be only one thing. It could be this, this and that.
And number four, or I prefer… Ah, my fingers don’t work. Like this. Number four, “Here is what I need to know from you,” if anything, right? Four can be optional. Maybe you have everything you need to do your job. Then in that case, obviously don’t bother your manager, right? But here is the key.
Let’s break this down a bit. So number one takes care of the visibility problem, right? The biggest concern of people managing remote employees is what are they up to? Are they actually doing anything? What’s up with them? Are they actually working?
And actually, most managers tend to trust people. So all you really need to do is tell them, develop the habit of telling them what have you been up to? What were you doing all of yesterday? So that’s one they can care of.
Number two, “I run into these problems I couldn’t solve.” Now, your manager, in a sense, he works for you. His responsibility is to make sure that you can do his or her… Sorry. Their responsibility is to ensure that you can do your job as best as possible.
Now, in another sense, your manager is not there to do your work for you. So it’s really good and it heartens any manager’s day to know that the people under them actually try to solve the problems. Your manager wants to know about the problems that are keeping you from doing your best work, but if you take the initiative to do your best to try to solve them, they’ll definitely appreciate that. Even if you don’t manage to solve them, but if you at least tell them how you tried, that’s going to make their job easier, because they cannot know, “Okay, if he already tried this, this and that, then it doesn’t work. So let me figure out how I can start.” So, you’ve already number one, made yourself visible, number two, provided some sort of value.
So, now we get to number three, “Today, I’m going to do this.” This preempts the invisibility from happening. It lets your manager know what you’re up to and it gives them the chance to course-correct as soon as they see the message. They can think, “Oh, right. Well, Lewis, this time today I actually need this. So let me help Lewis reprioritize his tasks.” this is very helpful to a manager from a strategic point of view.
Then number four, the optional one. If there’s something that you need information, let’s say that one of your tasks is to have a piece of research by a certain deadline to present to your manager. You should ask them, “Okay. So, what exactly? Please sharpen this up to me. What kind of information do you need? How do you want me to present it? Is there some specific direction you want me to take?” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. These questions should be made at the beginning of your workday.
That’s it. So with these four things again, number one, yesterday, I did this, prevents the visibility problem. Number two, I ran into these problems I couldn’t solve, but here’s how I tried. It helps your manager do a better job.
Number three, today, I’m going to do this. It preempts, prevents again, the invisibility problem while allowing your managers to figure it out, to get a check-in, if you will, on how you’re fitting into the overall plan for today. Four, optional, “Here’s what I need to know today to do the best job I can.”
That’s it really. If you do these four things every day at the start of your day, your remote work day is going to go along beautifully and long-term, you will be considered a model remote work employee. It sounds exaggerated, but actually not. If you do this at the beginning of your day, most of the other problems that happen due to remote work tend to go away by themselves.
Anyway, I hope this was useful. If you like this sort of insight, please visit thinkremote.com. We have all sorts of articles and guides for you over there about how to be better at remote work. And if you enjoyed this video, please get some coffee, like share and subscribe. Okay.
This was Virtual Coffee Chat With Luis. See you tomorrow.