Productivity

How to Succeed in 2021

How to Succeed in 2021
Oksana Bednenko
December 30, 2020
Last updated: December 25, 2020

Dear Bitrix24 users and friends, 

Here are our tips and tricks on how to achieve great success in 2021: 

1. Strengthen Your Virtual Skills

The world now is more dependent on Internet technologies than ever. This means the importance of our virtual skills is also increasing. 

If we want to stay competitive and make our business really successful online, these are the skills that need to be trained first in 2021 - for both business owners and their employees.

  • Ability to proactively manage media-based interactions

  • Ability to establish communication norms

  • Ability to build social rapport with colleagues

  • Ability to demonstrate cooperation

Due to the fact that not everyone is inherently great at working virtually, business owners should build something called “virtual intelligence”, which is a set of strategies and behaviors established at a workplace.

Virtual Intelligence

Depending on a particular situation, virtual intelligence may include different things but, for most businesses, it will be these two:

  • Establishing the rules of engagement for virtual interactions

  • Building and maintaining trust

Let’s go over each of the aforementioned components and study them in detail.

Rules of engagement

When people find themselves working remotely (especially, for the first time), this fact often mistakenly leads certain individuals to believe that it is some kind of a mode where strict rules do not apply. Of course, this could not be further from the truth.

This misconception arises from the fact that working in a physical office creates an atmosphere with pre-established, common rules that do not have to be taught since most people are aware of them already.

That’s why it is vital to establish a similar set of rules for remote work as well and have them written down so that every employee could familiarize themselves with these rules.

Now, the rules themselves are not that complicated and mostly revolve around communication and the tools that you use, for example:

  • What communication tools to use for which situations (email for official documents, chat for smaller issues, video call for urgent matters, videoconference for meetings, etc.)

  • What the best time to connect is (e.g., a planning meeting every Monday, a daily checkup meeting at 5 pm, etc.)

  • How to store, edit and share information (the rule of thumb here is “the fewer tools you use, the better”)

Ideally, all your communications, files, and interactions should be done via a single tool or ecosystem. This is the only way to achieve maximum efficiency and productivity.

Building and maintaining trust

One of the greatest dangers of remote work is the lack of socializing, which ultimately leads to a lack of trust. To compensate for the inability to have face-to-face communications, try establishing a more informal atmosphere during your online meetings.

Asking simple questions like “how was everyone’s weekend” or encouraging your employee to share some of their personal news and updates is a great way to bring a social element into your day-to-day communications.

Another way to handle this problem would be establishing the so-called “informal meetings” where no work-related issues will be discussed and your employees can chitchat about whatever they like, exchange funny pictures, share news, etc. One-two meetings like that per week should be more than enough to feed the need for small talk.

Take your business online

When it comes to remote work and establishing a solid foundation for the success of your business in 2021, another important factor is making sure that you have all the right tools for efficient online sales.

In 2020, we saw a great increase in online shopping and sales (according to an IBIS report, online grocery sales was the top-growing industry in the US, with a 74.5% increase in revenue).

Even if your current business was not originally meant for online, you should definitely give it a shot in 2021 - there is a lot of untapped potential in many areas.

Small businesses now have so many possibilities to create an online store in just a few clicks and start accepting orders the same day. They can even accept payments and deliver products using nothing more than a smartphone. A customer-centered shopping experience is already the present and the nearest future of e-commerce.

2. Focus on Your Health

The year 2020 has once again proven how crucial it is to look after yourself and take good care of your health. If you want to succeed in 2021, you need to start paying even more attention to your own and your employees’ well-being.

When we say “health”, that means not only the body but also the mind. Mental health is just as important as physical, especially when it comes to managing people.

Here are some basic tips you will need to stay healthy and productive throughout 2021.

Spend more time outside

Don’t stay home all the time. Try getting out every once in a while: do some exercises, take long walks in the park or simply do some jogging in the morning - these tiny efforts will eventually pay off as you will start feeling much better.

Meditate

Meditation is not some complex technique that is only accessible to the chosen ones. Essentially, it is a way to clear your mind and rid it of any unnecessary or harmful thoughts - like a detox to the body.

It only takes 10-15 minutes a day and involves nothing else but you sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on breathing slowly and evenly. Try practicing it once a day for a few weeks and you are guaranteed to see amazing results - all the thoughts in your head will become clearer and you will start getting new ideas rather quickly.

Bad habits

In addition to the well-known bad habits that everyone knows, we wanted to add a few more. They may not be as obvious as smoking or drinking or eating junk food, but still have to be considered just as destructive.

One of such bad habits is watching and/or reading too much news. Try to limit your daily news intake - much like you would do it with carbs or fats. Consider it a diet for your mind.

3. Goals and Planning

It works on both personal and business levels. In times of uncertainty, the best way to move forward and not stray away from your chosen path is by having a plan and following it religiously.

This is especially true for business owners and managers. Schedule whatever can be scheduled and plan whatever is plannable. Break down your major goals into milestones and keep your priorities up there to make sure everything is moving along nicely. Be a man with a plan and people will trust you unconditionally.

From a business perspective, staying organized means keeping all your tasks and projects in one place where every employee can access them and work with them freely. If you are not using a task/project management tool like this yet, you seriously missing out on a lot of possibilities.  

4. Happiness and well-being

Finally, not everything has to be about work. Professional success is hard to achieve if there is no peace and harmony within us. To bring that harmony back and restore the peace inside our minds, we need to think more about employee happiness and well-being.

There is plenty you could do in that department for your remote workers:

  • Encourage off-work collaborations and projects (especially if it involves a competition factor)

  • Establish team traditions and rituals to enforce the sense of belonging among your newcomers

  • Experiment with your meeting formats (e.g., on a particular day, everyone has to wear something pink or speak with an accent. These seemingly silly things can really bring some funny humor and spice up your daily routine)

  • Initiate online challenges (which may or may not be connected to your work - e.g., things like the “sing a song” challenge or “vegan for a day” challenge are always great fun)


We wish you all the best in 2021! 

Sincerely, 
Your Bitrix24 team

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