Many workplaces across the World are advising their employees to work from home to decrease their risk of contracting coronavirus and firing the outbreak by spreading it to others. Covid-19 is driving a global work from home test. For many, the sweeping embrace of remote work is a refreshing change they’ve always desired – no office politics, no commute, taking an afternoon break – sounds ideal, doesn’t it? With millions across the Globe embracing work from home and with many corporations such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google adopting it firsthand, the coronavirus is putting remote work to a considerable test. Many are suggesting and questioning whether it will change the corporate culture permanently?
There will be many individuals working from home for the first time, and for some, it might be a challenging transition. For example, it is so simple to get sucked down rabbit holes and become unproductive. And there can be some significant learning curves when it comes to having meetings remotely and interacting with coworkers. The truth is that remote work is not necessarily always as carefree as some might have envisioned, and the lines between “home” and “office” can become somewhat blurred.
It inevitably takes some preparation and adjusting until you work out the best way of remote working for you. Below are some of our tips for working remotely.
Have Reliable Tech
In the first instance, any seasoned remote worker will advise you that reliable WiFi is an essential aspect of successfully working remotely. You will need a secure and reliable connection to make and receive calls, conduct video conferences, and manage any general day to day tasks. Nowadays, countless valuable work applications can aid you through your workday as a remote employee, such as team collaboration tools that can enable you to work more efficiently and communicate with your team. Many remote workers also find that additional tools such as a second screen, a wireless keyboard or mouse are necessary to make the workspace comfortable to boost performance. Another useful gadget you might wish to consider is noise-canceling headphones, which may come in handy if you are unable to get away from your housemates, children, or any other background noises in your remote work environment.
Set And Stick To Work Hours
One of the main advantages of working from home is that you can work at the times that you are most productive. While there will be many jobs where you will need to have more of a strict schedule, and you will probably have some meetings you will be required to attend (likely through video conferencing) for the whole team. Still, outside of those engagements, you can usually set your schedule in a manner that works for you and your most productive periods.
This is a big one. Undoubtedly, our homes are full of distractions and chances to procrastinate. Whether it’s the TV, housework, hobbies, or children – we have several competing demands on our attention. You will have to be getting entirely honest with yourself about how particular tasks are distracting you. It might help for you to determine which distractions will be permitted while you are working and which will not. Consider limiting your access to non-work websites such as social media, muting certain notifications, or creating an agreement with yourself to do laundry only during your ‘official’ break times.
Even though you are no longer working from an office, you need to prioritize. To-do lists are a must – for example, create one weekly, prioritize and then break them down into smaller daily pieces. You can then start with your most challenging tasks, as you will be feeling your most alert. Once you accomplish those, you can then dedicate your leftover brainpower to the less demanding tasks.
Since you are no longer a few desks away from your manager or coworkers, connecting socially with your coworkers is a necessary part of remaining involved in the remote workforce. It would help if you made it a priority to implement effective communication and stayed actively involved in all communication methods set up by your organization to keep on top of tasks, plans, and goals. Take time to say hello to your team. If your company uses an instant messaging application, use this technology to check-in regularly.
Leave The House
Even if it’s to simply walk around the block. When the line between “work” and “home” begins to blur, you might find yourself attached to your computer screen for a more extended duration. Make sure to leave your screen for lunch and take the benefit of being at home to walk your dog in the afternoon. You will return feeling restored and more productive for the remainder of the day.
Take Regular Breaks
It’s simple to get caught up in a task or a project, and before you know it, several hours have passed by, and you’re still working on the same thing. It can be challenging to cut yourself away from your computer or laptop, especially if you’re concerned people might think you’re not being productive, but that does not suggest you should not take breaks. Make sure you schedule frequent breaks where you actually move away from your screen. Not only are breaks good for your eyes and body, but they are also beneficial for your brain and general productivity. It can also enable you to get some new perspective or refocus. If you find it challenging to remember to take breaks, you may wish to set a timer for yourself.
Know When To Switch Off
Last but certainly not least, switching off can be one of the most difficult aspects for remote workers especially as the World is increasingly becoming more connected. While you may receive notifications and emails at every hour (particularly if you are working in a different time zone than your team), it is crucial to acquire a habit of setting a time when you formally “log off” for the evening. Have a routine that signifies the end of the workday and supersedes your commute. This can be accomplished, for example, by working in a different area/room to the usual space, you would be spending your evening. It would be beneficial having a deadline by which you will complete the work for the day. You must, and you deserve to log off.
The End Of The Office Environment?
Widespread conversations are currently surrounding the remote work outbreak, which is suggested to be a test in anticipation of the moment when working from home will predominantly substitute working in person. People who were hesitant to work remotely will likely be forced to discover that they really flourish that way. Leaders who up until now didn’t think they could successfully manage remote teams will have a changed outlook.
Remote work is here to stay, epidemic or not, but the coronavirus may force the change more quickly than anticipated.
If you are new to working remotely and need technology assistance; or if you require help with managing a remote team, contact us today on (970) 663-1200.