In the dawn of the COVID-19 outbreak that is circling around the world, many companies and businesses have been affected. While many companies are fairly established with remote work policies and practices it does not mean that it is easy for employees to enable themselves to work from home.
A fair number of companies today already allow and practice work from home routines. However, even though this is available, not all employees use this privilege or plan to do so at all.
Having that said, the current situation might be harder to adapt to than some of us would expect it to be.
Some of us have greater experience in working from home and organising effective work environment, some of us are just at the beginning of this process.
Here, I would like to share some key takeaways, tips, strategies, and learnings from our team's experience with remote work for everyone that struggles with adjusting to this current situation or just starting the remote office set up.
The lucky 7
Hopefully, the 7 (lucky) tips will help you get through this challenging time while allowing you to get your job effectively done.
- Build yourself a workspace. We know how challenging this could be. This is the initial step in your “home office” journey for getting work done. Regardless of how many spaces you have available in your house, whether you have a full empty guest room or just a corner in your living room. It is crucial to establish an area of your home where you will work and commit to working in this space every day.
- Make sure you have all the tools that fit your needs. In essence, it is evident that during such an extraordinary and temporary situation, you will need to make use of what you have available at hand in your household. And probably you won’t be making significant investments in setting up the office as you would do for a permanent situation. It is vital to establish that with your employer and get the full assistance in collecting the tooling. That will help you get the job done as you would typically do in the office. Communicate clearly all your limitations and concerns beforehand. Naturally, you might have a slower home internet bandwidth - than in the office, or that you would need a VPN (Virtual Private Network) access - to connect to the company network. If you need, take your second display with you or request a high-performance router.
- Set real work hours. If you want to be successful in your home office routine while still keeping the right level of work-life balance, then set specific business or work hours. The advantage of working from home is that you can set your own working hours. For example, if you are most productive in the morning, use this time to zoom in your best focus time. Enforce a hard stop towards the end of the day. Regardless of how you set your schedule, be sure to communicate it to co-workers, teams, and your boss.
- Don’t work nonstop, avoid work creep. Because you are always at home and near to work. The home office can invade your personal life and space as your work creeps into your home life. This goes back to your work schedule that establishes when it is the time to call it a day.
- Stretch regularly. Stretch throughout the day regularly, so you don’t get sore or hinder your quality of life. Stretching helps you support your bloodstream and maintain proper oxygenation of the body.
- Video chat FTW. Working from home can get you feel lonely, especially if you live alone. Make it a point to chat with team members each day. Another advice is to use video chat as your virtual office. Being in the office, you often communicate directly to your colleagues next to you, working remotely does not mean that this needs to change. Use your company’s video tool of choice for frequent short calls to get aligned with co-workers efficiently.
- Distant yourself from family members. This is the most difficult advice to give. Especially if you have young children or pets, all of whom distract you regularly and want your attention. Or maybe your partner also fell into the necessity of remote work and struggles as you are. If you are home 24/7, then family members might interrupt you without wrongful intentions. This circles back again to setting specific work hours and communicating those hours clearly across your household. It’s not about being mean if it helps you to perform better at work. The counterpoint to this delicate tip is that you must be present for your family when away from work. Be there for them with all your attention, put your business away outside of work hours.
Understanding this challenging situation is the key. Maintaining business continuity is vital, especially in an unexpected crisis like we currently see worldwide. Diversifying work and be open to working from home is one of the ways companies can withstand such unforeseen challenges.
Thanks to remote work, employers can limit the effects of any unplanned circumstances so that the company can stay operational. All of that in care for all our wellbeing and business success.