Companies around the world have rolled out mandatory remote working. Whether you’re a beginner or a Work From Home veteran, here’s what you need to do to stay productive.
From Canada to Tunisia, several companies have, in recent days, implemented mandatory work-at-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19. We at Tekru Technologies, mindful of the health of our employees and partners are similarly announcing mandatory home working for our teams from Friday, March 13, 2020.
It’s realistic to assume that switching to a “home office” will become the new norm for many of us for some time to come, given Wednesday’s announcement by the World Health Organization that the coronavirus has officially reached “pandemic” status.
Some employees will be working from home for the first time, which means figuring out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not lend itself to productivity. But there are ways to get results and avoid going crazy, from setting up a good workspace to the way you talk to your team.
Coronavirus or not, the key to working from home is clear communication with your teams and your superior, and knowing exactly what is expected of you.
Most people spend their days in close proximity to their superior (project manager, AD, team lead, etc.), which means communication is easy and effortless. But all that goes out the window with remote working, and communication breakdown is even more likely if your workplace isn’t used to remote working.
Out of sight, out of mind can be a real problem for remote workersSara Sutton, Founder & CEO – FlexJobs
Treat it like a real job
There are also some timeless Work From Home tips. For example, just because you can relax in your pajamas doesn’t mean you should. Take a shower and get dressed. Treat it like a real job.
If you don’t have a home office, do all you can to create a bespoke ad hoc space exclusively for work. This also serves as an important signal to those who live with you that you are “at work”. Create boundaries in your home that family members understand.
With a dedicated workspace where you can vou s concentrate, it becomes easier to enjoy the benefits of working remotely.
Small habits, like a 20-minute coffee in the morning or an afternoon exercise, can put you in the right work mindset.
Avoid feeling isolated
Yet even with these tools, the forced and abrupt nature of the transition from an office environment to a home environment may find it hard to get used to the change.
“I’m happily employed, married and a dad with over 6 years of remote working,” says Jay Hayes, speaking at a TEDx Talk on remote working. He says there are two types of home-based work: short-term or occasional home-based work, and permanent or full-time home-based work.
Prolonged isolation could also have an impact on morale and productivity. That’s why many suggest teams try to maintain a semblance of normalcy and camaraderie in unconventional ways, like virtual pizzas where people connect and share a cocktail over Skype.
It’s a great way to bond – it’s a bit weird, but everyone feels weird, so it’s fun.
Keep your spirits up
Make no mistake, these are stressful times. Negative headlines, worrying about sick or elderly loved ones and fighting the urge to panic by buying paws, flour or semolina can all put professional tasks on the back burner.
But the more effort you put into communicating with your colleagues, the more likely you are to avoid feelings of isolation, which can lead to depression.
Solutions to the pitfalls of working from home include as much online interaction as possible
Solutions to this should include as much online interaction as possible via video calls, regular recordings of managers – especially for employees who live alone and may feel more isolated – and regular meetings without an agenda, such as grabbing coffee or a drink.
To the manager, boosting morale!
If you’re a manager, it’s up to you to communicate clearly, and it’s also essential to keep your spirits up.
It’s easy to get stressed or depressed these days. If
if you’re a manager, recognize that there are stresses and
difficulties. Your job is to be a cheerleader for the team.
This is especially important if people end up working from home for more than a few weeks, which is a distinct possibility.