Working from Home: The Right Way
As the COVID-19 pandemic seizes the globe, working remotely has become mandatory for most people. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran working from home (WFH), this post is here to enlighten you on ways to remain productive.
It’s realistic to assume that shifting to the ‘home office’ will become the new norm for many of us, given the severity and longevity of the situation.
Some employees will be working from home for the first time, which means working out how to stay on top of tasks in a new and unfamiliar environment. Fret not, there are ways to deliver results and avoid going stir-crazy, from setting up a good workspace to communicating with your team!
Crank up the communications
Regardless of the pandemic, the key to working from home is clear communication with your manager, your team and your clients. As most staff spend their usual working routine in close proximity to an office environment, communication was direct and in person. Now with mandatory work from home for many, that’s all out the window!
Communication breakdown becomes a blocker if your company is not familiar with working remotely. Your managers may also not be used to virtual management as this requires a suite of tools to be set-up beforehand or they might not be familiar with technology in general.
While communicating with your team from home, it helps every bit as much if there are functions that can provide seamless and accessible face-to-face meetings. Apps like Slack, Zoom, Skype and Zello enable your team to achieve effective communication throughout, even when you’re in different timezones! All you need is a computer with a webcam and a microphone.
Set the vibe up
Just because you can wander around in your pyjamas at home doesn’t mean you actually should during work hours. Take a shower and get dressed! If you don’t have a home office, at least create an ad hoc, bespoke working environment. Without an equipped home office space, people tend to be the opposite of productive, mainly due to identifying their home as a space of relaxation.
Instead of lying in bed with a laptop, train yourself to be more deliberate. This could be as simple as moving your nightstand away from your desk and using a chair. It’s all about creating an environment that you’re familiar with which reminds you of your workspace. This way, you also create an imaginary boundary with other people in your household.
Refresh your brain
One of the biggest challenges (and perks) with working from home is the need to commute to work disappears. This means there are no physical boundaries in the way to start and finish off the day (eg. entering or leaving an office). Unfortunately getting into the work mindset or unplugging from work becomes difficult. You’re not alone, this is a common challenge, especially since the routine you associate with the start or end of a workday are abruptly removed.
HR professionals suggest that “psychological segues” can help you build a more balanced work-life style. Drink a cup of coffee or tea to start the morning and do an indoor workout to call it a day.
Online communication tools are designed to increase morale and productivity. Enforced working from home may leave us feeling isolated and not able to bond with our industrial communities.
Currently virtual lunches or remote meetup events are getting popular which allow people to dial in and have a chat via these online communication platforms. It’s a good way to bond, and keep up with the latest news within the industries. It also adds a little bit of levity and lightness to the otherwise difficult situation.
Keep spirits up
Make no mistake, we are all facing an incredibly difficult time. Negative headlines, worrying about the sick and elderly, panic buying toilet paper and so forth.
Prolonged isolation and working alone remotely for a longer period of time can be demotivating. No matter the role you are in your company, it is crucial to keep up the morale of your team and foster an empathetic and understanding team culture.
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