Many people fantasise about working remotely without understanding how to prepare themselves for the transition. While working remotely does involve the opportunity to stay at home in your pyjamas, it can be harder to focus on actual work and ensure you remain productive while away from the office.
As more businesses make the transition to working remotely thanks to the announcement of COVID-19 as a pandemic and instructions to implement social distancing strategies, as a Mobile First business, we have been doing it for years.
Whether its in your veins or something new it is important to plan how everyone will be able to work from home as if they never have before.
Without any preparation, smart tools and guidelines/policies in place, it will be difficult to ensure everyone is on the same page. The facts are we want everyone to be able to communicate and work together effectively, to make sure that business is still functioning as usual.
1. Stick to a schedule
Maintaining a set schedule is important when working remotely as it allows you to set boundaries and differentiate between when you’re working and when you’re not. Most offices maintain standard hours so sticking to these may allow you to stay in touch with your colleagues and. If you find you work better in the evening or early in the morning you may be able to find what is suitable to ensure you are working productively.
2. Invest in reliable technology
Working remotely requires employees to engage with their colleagues using digital tools and systems that many businesses are already using. Relying on paper systems makes social distancing very difficult as paper cannot be easily shared without physical contact. As more businesses move to remote work, the need for reliable paperless systems is greater than ever. Having a digital system that will allow you to keep track of all your data in one place and access updates in real-time will make working remotely much easier.
3. Have a dedicated workspace
Setting aside a dedicated workspace in your home will be a great benefit when working remotely. Especially with social distancing becoming more common it is important to have a space set aside in your home where you can focus on work rather than the distractions of your home. Thinking about the washing you need to do or all the dishes that are on the sink is easy if you’re right in front of them. If you can’t work in a home office then try having an ‘at work’ sign on your desk so other household members know not to interrupt you.
4. Block distracting websites
If you want to ensure you are productive while working remotely try blocking websites on your computer or work account that will distract you. It is easy to fall into the habit of regularly checking social media or browsing through online stores when you’re at home and your work is self-regulated. Try blocking social media sites or other websites that you find yourself migrating to whenever you are bored. This will prevent you from wasting time and will ensure you keep your work and your personal life separate.
5. Think about how you communicate
When you’re working remotely it’s necessary to regularly communicate with your colleagues using methods you might previously not have relied on. Since you won’t be able to have face-to-face conversations, video conferencing tools are essential as they allow you to discuss projects or issues that can’t be communicated clearly through emailing.
6. Stay in touch
With the push towards social distancing and working remotely it’s important to stay in touch with colleagues to ensure work can still be a priority. It can be easy to feel disconnected when everyone is at home rather than in an office together, so keeping up-to-date with your fellow employees can be essential for productivity and for the mental health of all workers.
7. Have a routine
It’s important to keep a balance between your work and your personal life when working remotely, so having a set routine for when you start and finish work is a good step to take. These routines can be simple but should make it clear when your working hours start and finish. This could involve making a cup of coffee, logging in or out of your work account, or listening to a podcast. Having a distinct routine for starting and stopping work will enable you to establish boundaries and ensure your work doesn’t overwhelm you.
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