Given the situation we find ourselves in, many companies are now operating remotely in order to protect their employees and curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Most staff find themselves facing new ways of working. But how can you work effectively and efficiently in your own home? Here are some good practices you can follow to maintain positive energy and ensure you have a fulfilling professional life at home during this exceptional period.
Equip yourself well
Firstly, to be able to work efficiently in a home office, you will need the basic equipment of a laptop, or tablet, and a phone. The key requirements are to be contactable, to be able to use your usual daily work software (such as spreadsheets, word processing, messaging, business tools, etc.) and to have access to the corporate network.
You can use a laptop configured by your employer or it may be possible to use your own personal equipment, if you are already using that at home.
Maintain professional relationships
Employees need to feel supported more than ever during this difficult and unprecedented crisis. Even though managers are often busy handling the crisis themselves, it is still vital that they maintain contact with their wider teams. It is therefore a good idea to set up a quick call or, ideally, a video conference – using Skype or Zoom – on a daily basis. The goal is to maintain those professional bonds.
Taking this one step further, perhaps you could participate in a weekly informal team meeting – at the end of the day, for example, in order to devote time to social interaction and to keep the team united and motivated.
Keep a regular work pattern
To remain effective, you must set a regular work schedule. It is a good idea to define time slots that suit you and to make sure that those timings are communicated to the wider team.
With this in mind, it is also essential to take regular breaks – ideally at fixed times. This helps to refresh your mind and to maintain creativity!
Create a dedicated place of work
It is so important to create a dedicated work space in the home. This space, designated as a work-only zone, enables you to be much more focused and productive.
As well as separating your work space from the rest of your home, it is also vital to clearly define the boundaries between your personal and professional life, when it comes to your time. This is more important than ever when you are in the same location all day.
And, even if we shouldn’t judge people by their appearance it is really not advisable to wear your pyjamas to work! What you wear is actually really important, particularly in the interests of separating your personal and professional life. Of course, you need to feel comfortable, but you also need to wear something you would consider appropriate for making professional video calls.
Be on time and avoid distractions
Attendance and participation in online meetings are essential when you’re working remotely.
Being on time for these meetings is both courteous and demonstrates that you have an organized work schedule.
In order to be punctual and diligent, you need to stay focused. This means avoiding any distractions such as TV, household chores etc. to make sure you can maintain productivity levels and meet your work commitments and deadlines.
Currently, remote working is compulsory rather than optional. But thanks to technology we can turn this situation into a real positive. Perhaps in the future we’ll see more of a permanent shift towards remote working, an approach that is already a popular trend in the US and across Europe. So let’s make it work for us all now.