With more and more people, especially office workers, being told they no longer need to come into work and that they can work remotely, working patterns are rapidly changing and we’re also having to adapt to new social norms such as juggling home life routines with new ways of work planning and job commitments.
So, how do you adapt to this new remote online working culture?
Here are some tips to help you when working remotely…
Create yourself a comfortable environment: It’s very important for you to arrange and be comfortable in the right surrounding, resources and equipment. This includes having technology such as a computer and mobile that meets your needs, a suitable desk, an ergonomic chair because health and safety still applies when working from home, office supplies, and plenty of natural light. Get these resources in place and you will make your workspace as comfortable as possible.
Set very clear boundaries: To maintain maximum productivity, you really do need to be able to work without any distractions to give yourself concentration and good productivity. This can be difficult if you have children, family or friends who want your attention, so they need to know your working commitments and the times when they can interrupt you.
Keep to a consistent daily routine: Most people at work thrive on structure, so try to work to the same routine as you would normally do at work and stick to it. Get up at the same time every day and get difficult tasks completed early.
Dedicate a private workspace especially for you: Designate a specific area in your home for work, a space that offers you as much privacy as possible. This will make it easier to stay focused and separate your work life from your home life.
Take regular breaks: It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re working remotely s you forget about break times. Taking breaks will help you focus and feel refreshed to tackle your to-do list. And make sure to get up stretch and step away from the computer occasionally. So, create a good time management method that helps you schedule your responsibilities and tasks and sets you up with scheduled breaks throughout the day. By breaking up your day and moving around increases productivity by focusing you quickly back on task when you return to work.
Make sure you stay connected with colleagues: Zoom is the ‘in’ technology which makes it easy for you to stay connected and fight feelings of isolation from work. Other online tools like Skype, Slack also work well to maintain your connections while working from home also enhances team unity and productivity.
Let line managers and your colleagues know your availability: The fact is, the more guidance you provide for others who manage you and work with you as a team, the fewer misunderstandings will occur. This is especially critical if you’re in a project team that works in different time zones. Use tools like Google Calendar or Slack to communicate to your team when you’ll be both offline and online.
Share progress: As a remote worker you need to be proactive and consistent with sharing your ongoing progress with your project colleagues and managers. Project management tools and email can help you share your daily progress to keep others informed.
Ask for regular feedback: Make sure you ask colleagues and managers for feedback on your remote working situation and projects and communicate and adjust as necessary.
Always be Responsive: Once your have set up your schedule and have let colleagues and managers know your working patterns, you then have to promptly return emails, calls, voice mails and online meetings when they’re expected because people can be more time aware when they’re working alone remotely. So, communicate expectations and plan in the specific times for your replies and conference calls.