Coronavirus prevention is on the rise and there is a possibility that quarantines (mandatory or otherwise) and lockdowns could go into effect increasing the count of team members who work from home (WFH). Given the widespread interruptions, it does make sense to future-proof your organization by making a remote WFH team.
Organizations around the globe have rolled out mandatory remote work. Whether you are a WFH veteran or a newbie, here’s what you need to do to stay productive. Some of us will be working from home for the very first time and this means figuring out how exactly to stay on task in a “new” environment that may not lend itself to productivity.
However, there are amazing ways to avoid getting stir-crazy and empowered to deliver results, from the way you talk to your team to setting up a good workspace.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing some invaluable insights to keep your organization protected, progressive, and futuristic to efficiently manage difficult situations like the one presently faced by the world due to the deadly Coronavirus.
Work From Home Can Work Really Well
You may have read this statement, “Working remotely is the future of work.” Well, let me correct it. It is the PRESENT.
Today, a growing number of organizations across the world are looking for remote workers whether it’s to offer it as a benefit or to fill in the talent gap in their area. Truth be told, people are even considering career changes in this direction and organizations are embracing the remote work culture. What a wonderful era to live in, huh?
So, what does working remotely really mean?
Remote work is any part-time, full-time, or project-based job that an individual is doing from outside the organization’s brick-and-mortar structure. All work is done through a laptop (smartphone, tablet, or desktop) and the power of the Internet.
Crank up the communication
Coronavirus or not, the basic fundamental to working remotely from home is comprehensive and clear communication with your boss and team members – and knowing exactly what’s expected of you and them.
It is important to remember here that most employees spend their workdays in close proximity to their boss and team members that means communication is effortless and easy, to say the least. However, that’s all out the window with remote working from home, and there is an increased possibility of communication breakdown if your workplace isn’t used to remote working. There could be a possibility that your boss is not used to managing team members virtually. For example, your organization might not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers such as the video conferencing app Zoom or the chat app Slack.
‘Treat it like a real job’
The biggest mistake that you could do with remote working from home is not to treat it like a real job. Try something more deliberate instead of lying in your comfy bed with a laptop. The most amazing part is that the fix could be something as simple and easy as plopping down your computer, moving a nightstand into a corner that is away from distractions, and sitting in an upright chair.
This would also serve as a positive signal to those who live with you that you should not be disturbed as you are “at work.” The point is to create positive and healthy boundaries within your home that your family members understand. I would like to highlight here that it becomes easier to unlock the benefits of remote work with a dedicated workspace where you can concentrate.
Avoid feeling isolated
Truth be told, the abrupt and enforced nature of the transition from an office to a home environment even with the most amazing tools at your side could leave some of us struggling to get accustomed to the change. With coronavirus, it’s not clear for how long people will be at home. For instance, working parents will find it difficult to work harder if children are at home as schools are closed. This means close communication with managers – who will need to be understanding – would be crucial.
Team Managers should encourage members of the team to stay high on morale and productivity. For this, a series of semblance of normalcy and camaraderie in unconventional ways could be tried out. This may include remote happy hours or virtual pizza parties where people dial in and share a cocktail on Skype or Slack. Believe me, it is an amazing way to bond. Yes, you can call that weird but everything is fun when everyone is feeling weird. The “we’re all in this together” mentality is awesome as it adds a little bit of lightness and levity to the otherwise difficult remote work environment.
The point is to make time for casual conversations and ‘water cooler’ chat.”
‘Keep spirits up’
I can understand that these are painful and stressful times. Worrying about elderly loved ones or sick colleagues, friends, family, and extended family members and all those negative headlines and fighting the urge to go panic buying for sanitizers and toilet papers can put work emails on the back burner.
To ensure everyone is in the right mood to work remotely, we must engage in as much face-to-face interaction online as possible through video calls or regular meetings with no agenda, such as grabbing a drink or a coffee.
If you are a manager, it is time for you to acknowledge that these are difficult times and your primary job is to be a cheerleader for your team.
Initially, working remotely from home can be a bit of a challenge. However, it does make sense to stay away from crowded places with a contagious illness around us as this preventive measure greatly minimizes the likelihood of transmission.
Until the coronavirus is brought under control, the advantages of remote work surely outweigh the inconvenience. As long as things are handled the right way, your organization could surely be as productive as ever.