10 Tips To Make Remote Working Work For You
The greatest advice I have ever received many years ago was not to mix your personal space and your workspace. Here are some pearls of wisdom gathered from people who have been working from mostly, for successful remote work model.
Almost all of us are working remotely today. Some HR leaders feel that remote work program cloud be counterproductive or may not yield the desired output. Here are some pearls of wisdom gathered from people who have been working from mostly, for successful remote work model.
One major struggle that people face while working remotely, is to find the space to work. Do they use a table in the garage, the kitchen table, or the sofa in the living room? The greatest advice I have ever received many years ago was not to mix your personal space and your workspace. For those that have a study or office already, this is easier to accomplish. However, for most, an office is something they are rushing to create, and the key here is to find creative ways to avoid personal activities, eating meals or socializing from this spot. This is the single greatest step you can make to mentally disconnect from work and dedicate yourself to your family and loved ones.
Next comes the struggle to manage distractions in the work-from-home setting. Younger children think that mom and dad are free to play with them. It is important to establish a home schedule for when you can be interrupted. For example, quiet times must be enforced for when you are on phone calls or in the middle of e-mail and this is something you can even practice with younger children until they understand the rules. Finally, self-discipline in your own schedule is very important, from when you get up, sit down at the desk, take breaks or lunch, check in with key members of your team, and when you shut down. These are hard to manage in the beginning, but consistency is everything.
Then comes technology and other tools. You may discover your internet speed is not set up to concurrently support the kids as they stream their videos while you sit on a conference call. Beyond computing power, printing or scanning solutions, keyboard and desk position, and lighting conditions are also considerations to make. Make sure that you do have excellent cell reception or invest in online conferencing tools like WebEx, Zoom and others. Work with your IT teams to make sure that the right software is in place, that you have all the applications that would help you and your team to work collaboratively.
Addressing increased security risks
Billions of dollars are spent around the world by businesses looking to ensure the security of their digital workloads and transactions. However, with remote working activities that were once fully secured behind the corporate firewalls and security monitoring services are now left to consumer routers. Many company leaders are now beginning to have the conversation around technologies such as single sign-on (SSO), virtual private networking (VPN), and Multi-factor Authentication. More forward-looking businesses are looking to the cloud to help enable collaboration across a distributed workforce. However, that does not negate personal responsibility as employees should continuously watch for phishing attacks and security compromises.
Maintaining your visibility and communications
More than ever, it is important to remain as visible as you can with your teammates. First, it is easy to be forgotten as a remote worker since people may forget about you without frequent communication. Second, we often forget that some people do not do well working remotely and we should check in on the spirits of others. To maintain communications, set time aside daily to check in on a work colleague. Ask about their family and what they are struggling with personally before you dive into work. In these times, it is more important than ever to use video conferencing tools to maintain some degree of normalcy with those we used to see each day. This helps reduce the anxiety and stress with our team members and helps make the job more enjoyable.
Do not forget Social Time
When we all are working remotely, we all miss on the chit chat during break time or maybe drinks or two after work. Loneliness is a growing problem that gives rise to other conditions like depression or loss of interest in work. So, now it is the responsibility of the manager to create the events of socialization. While working in an office, you do talk to someone, whenever, crossing their seat or cubicle. Such conversations need to be replicated on the phone or on video calls.
Establishing a structure is very important if your team is working remotely for the first time. Employees should be clear about productivity expectations either on a weekly or monthly basis. These expectations need to be mapped against reality regularly. Stick to the agenda, when having work-related calls and allow the team members to discuss the projects, brainstorming etc. Last but not the least, do not micromanage your team, trust them. With the help of weekly structured discussions, you can find out who is struggling. Now, you can help that team member by having more discussions and solving his / her problems.
Keep your Team Together
One of the hardest things about remote working is that people tend to “miss” each other. Camaraderie is very important for morale and people need to feel part of something. If you used to have a weekly face to face team meeting, continue this process using a conference tool. Always encourage participation by asking people by name to contribute to the discussion to provide their thoughts and ideas. People who are naturally reticent in face-to-face meetings might be even more so on a call, so get everyone’s voice into the “room” at least once. Make sure that you acknowledge and recognize accomplishments during these calls or brainstorm ideas and solve problems, just as you would if you were all in the same room.
Get creative in celebrating small occasions - Celebrate your team member’s birthdays virtually,- sing happy birthday. You may not be able to share an actual cake, so be creative. A virtual cake will make folks smile and remind people how much they care about each other. Hold a virtual potluck where people share recipes online and use their computer cameras to show the food they are eating.
Most of the people think that one of the dangers of working from home is not that employees get distracted and work less, but actually work more to their own detriment. Surveys have shown that 59 percent of workers have admitted that they checked in with their bosses or co-workers at least once a day while on vacation and 23 percent did so three times a day. When it comes to remote working, some may well similarly over-do it and as a team leader, you must make sure your team understands your need for productivity in addition to having quality time for themselves.
While there are many such great suggestions, however the key is to find what works for you, your family, your team and your business. just be willing to communicate what works well to colleagues and friends and know that we will be living like this for some time to come, but a time that will pass. We will get through this together.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house