The Art of Remote Working and Being Productive: 5 Tips for Keeping Your Job During Coronavirus Pandemic
The new trend in the face of the Corona Virus outbreak for companies and firms have been employees working from home. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Twitter are among the big tech companies that have allowed a majority of their workforce to work from home.
While it is the right decision to make in the face of the pandemic, for workers, it might be difficult to get in the habit of working from the comfort of their home as time management, loneliness, lack of communication, and distractions will be new the challenges to face.
Here are some tips to help you navigate working remotely properly.
- Have all the necessary tools.
The first and most important point to note about working remotely is you need technology. Technology is what makes working from home remotely. So what tools do you need? A laptop and/or monitor, mouse, keyboard, and anything else you would regularly use with your laptop.
Apart from the hardware, you would also need software. Applications like Slack, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting are among the few tools remote workers frequently use. Communicate with your team at work to know which tools will be needed.
Know that things will be different.
Now that you’re at home, it is important not to try to replicate what you had back at the office. Your home environment is different from your environment, and the sudden change is bound to affect your work tempo and practices. It is okay if you binge-watch a series while working hard on your task. And you should know you really do not need to be “dressed-up” so you can work at home. There is no need to stick to your regular 8 am-5 pm working hours while you’re at home, find the time best suitable for you to be most productive. Now is the time for you to attend to some of the errands that have been piling up. You need to embrace the changes as the situation may not be short-lived.
Discuss with your boss and co-workers
Just as you would always update your boss and team members on what you’re working on, what your goals are, and how you want to get them done, it is more important to do that at this time. Prior to moving all your work home, you should discuss with your boss and co-workers. During your time working remotely, you should update everyone regularly; over-communication is better at this time.
Create your workspace in your home
For those who live alone, this would be easier for you to achieve. You can visualize a part of your home as your workspace, but even at that, you still need to create a physical separation to really work in that space. You can decorate an area of your room to contain all you’ll need to work effectively.
However, for you who have a family, having a home office is the most ideal situation, but it is not always possible. The best you can do is cordon off a section of your home, and if possible, put up a sign that says “At Work” so that your kids or partner know that you are not available for not-work activities even though you’re just a few feet away.
You can as well decide to go out of your house to a few designated locations where people are still allowed to go during the lockdown. The coffee shop close to your apartment may be the ideal spot for you, but you should take note not to connect to their public WiFi as it may not be secure to access confidential files.
Get a Work-Life Balance
As much as it is easy to get distracted while working from the comfort of your home, it is also easy to get sucked into the work you’re doing, and you lose track of time. First, ensure you have a scheduled start and stop time while you’re working remotely, and ensure you keep to it. You need to know that the emails will be waiting for you even after you’ve taken your much-needed break from work, so don’t cheat yourself out of the rest you deserve.
During your break, you can either walk to other parts of your house or visit a coffee shop to relax. A stroll down your street can also help relieve the pressure on your back after hours of sitting down at your table. You should not neglect the importance of social media at this time as information regarding COVID-19 tends to spread faster through that medium. Check up on friends and family at least twice daily to know how they’re coping.
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