In an effort to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, people across the globe are urged and ordered to stay home and practice social distancing. As thousands of companies around the world make the switch to remote work, it can take some time for employees to adjust to working from home full-time. Luckily, there are ways to make remote work easier on yourself, your employer and your coworkers. Below we’re offering seven useful tips you can use to make the most at your new office space.
Tip #1: Set Up a Workspace
Try to create a designated “office” - a place where you can work with minimal distraction. This could be a spare bedroom, dining room, etc. If it’s not possible to separate yourself from others during the workday, make sure your roommates or family members respect your work area, wherever it may be a table, couch, etc. Remind others in your household of your designated working hours to maximize your time with as few distractions as possible.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to Your Time
It can be easy to work late into the night, especially since there isn’t a physical office building to leave. Unless you have a tight deadline or urgent task at hand, try to work the same hours that you would normally if you were at the office. Practice making an intentional effort to end the workday at a reasonable time. Turn off your computer, leave the room you were working in and do whatever you need to in order to physically and mentally separate yourself from work.
Make time for scheduled breaks throughout the workday where you can get up and stretch or walk around. This will help you feel better both physically and mentally throughout the day.
Tip #3: Communicate With Your Team
When you work in an office, you can just walk into someone’s office or pop over to ask a quick question. When working from home, that isn’t the case. Make sure you’re being responsive to emails and messages in a timely and efficient manner. If your company didn’t already have an instant messaging system in place, now is the time to suggest implementing one. Some common workplace instant message software includes:
- Google Hangouts
- Troop Messenger
Don’t forget you always have the option to resolve issues quickly with a phone call as well. If you manage a team of your own, make your communication expectations clear to employees.
Tip #4: Dress “Professionally”
While you don’t need to put on a suit or slacks like you would wear at the office, it’s still important to get dressed in some fashion every day. Make sure your clothes are presentable since you will likely be on calls and video chats with coworkers or clients. While it’s tempting, try not to simply roll out of bed and start working. And when possible, do not work from your bed. It’s important to separate where you sleep from where you work.
Tip #5: Create a System to Share Documents
You may already have a way to quickly share and access files at your company, but if you don’t, now is the time to set something up. It’s important to consolidate and organize your files, not just have them scattered throughout inboxes or instant messages.
Some file-sharing platforms to consider using include:
- Google Docs
Tip #6: Take Time for One-On-One Check-Ins
Even if it’s only for five minutes, it’s still important to have a quick check-in with your coworkers, employees or managers. It helps everyone feel as though they’re on the same page and still connected with one another.
Tip #7: Ask for Feedback
It’s important to ensure that everyone, yourself included, is adapting well to working remotely. If you’re a manager or boss, check in with your employees and ask what you can do to make their lives easier. If you’re an employee, ask your manager if you’re meeting their expectations in regards to communication and productivity.
It can be hard to work remotely at first, especially if it is something that you are not used to. But with a little effort, you can create a successful work environment for you and your coworkers.