Given the recent developments with the global COVID-19 pandmeic, many workers are scrambling to get themselves accustomed to working from home. First things first, take a deep breath. Teleworking is not a new concept. In fact, prior to the recent quarantines and social isolation, a 2018 IWG study found that more than 70% of workers around the world work remotely at least once a week. Additionally, 53% work remotely at least half of the time.
As it stands, workers around the world are adjusting to working from home for the foreseeable future. We’ve put together these tips to help you get started on your path to remote productivity.
- Start with a cup of coffee or tea
It’s easy to wake up and hit the ground running, but before you know it you’ll become lost in a sea of emails. When you work remotely, you should start your day like you would if you were heading into the office. Wake up, take a shower, make a cup or coffee or tea, and enjoy a nice breakfast.
- Set a schedule and stick to it
While it’s important to remain on task and productive, you also need to cut yourself some slack and stick to a logical schedule. For example, select times every day to exercise and have lunch. It’s important to take breaks and walk around the house. Most importantly, select a time each day to stop working.
One of the biggest misconceptions is remote workers are less productive. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. A Global Workplace Analytics Costs and Benefits survey found teleworkers are between 35%-40% more productive than their office counterparts. The key to remaining successful lies in stopping each day just as you would in a traditional work environment. If you normally work from 9am – 5pm, be sure to shut things down around your normal “office hours.” Your productivity will thank you for it!
- Create a dedicated workspace
If you already have a home office, you’re all set. For those who don’t, there’s no need to fret. You can create a dedicated workspace to serve as your remote office. If possible, select an area of the home that’s isolated and quiet. If this isn’t possible, consider setting up at the dining room table. The main point here is to avoid working from the couch where there are plenty of distractions.
- Get your technology in order
Technology is what powers a remote workforce. Be sure you have your work laptop at home. Don’t forget about your charger, keyboard, mouse or any other device you might need to work out of the office.
Then there is software. Be sure you have all of the proper applications and platforms ready to go, along with all of your login credentials. You also need to make sure all of this tech will work from your home. For example, do you require a secure line? Can you access all of your software from your WiFi? Is your WiFi fast enough to meet your needs? Be sure to iron out the details before you set up your remote operations.
- Working with the kids at home
This is new territory for even the most seasoned remote workers. With massive school and daycare closings for weeks or months on end, parents are faced with new challenges when it comes to remote working. If you’re working from home with your children, you need to come up with a plan for their education and entertainment. Stock up on art supplies, books, puzzles, and leverage the power of online educational resources. This doesn’t have to be complex. No one is expecting you to teach physics. Instead, create, play, read and have fun.
When necessary, allow them to have some screen time, just be mindful that the World Health Organization (WHO) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have guidelines for healthy screen time consumption, to include:
- Ages 2 – 5 years old: limit to one hour of quality programming.
- Ages 6 and older: place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health.
- Manage your expectations
It’s always smart to have a discussion with your boss about expectations. Considering we are all in the same boat, employers are a bit more understanding when it comes to juggling work and lack of child care.
Start by determining what the priorities are. Will there be virtual team meetings? Will team members be connecting via an app or email? Depending on how long you end up working remotely, this will be an ongoing and evolving conversation. However, just as in a traditional work setting, communication between employees and leaders is essential for optimal success.
- Stay virtually connected
One undeniable loss of the traditional office setting is the social “water cooler” conversation that connects team members. If you aren’t used to this, full-time remote work can feel very isolating.
Fill the gap by scheduling online social time to have conversations with no agenda other than connecting with your coworkers and friends. Embrace video chatting via your smartphone or webcam. This will help you stay connected and tapped into the outside world.
Working remotely doesn’t have to be the end of the world. If you stick to these simple tips, you’ll be on your way to enhanced productivity in no time.
At MenaITech, we offer our clients complete end-to-end human capital information technology solutions and services including payroll and personnel management, HR dashboards, data and analytics, time and attendance, and many other services through web-based, mobile, and cloud technology. If your organization has been disrupted by the global pandemic, you can still remain operational and productive.
Contact a member of our team to learn more about how to leverage our solutions to streamline your operations and improve human capital with smart technology designed to empower employees and managers to drive growth and efficiency.