The coronavirus trend has caused work from home activities to spike. As a result, millions of people from all over the world are working remotely. For some businesses, this is bad news. However, the current situation based on the global pandemic has caused the authorities to take tough decisions.
With these growing trends, companies were faced with onboarding their employees to the new remote work pattern. Work from “home” still calls for you to work. Being at home does not imply that you are supposed to be taking long hours of break, vacations or vice versa.
According to SmallBizGenuis, over 40% of professionals agree that working from home has enabled them to with exponential turnover rates. People reportedly felt that their productivity increased because they were in a more relaxed state as opposed to their work environment.
Meanwhile, there are over 44% of global companies have not allowed their workers to work from home. Call it a job responsibility or an act of cruelty, these companies are forcing their employees against their will to show up at the office.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, corporates have been put into overdrive in the race to implement accurate remote working solutions. In a roundup of 15 tips to facilitate professionals to be more productive, here’s how you should go on about it.
1. Increase in Communication
Whether there is a pandemic, such as; Coronavirus, the key to a successful implementation of working from home is increased communication. It can be communication with your manager, your boss, your subordinates or team levels anywhere in the world.
Barbara Larson, a professor of management at Northeastern University in Boston studies remote working and interprets communication as a key to optimized work output. She reportedly said, “Have clear cut expectations for communications on a daily basis.”
Under normal circumstances, employees are in close proximity to their bosses and co-workers, which is completely normal. Doing so helps them to communicate effortlessly.
Having said that, with this pandemic, the scenario is completely different. With many offices not used to remote working, a communication breakdown is even more likely to happen. Your managers might not be used to working remotely or your employees might not quickly adopt the best practices necessary.
For example, your company might not have the right tools on their roster to facilitate remote working like video conferencing app like Zoom or project management tools like nTask. Many writers often mention that working from home can be tough because of feeling isolated and because of the lack of structure.
A study by Buffer shows that the biggest struggle with working remotely includes unplugging after work, loneliness and collaborating or communication.
2. Treat WFH Like a Real Job
There are many invaluable work-from-home tips to call upon. I recommend that you should take a shower early morning and get dressed for work.
If you don’t have a separate home office, do as much as in your capacity to create ad-hoc space exclusivity maintained for work.
3. Lack of Access to Information
Newly formed remote teams often find it difficult to locate information from co-workers. This trend extends beyond tasks to relational challenges.
A research study by Pubsonline shows that a lack of “mutual knowledge” among remote workers interprets to a lower willingness to give your co-workers the benefit of doubt in difficult situations.
For example, if you receive a cranky email from your colleague while in the office during normal days, you would have the context that they were facing some challenges at work. Therefore, you can ignore the rough parts of the email and make amends wherever needed.
On the contrary, if a remotely working colleague did the same you would have little to no context and the chances of confrontation would be higher. To overcome this situation, deploy a server where everyone can collaborate in real-time. You can also use Slack. We use it all the time for in-office and remote collaboration.
4. Avoid Distractions at Dome
You often come across images and portraits depicting remote work where a mother of two is holding her baby and side-by-side working on the laptop. This is not an effective way of remote working. Trust me!
In a pandemic, where daycares and schools are closed, it is almost inevitable for everyone working from home to stay away from distractions. They occur naturally. Therefore, managers need to guide their employees on best practices of dealing with such pandemics and figure out ways to manage distractions at home.
5. Establish a Virtual Office Space
A flexible and instant “virtual office space” in the form of something like Slack can be extremely useful. At nTask we have been using Slack: there are social rooms, team rooms, private rooms, project rooms… You can easily integrate it with nTask if you need a project management tool for your operations.
6. Have a Principled Relationship with Coworkers
The principles governing remote working do not differ much from real-time interaction in my view.
You have to be goal-oriented, positive, productive, responsive, and kind to your remote colleagues.
Check out this guide to help you find the work-life balance:
7. Regular Check-Ins
Establishing and setting up a regular meeting rhythm is the most important thing. Meetings should start and end on time. This has to be ensured so that the check-ins have an agenda to ensure smooth flow.
8. Outlook, Process, and Tools
By outlook, I mean focusing on the output rather than the input. Process refers to codifying and giving away of how your teams will achieve those outputs which you have set up in the first place.
Finally, having the right tools and apps are necessary to ensure smooth operations while working remotely.
9. Clearly Defined Feedback Mechanism
You need to ensure a high level of daily contact by using communication tools such as; GotoMeeting to create face to face exchanges.
There needs to be a willingness to operate in different time zones and sharing feedback with your boss on what worked well and what didn’t during the course of the day.
10. Maintaining Trust In Fellow Colleagues
A study by HBR showed that remote workers feel shunned and left out. Line managers need to fill in the gaps with trust.
Don’t corner your employees and maintain a good opinion of them that they will deliver quality output to you and ensure the timelines are met.
With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and advancements in technology, many small businesses may host entire teams of remote workers.
Both large and small businesses are now facing the struggle of how they can create accountability for those who work in non-traditional environments.
- Create time for communication
- Don’t micromanage – use technology
- Ask for the proof
- Track Time and Whereabouts
12. Transparency & Being Direct
You need to stage weekly one to one feedback sessions where you can run through challenges, feedback and focus on areas of improvement.
13. How To Work From Home? Establish Rules of Engagement
Remote working can become more effective if managers set up the frequency, means, and timing of communication between team members.
Let your employees know the best time of the day to discuss this with you.
Furthermore, try to ensure as much as possible whether team members are sharing information freely between each other or not. We hope that these tips have helped you in some way to getting started. Regardless, how are you dealing with the current situation? Don’t forget to drop your comments in the comments section below. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.