Lesson
15

What employees think about working remotely and useful recommendations

Success Problem

With millions of people working remotely, it’s worth asking the question – how do people and companies actually feel about working from home? it’s no secret that people value freedom of choice. what are the things people like about working from home?

Impact

The ability to work from any location, and no more commuting. It requires A flexible schedule. Note that everything is not positive about working from home. Here are some of the challenges people face as they work remotely. 1. Communication and collaboration 2. Loneliness 3. Distractions from home 4. Taking vacation time 5. Staying Motivated 6. Unplugging your computer after work Top issue I think employee faced working remotely is unplugging computer after work” defining office hours, many people had a tougher time clearly dividing their personal and professional time. As well, the lack of person to person communication can be a challenge for some people. In fact, one-third of people were concerned that the full extent of their professional efforts wouldn’t be appreciated because of a lack of in office contact.

Recommendation

In order for a remote working situation to be successful, I suggest considering and addressing 3 main areas: (1) work habits; (2) collaboration/communication; and (3) time management. #1: Work Habits We all have a way that we have become accustomed to working. Those traits should not be abandoned when working from home. For example: • Keep Your Morning Routine - Wake up at a set time, exercise. • Set Specified Start and End Times - If you normally get to the office and start working at 9 a.m. then make that your standard start time when working from home also. Importantly, do not forget to have a set stop time as well. • Be Responsive – One concern with working from home is that people will check-out and not be as responsive as they would be in the office. It is extremely important that we continue to be as responsive • Keep Regular Meetings – If your team meets every week (or more or less often), make sure you continue to schedule and attend those meetings. • Work Setup – If you’re someone who has multiple screens at the office (which I’ve found to increase efficiency and speed), try to replicate the setup that you have in the office at home. #2: Collaboration/Communication Working remotely effectively requires good collaboration and communication among team members. Continuing to interact with team members and clients also holds us accountable and helps us to maintain a sense of normalcy. In order to do so effectively, there are tools that come in handy. • Video Conferencing – When you can’t be there in person, video conferencing is key. I find that being able to see colleagues and clients is key to maintaining a sense of community and team. • Communication Tools – When you need a quick answer from a team member, instant messaging is the solution. • Internet Connectivity - Working remotely requires a high speed, secure connection to the internet is very important #3: Time Management As I’ve alluded to above, the greatest struggle with working remotely can be dealing with the inevitable distractions and staying on task. Thankfully we have tools to help us with this as well. • Noise Cancelling Headphones - These will help to block out extraneous noise and will signal to others in your home that you are focused and “at work.” • Set Remote Work Expectations - Continue to set due dates/times for tasks. Have regular check in meetings with team members to make sure those goals are being met and display those key projects on a white board or something similar in your work area. • Make Lists –if you make a list of what you need to do each day, it will be easier to handle the distractions and get back on task. At the end of each day, make sure you crossed off the items you’ve completed and revise the items that evolved throughout the day. I also recommend creating your list for the following day before you sign off for the night. • Set Expectations with Family – Many of us (myself included) are now dealing with kids being home and attending school online. I’ve found it helpful to set expectations with them. For example, each morning I let them know when I have client calls scheduled and will be unavailable to help them. If working remote is new to you, making a few simple modifications to your work habits, technological tools and organizational skills will help you continue to be a productive employee.

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