Social distancing means that many individuals are now working from home or another remote location; this may not be just a temporary change but a seismic shift in how we work in the future. Indeed, some organisations have declared their intention to maintain a long-term remote or hybrid workforce.
For some people, remote working is a welcome change, and they have already settled in comfortably to a new routine. Others may still be struggling, and many people are just starting to work from home as companies expand the reach of remote working.
This article presents you with tips to make working from home as stress-free and effective as possible.
1. Create a Space Designated to Work
Whether a corner in the bedroom or an office in a spare room, it is important that you define a dedicated space for working remotely. Having a workspace helps you create a sense of order and gives you a “zone” to focus on your work.
You don’t need to create an elaborate office, but you should have a table, chair and adequate lighting to be comfortable.
You will be making video calls and so try to ensure that the background that others will see is as professional as possible or use a screen background if this is available within your conferencing software.
2. Make Sure the Technology Works
The most critical element of being able to work remotely is arguably the technology. Apart from a decent internet connection, you also need a computer or laptop capable of running the software you need.
Once the technology is in place, you have to make sure that you know how to use it! Being comfortable with the equipment and software is very important in making you feel confident working from home. Invest time in playing with the technology and learning how to adjust controls for elements such as audio, video and screen lighting. If you need to, set up some time with a colleague or friend to run informal communication sessions to prepare for your “live” calls.
3. Arrange Your Time
Some people have the luxury of being alone at home when they work, but many have family members or pets around them. Create a schedule and structure around your work so that you can balance both aspects of your life.
The good news is that most organisations have learned to be very forgiving of unexpected interruptions from your home life into your work life, but you want to keep these to a minimum. Try to get an understanding with family about what is work time and what is family time, but don’t stress out when the two cross over.
4. Don’t Be A Slave To The Screen
If your remote working involves using a computer or laptop, make sure you factor breaks into the day. At work, you will encounter natural breaks when the telephone rings or someone drops by for a chat; at home, you have to create your breaks.
It’s good to have a routine but learn to take breaks when your body says you need them. Working from home can quickly become very intense and having a coffee break or even going for a quick walk will alleviate stress and make you more productive.
Effective remote working needs good planning, comfort with the tools, respect for your time, and good communication skills.
Contact us at HRBluSky today to learn about how we can support your workplace communication.