Were you forced to start working remotely? Are you struggling with this new challenge? These tips will help you to switch to the home office smoothly.
Hey Crizpers, I know that now-a-days many people are shifting from the office to remote work. And even if this is not what you have got used to; or if it is not something you were planning to do, due to COVID-19 today this might be a necessary measure. Thus, as a person with a wide experience working remotely I would like to share some tips on how to organize yourself and switch to the home office painlessly and efficiently.
Why this Topic
Although I have already outlined pros and cons for working remotely before (Remote or On-Site? Pros and Cons), I believe it is time to discuss the remote work opportunity in more details.
As all of us currently fall under the circumstances when people are fighting with a virus, many companies in order to protect their employees are switching them to remote work. Obviously, not everybody wants to do that and not all feels this is their calling to work from home. Moreover, I know that someone is not even happy to go home. However, under this scenario a home office is a compulsory and necessary measure for health protection.
In a view of a situation and having a comprehensive background in working remotely I would like to share my home-office-tips with you, guys. Moreover, this will be helpful if someday you will consciously decide to switch to working remotely.
Hopefully, these insights would be helpful and will facilitate the transition process from the office to the home office. Also, if someone has additional tips on that topic, please feel free to share them in comments!
Work from Home Challenge
As in every sphere, this new situation might cause unknown and specific challenges that you’d better be informed about in advance. This will help to adapt faster and to minimize possible negative impressions from the new working scenario. Thus I am suggesting to look through the possible challenges that you may meet while starting in your home office path.
One of the biggest challenges you may face at home is a loss of your professional spirit. This is clear if you were always working from the office. When you coming home you are planning to rest and spend time with the home-mates. Therefore, when the time comes to start working remotely, to switch yourself to the office mood within the house walls could be difficult. And, besides, there is always something to do at home, so you could be distracted by any kind of the house work.
Another challenge you could face at home is when your family demands your attention. If there is no possibility to organize a business privacy, there is a probability your relatives or kids will be weaving around, asking for your time and distracting you from work. Need to be prepared for that. Especially considering the situation everybody is at home now.
Most likely people who are working on the specific equipment will not be moved to work remotely. However, for those who usually live in office, there is a possibility of switching to working from home. Thus, an odd moment could be in missing some specific office environment. For instance, I personally was struggling to start reading online and instantly I was printing all the documents. Of course, I do not have that problem now, however, I am still old-fashioned about the books I read and prefer to have them in hard copies.
Another matter is related to the colleagues’ distributions. While previously to get a response or to resolve some issue you usually just went around the corner, now for getting in-touch with your peers you need to stay online or on the phone. The worst case is when there is no centralized company environment that could facilitate the collaboration.
You never know exactly what is going on with your peers and why they are not online when needed. Another problem that could pop-up is negligence. When working remotely this issue becomes very transparent and evident, although it could be hidden in the office. When you are all together in the company, it is simpler to make people work. Nevertheless, when all of you are distributed, it is very disappointing when you are not able to complete a task as another person is not providing his part of work timely or at all.
Above I have tried to touch base on the most common challenges that you might bump into when starting working remotely. If someone could name other problems, please share them in comments! Now let’s build a strategy on how to format your business process remotely and how to start working from home efficiently.
How trivial it sounds, but the first thing you would need to proceed with is organizing your workspace. This could either be a place in your room, or in a living room, or a separate room if you have this possibility. Obviously, not everybody has an opportunity to have a specific environment, moreover, to prepare it in a short-term period.
In any case you need to have a space where you will keep your business stuff. I mean, PC or laptop, documents, pencils, notebooks, whatever you need to perform your duties. And remove all of the distractive items or reduce the number of them as much as possible.
Organize your business day and inform your home-mates about it. What I am talking about is setting up your business hours according to what is required by the organization. And ask your relatives to understand and to support you. Try to tell them that although you are currently staying at home, you still have to work. And therefore, you will be spending a certain number of hours at your ‘home-office-space’ where they should try to not distract you.
Think of the items that could adjust your mood to work. Do not stay in pajamas and slippers if this is relaxing you too much. Set up a personal business schedule: time to wake up, take a shower, dress-up, morning coffee and a paper – repeat what you usually do before going to work. This will help to focus on your duties.
Ask your relatives not to rush in the room, but call you on a mobile when they need you similar as they do when you are in the office. Build some certain customs around this new entity and try to follow them all together.
I would also recommend supporting your colleagues. They also could be frustrated and could experience challenges in this new and unusual situation. Motivate others to maintain a regular business atmosphere, be responsive and proactive, suggest ideas for effective collaboration.
Try to stick with the regular procedures as much as possible. Assist your peers when they are struggling with something, and do not hesitate to ask for assistance if you need it yourself.
Finally, as you are aware, in any situation we can earn new experience, skills and extend our background. Therefore, I am calling to stick with a positive attitude and find supportive bonuses that you can get with this new experiment to work remotely.
At this moment you are getting new useful skills as a capability to work remotely can open great perspectives for the future.
You could bring an innovative spirit and suggest new ideas for the work automation and optimization within the company. In this challenging situation would are getting a chance to clearly see the weak areas in the procedures and collaboration and could be able to define how to improve them. Moreover, such changes would be still valuable when you return to the office. Thus, think bold and widely and do not hesitate to suggest improvement.
Another bounce in this situation is that you do not have to spend time traveling to the office and you could invest it in your family, in something you love doing, or simply to sleep more.
The relationships with your peers could grow up to the new level. Remember, think positively.
And in the end you could start loving this new path and will enjoy working from home.
I hope these tips will help switching to the remote work promptly and you will finally find it beneficial. Let’s support each other in this challenging situation and stay strong and positive.
What other challenges are you facing? Maybe you have more tips on how to adapt to work from home promptly?