The world is rapidly responding to the COVID-19 which has created the overwhelming increased need to work from home. This pandemic has disrupted the way most of us normally live and work. It has prompted companies to become very acquainted with remote working, aka telecommuting, aka wfh, aka teleworking.
The perception continues to exist that remote working is less productive and people are just filling their flexible time with time wasters. Please let’s put that myth to rest. COVID-19 has caused a disruption that can’t allow the remote working perception to override what must be done. Employers should trust their staff to get their work done. Employees must manage their time in a way in which they are available during agreed hours and completing the work that is expected. In fact, it is not a good working relationship if these fundamental expectations are not honored whether working onsite or working remotely.
A remote working environment gives hiring managers greater candidate options to fill a position because employees are no longer bound by location. There is also a cost savings on the organization as companies will not have to pay for as much physical space, utilities, office supplies etc. Remote employees will benefit as they too will reduce costs for gas, optimized working hours in lieu of time getting ready for work and commute time. Employees will also appreciate the flexibility to optimize their time to have more of a work-life balance.
As more and more workers transition to remote working, the following tips will eliminate the stigma and create positive results that will enable a win-win for all.
- Create a dedicated workspace – establish boundaries to work within to create the office environment and minimize the distractions from kids, the tv, continuous eating while working in the kitchen etc.
- Use Collaborative Tools – Collaborative tools such as WebEx and Zoom are great applications to host meetings, present charts, facilitate a training, ask coworkers questions via messaging feature, make phone calls; you name it. These are excellent productive tools that offer great alternatives to face to face interaction…. sometimes better alternatives.
- Own your time – Plan a schedule for each day to keep you focused (even plan out your breaks). Use any work downtime, to focus on other productive things. This will enable you to make good use of your remote working time instead of drifting into the world of many distractions. Make a plan and focus on getting things done.
- Stay Engaged – It is a great feeling interacting with others. It keeps you engaged and satisfies the personal need for relationships. Reach out to your coworkers. Check on them or you can check in. This not only keeps you on top of what is going on with the job but it also fosters relationship building.
- Take Planned Breaks – Step away from the computer, stretch, relax your eyes, take a walk. Do something to momentarily clear your mind of work and keep you physically active. This not only relaxes your mind and helps your body but it energizes your mind. This will help sharpen your focus when you return to your working space.
Let’s face it, remote working is a must. A pandemic is showing us that remote working can be done. It is causing us to react by creating a shift on how we view remote working. As the remote working model continues to gain momentum, more and more people will get used to the idea. Remote workers can have increased flexibility that lends to a more balanced life while companies can retain talent, access a larger candidate pool and achieve a cost savings. Begin your transition to remote working soon.