If your organization has been affected by COVID-19, there’s a chance you’ve shifted from the traditional office environment to remote work. While the remote work movement was gaining momentum prior to the pandemic, it’s still very new and often overwhelming for an organizations and its employees to adapt to the extreme change in setting.
Familiarizing yourself with your new digital office is half the battle. Take control of this transition as much as you can by creating a productive workspace, enhancing communication, and designing a schedule that you’ll stick to.
Create a Productive Workspace
It can be challenging to shift into work gear at home, but it’s exponentially more challenging if you do not have the proper workspace. Your workspace should encourage productivity and you may have to get creative with the location. If you don’t have the space to lend to your make-shift office, check out some of these small office ideas. If possible, employees should be able to borrow office items such as monitors, chairs, and laptop stands so they can mimic the office environment. Many people notice an apparent difference when they can separate their work desk with their personal space.
Remember, you can keep your new workspace simple, just as long as it’s separate. Designate a small table or desk in a well-lit space and organize it like you would in your office. Although, if you do have a larger space and are inspired to transform it into your home office, here are more design tips.
Keep Communication Clear & Consistent
It may seem obvious, but communication is (still) key, and remote work calls for overcommunication. If you think of all the face-to-face conversations you take part in daily at the office, there turns out to be a lot of important messages and key details communicated this way. Details are easy to forget, but also what sets you apart. Be sure everyone is up to date as soon as possible with remote collaboration tools or video conferencing. In general, there will be more messages to read so keep your updates short and direct, but it’s important to send them.
Communication also goes the other way. While you are in your workspace, minimize your distractions and, if possible, put your phone on silent. Some people also find that using a separate browser for work to reduce temptation is effective. If you need to use your phone for work, disable the app notifications until you’re done so you do not jump down the social media rabbit hole.
Maintain a Schedule
To successfully work from home, you must exemplify self-discipline to a certain degree. This does not mean you need an intense schedule and every minute planned, but you should have a basic routine to center your day with. Here are some examples of what you should be paying attention to:
- Routine – A morning routine can set the tone for your day and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of it. This could be something as simple as a cup of coffee or a jog.
- Deadlines – Enforce deadlines for yourself. Don’t procrastinate or let distractions get the best of you. You don’t need to set a deadline for every task, you could even go as simple as setting an “end of day” time that you stick to.
- Breaks – Take breaks and move your body. Stand up, stretch, and walk around to get away from the computer screen.
- Socializing – It’s normal to feel lonely and disconnected when you do remote work, be sure to socialize with colleagues at the appropriate times.
Set yourself up for success with a comfortable chair in a bright corner at your new at-home workspace. Make sure you’re checking all means of communication, and don’t hesitate to ask for what you need from your organization. Plan your day, and if you find it difficult to stick to that plan, revise it and try again.