Since the beginning of the lockdown, many companies have given up some or all of their office spaces and opted for remote working. The savings on office rentals, stationery, water and other operating costs are offset by the hazards of supervising staff now required to work from home.
For employees, it means weeks and often months of no social contact with colleagues, other than via Zoom of Google Meets.
To ensure that you become aware of and improve on your remote working experience, here are a few tips.
Having a dedicated workspace in your house is the first step to being completely comfortable. Set up your work space so that you are comfortable and relaxed, yet make sure you are set up for productivity. Another important factor – your background. You want to look professional and industrious when on video calls. Keep it simple and tidy.
This is one of the most important tips. Several times on live television or Zoom calls have we seen someone popping up dressed inappropriately or coming into the room talking. The best way to avoid trending the next day on social media and getting embarrassed is to set boundaries. If you live with people, you can make them aware of the need to limit their movement around your workspace. The tricky part is making children understand. Create activities for them and check on them regularly in between tasks or meetings. This will lessen the need for them to constantly come to your workspace.
In a traditional office setting, you come into the office, take a tea break, have lunch or a brief refreshing walk. These are also essential when working from home. Being stationary for hours can affect your productivity and block you from completing your tasks. Set time to take a break, have lunch or check on your loved ones. Avoid prolonged screen time.
Constant communication is necessary. You need to keep in contact with colleagues, managers or relevant staff members. This will enable them to know what you are up to, and you should ask for help when needed and communicate work-related information frequently. Using different types of apps like Skype, WhatsApp or Microsoft Teams is recommended. Check on your teammates and be visible to ensure that colleagues can get hold of you when the need arises. Remember, video calling is a vital part of staying in touch while working remotely.
Know when to stop
A lot of people who work remotely can get into a burn-out situation at some point. Knowing when to leave your desk and rest is critical to your health and wellbeing. Take a walk, exercise and move away from the desk from time to time. Feeling strained and tired are possible symptoms of overworking, which might impact your physical and mental state. Get involved in physical activities and take time to spend with your loved ones. As the saying goes ‘all work and no play makes Jim a dull boy’.