The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently urged organizations and their teams to operate remotely if possible. As a result, many companies are navigating the logistics of working from home for the first time, which is evident in the shift in internet data traffic to residential areas during working hours. If you’re tackling working from home for the first time, you’re not alone. Here are a couple of tips we’ve put together to make your first experience from home a little less awkward.
Understand the Constraints
First and foremost, don’t expect to work from home to look exactly like working from the office. Understanding the obstacles first will make your first day home much easier. Be sure to consider aspects like wi-fi bandwidth, privacy, space, and supplies. How will you stay connected with your team? Are there points in your workflow that will be interrupted by being away from your coworkers? Conduct a cost-benefit analysis of your biggest obstacles – you’ll want to address your top 3 challenges before moving remotely.
To create a conducive work atmosphere at home, start by keeping your usual office working hours! Maintain as much of your daily routine as possible, from getting dressed in the morning, to (hopefully) eating a balanced breakfast. Plan out your days in half-hour or hour blocks to keep yourself on schedule. Set out three big goals for yourself to finish each day and honour them. These tips can help with direction, but it’s ultimately up to you to keep yourself accountable in staying productive.
If you’re living in a shared space, be sure to communicate to the members of your home your ‘operational hours’. Set up guidelines for what focus time looks like and when acceptable breaks will occur. If looking after children, consider preparing daily activities to keep them occupied, or ask a (symptom-free!) friend to spend time with them.
Stay in touch with colleagues regularly! Set up routine times to touch base, update each other and get the team morale back up. Afterwards, have all email notifications, chat applications, and mobile ringtones coordinated with your working hours for high-quality focus time.
What Worked for Us?
With all our teams working between home and the office, we’ve definitely learned a thing or two. We’ve used applications like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to set up regular morning huddles to keep each other updated and in the loop. Apps with chat functions will become your best friend in collaborating and communicating with your teammates. Many of our members have opted to transfer their normal workstations home. Equipment like laptops, computer screens, and desk chairs have been set up in almost all of our home offices – a perfect example of keeping routines!
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