The world is handling lockdown confusion, pandemic issues, and job loss. Everywhere in the world has handled some kind of reduction in productivity in the workplace, but many are now working from home to be able to keep hold of their jobs. There are tons of benefits to working remotely from home, but there are also issues when it comes to remaining engaged.
Many people like the routine of working from home around their own things and in comfortable surroundings. Let’s be honest: the lack of commute is one amazing thing about working from home! The thing is, it’s so much harder to feel engaged when you no longer work in a team in an office or under management who you see every day. You want to stay in touch with people from your office to maintain your ability to feel a part of the team. It’s much more fun to be around people you’re working with, especially when you’re having IT issues in the house or you need to know how to change user name on MacBook. It’s harder to get that support when working from home, right? Wrong! You can remain in touch with people in your office as well as your support teams. So, with the eight tips below, you can ensure that working remotely doesn’t mean that you’re isolated from everyone else.
It’s easy to feel isolated when you are working from home. You don’t have people working in the same pod of desks with you and you don’t have the same level of interaction with your boss – who usually circles the room and comes to chat with you every now and then. Don’t limit yourself to dropping an email when you need something, or not being on the phone when your calls are scheduled. You can email and instant message your colleagues and your boss as much as you need to. A daily email doesn’t just have to be business-related, either, but you need to over-communicate on projects as much as you do when it comes to just checking in to make sure you’re not alone.
The hardest piece of the remote working puzzle is to make sure that you feel motivated. Self-motivation when you’re at home is not easy! You’re with your home comforts, your fridge, and your TV, and you need to learn time management skills to ensure that you stick to your schedule. Self-motivation is important for working from home, and the more you stay on top of your work, the better you will feel.
It’s important to maintain your productivity levels when you are working from home. Start your day by making a list of things that you want to tick off and work through it point by point. Stick to the plan that you have set for yourself so that you can make remote working as easy as possible. Set yourself time limits to complete groups of tasks, too, as this will help you to remain productive while you work.
Stick To Working Hours
Return your calls and emails during working hours. If you worked 8-5 at your office, work the same hours, and make yourself available at home. Even if you finish your tasks early in that time, remain available on the phone and email to your work colleagues and boss. You don’t want to be that person who is asked to contribute in some way only to have been in the shops instead of being at home again.
Learn The Etiquette
It’s not unusual to have the interruption of a cat or a toddler on a video call, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to keep work and home life separate. Your job may need you to be in meetings on Zoom, so invest in a space to use for work and invest in headphones that will cancel out the noise of the rest of the family. Wear appropriate workwear and respond politely – as you would in the office. Also, don’t forget that the creator of a Zoom meeting gets a transcript of private chats that occur throughout the meeting – anything “private” isn’t really private, so professionalism must be maintained at all times.
You may be on your own when you work from home, but that doesn’t mean that you should be alone when working through projects. If you have software or computer issues – like the renaming of your Macbook – you should still contact your IT team and ask for help. You can still get help from people in your office team even when you’re not physically in the office anymore. Being a team player is so important and you should ensure that you keep the contact information for each department in your business to one side so you can contact the people you need when you need to!
Have a Life
The blurred line between work and home life is going to blur even further when you work from home. However, you need to carve out some leisure time to have a life. Grab a run outside or on a treadmill and make your leisure time a priority. This is why it’s so important to work the office hours in the home and not extend the workday into your off-time.
Talk About Any Worries You Have
The pandemic is scary enough for everyone, and if you are worried or scared about anything when working from home, speak up and talk to your boss. You need to make sure that working remotely is working for you and seek out the support you need if it’s not.
The pandemic has changed the way that we work and it’s continuing to change the way organizations manage their staff. You need to take steps to ensure that working from home is going to be good for you. Remote working may not have been your first choice, but it’s the answer we all have right now.