Adapting to remote working may be easier than you think
March 23, 2020
In this global scenario “dominated” by the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend of remote work has strongly accelerated, as a part of the strategy to avoid further spread. However, for those who are not used to this type of collaboration, the adaptation process may be not so easy.
The effectiveness of any technological tool depends not only on IT people or departments, but also on end users, their technological adoption and their commitment to job. Therefore, contrary to popular belief, working 100% remotely is not so easy to perform in the long term, and not everybody can switch and adapt to this way of working, easily.
Given the current international scenario, the adaptation to this type of collaboration is more than necessary. That’s why we want to share with you some strategies and tips that have benefited our community of remote collaborators.
Respect your work schedule
In order to keep your daily work routine and maintain separated working hours from free or family time, you should respect your current work schedule. Try to respect your daily entry/exit times as much as you can.
Keep your daily routine
If your daily morning routine, before going to work, was exercising, bathing, having breakfast and a coffee seated in your dining room, then you should keep that routine before “going to the office” according to your work schedule.
Keeping your routine will help your biological clock to maintain its schedules. We strongly recommend you acting if your routine suffered no changes at all.
Set family rules
If you share your remote workspace with other family members, it is important to establish rules on how to use such spaces. We recommend you explaining to your family members that although you are at home, you are working and therefore require certain privacy, dedication and concentration in order to duly fulfill your tasks.
Devote a space to remote office
Try to devote a small space of your house to your (home) office. This will help you to keep your daily routine and family rules by associating a physical space of your house to your work schedule.
Schedule your breaks
Working remotely without any interruption may lead you to fully focus on a task to the extent that you may easily lose the perception of the time. Therefore, in order to avoid any additional physical and/or mental stress, you should schedule some breaks along the day and “disconnect” for about 5-10 minutes, get up and stretch your muscles.
Consider such breaks as the equivalent of your coffee or lunch breaks.
Get out of your house, as much as possible
You don’t need to go to crowded spaces to get out of your house. Your body needs activity, fresh air and natural light to stay physically and mentally health. A walk in the park or around the block at the end of your daily work activities or during lunch time will give you said daily activity, although you maintain that “safe distance” which is strongly recommended during this COVID-19 contingency.
Strengthen communication with your team
It is not easy to replace direct personal contact, however it is important to maintain the communication through tools like telephone, Cisco Webex, e-mail or other messaging services. Remember that we must compensate this lack of direct personal contact, and this can be achieved only by using more frequently any tool available for that purpose.
Stay available during your working hours
Remember that the main challenge of remote working is maintaining good communication. Therefore, we recommend you to be always available when your partner, your boss or your internal and / or external client needs to talk to you.
Working remotely requires excellent communication skills. When you start or finish an activity, remember to always inform your team and boss about it. You are not required to make a summary or a presentation of each activity you carried out. An e-mail or a message will help to maintain said communication.
Socialize with your colleagues
Although we are in a contingency which forces us to stay at a “safe distance” from the others, we may take advantage of keeping contact with our colleagues at the beginning or the end of a conference or a virtual meeting. It’s not everything about work; you should take advantage of these moments to catch up just as you would in a chat or during a coffee break.
Attend web conferences
It is important that your participation is perceived at any conference you attend, either by announcing your arrival, or participating in the topic or saying goodbye to the team at the end of the meeting. Think at such conferences as if they were held physically in a meeting room, your collaboration is expected by the organizer, and your participation is important.
Use your webcam to let other attendees associate a face to the voice they are hearing. Sometimes body language is easier to read than voice, and more effective in getting ideas across to other people.
Maintain a positive attitude:
Although working 100% remotely may sound like an excellent quality of life opportunity, in the long term it will become a routine like any other job and so it can quickly mix with home life. That’s why it is important to maintain a positive mental attitude and take advantage of the situation, for example, by devoting to some hobbies or other recreational activities the extra time required to the transfer to the office.
End your day with a routine:
Just as you have a morning routine to start your activities, you should also have a daily routine to finish the day which can help you to maintain that biological clock and that mental separation between home and work. If at the end of the day you listen to music during your transfer to home, or once at home you walk your pet or do exercise, you should maintain that routine as much as possible.