The number of people working from home has increased due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus. Switching operations to remote working sounds like an easy task. In reality, it brings unprecedented challenges as employees go through adjustment stages. This is especially true if remote working is new to them.
It is important to businesses to ensure remote workers are getting work done right and on-time. At the same time, both parties should place importance on maintaining good physical and mental health. Here are some effective working-from-home tips to increase work productivity and practices to maintain a healthy mental balance:
To create the most productive work environment, you will need to minimize distractions and develop a plan to work around them. Can you easily hear your kids playing? Are there family members watching movies or playing video games? Is your sweet little dog barking at everything that moves? The downfall of working from home is that some of these occurrences are unavoidable. Take control of the situation by making the quietest room in the house your new home office. Don’t forget the use of noise-canceling headphones as well. Communicate to your family your working hours and let them know when they can interrupt. Create a “Do Not Disturb” sign and use it when you have a video conference or routine conference calls. You may use this sign whenever you need some quiet time to finish that very important task that requires zero disruptions.
Keeping open lines of communication is vital to effective remote working. The more you communicate, the more you are connected to the team. This approach enables you to remain on task with your operational workflow and team collaboration. If a task requires urgent attention, get on a quick call or conference to resolve it right away. Return emails, calls, and voicemails promptly. Utilize technology and maximize tools offered to optimize these lines of communication. We recommend the use of TelWare’s OneCloud technology to unify all forms of communication, all under one platform.
Set Team Expectations
Make sure to plan objectives and set clear expectations for the week. Never make any assumptions and make sure you have an open discussion on how tasks and specific projects will get accomplished. Remote workers need to be proactive and keep their team up to date on their progress as they accomplish short-term goals and target larger tasks along the way. When it comes to team collaboration, it never hurts to over-communicate.
Set Ideal Environment for Video Conferencing
Video conferencing is a great resource that many remote workers are utilizing. It is important to pay special attention to your sounding settings. Ensure the room you're conferencing in has adequate lighting. Wear neutral, muted colors, as stripes and plaids can cause distracting effects on screen. Use natural gestures, moving quickly can create confusing effects on the screen. Just as important, don’t forget to check your audio device before conferencing to make sure it works properly.
Remote working provides vast opportunities. Finally, complete that online training to enhance your skills and learn something useful. There are many free online training videos and development courses available. Many companies already offer free access to an extensive library. Online courses and training videos may be open to company employees.
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the news and latest business actions put in place by the coronavirus outbreak. To help stay positive, it is important to acknowledge those feelings of worry, stress, and anxiety you are experiencing. Take a practical approach and make a conscious effort not to indulge in negative thinking. Develop a sense of gratitude for the things that are going well and focus on the present. Remember, together we will get through this.
Outdoor Talks & Breaks
Make sure you are taking scheduled breaks. Step away from your desk to eat lunch while listening to your favorite music. For your daily calls and conference meetings, why not take some of those calls outside? It makes for a nice break from being in front of a computer. It is also good for your overall well-being to breathe some fresh air and stretch those legs. Taking breaks is extremely important to let your brain relax. A good idea is to set a time for breaks and for turning off your work. Breaking your routine and moving throughout the day will increase productivity and will help you come up with new innovative ideas and be more energetic.
Dress for the Day
Your morning routine sets the tone of your day. Dressing like you are going to work also determines your mindset for the day. While it is tempting to work in your pajamas all day, you'll find you're more productive when you dress for the day.
Eat Healthy Snacks
Having nutritious snacks on-hand to eat through the day can help you stay energized and productive. A good idea is to stock up on snacks such as fresh fruit, veggies, low-fat string cheese, nuts, and boiled eggs, among others. Avoid high carbohydrate choices as they will slow you down. Coffee with moderation is okay. Increase water intake and avoid sugary drinks.
Exercise and Stay Active
Sitting at a desk for prolonged hours can take a toll on our bodies, creating a detrimental effect on a sedentary lifestyle such as remote working. Make sure you take some time to bring more activity to your daily routine.
For some, working from home is not as glamorous as it sounds. For others, adjusting to remote working brings new challenges, as they adjust their new lifestyle and routines. Fortunately, there are many ways remote workers can ensure they are being productive while staying mentally and physically healthy. The success of the work-from-home model derives from a balance of healthy practices and productive routines. Keep in mind, new routines do take time, and everyone's specific work requirements and team dynamics are different. Remember to stay positive, stay healthy, and focus on becoming the best remote worker you can be!
For more information about how OneCloud can help your company manage remote employees, and keep your business running, contact TelWare at 800-637-3148. OneCloud is an all-in-one cloud-based unified-communications-as-a-service solution that allows you to take your business anywhere at any time with seamless cloud integrations.
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