The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the lives of millions of people around the world. Many businesses have shut their doors, urging employees to work remotely to avoid potential Coronavirus infection. There are benefits to working from home. However, it also presents challenges—especially for those who are not accustomed to it.
To help you help your team members navigate the brave new world of working from home during this time of uncertainty, we’ve written a list of tips for working remotely. We invite you to share these ideas with your employees.
Tips to Make Working Remotely Work for Your Employees—and Your Business—During the Coronavirus Situation
1. Have a dedicated workspace.
Even if you don’t have a spare room to turn into an office, a corner of a room set up for business purposes only will help you stay focused.
2. Get dressed.
It may be tempting to remain in your pajamas all day long, but resist that urge. Instead, dress in a similar way that you would were going to the office. That can shift your mindset into a productive gear and keep you on task.
3. Set business hours for your home office.
You may need to adjust your schedule to balance home/work responsibilities, but have a plan for when you’ll be working and when you’re off duty. By scheduling dedicated time on your calendar for business and personal time, you’ll feel more in control of your day and get more done on the work and home fronts.
4. Take breaks.
Self-care is pivotal during this time. Make sure you get up and stretch, take walks around the block, and carve out time for preparing yourself healthy meals. The better you feel, the more productive and effective you will be.
5. Communicate with your colleagues.
Use your company’s preferred collaboration tools to their fullest potential. They will be the lifeline of communication between you and your colleagues. Besides taking care of business that way, you can also give each other the emotional support you need to get through the stress of this uncharted territory we’re experiencing.
6. Use to-do lists.
Stay organized by creating a list of the tasks you want to get done each day. Arrange them by priority so that you address the most imperative items first. Understand that there may be days when you won’t be able to finish everything. Don’t dwell on that. Instead of beating yourself up, realize that tomorrow is another day and there’s no shame in asking for help if you need it.
7. Prepare for conference calling.
Working remotely will push you into the world of conference calls. Consider using a headset to eliminate background noise and echoes.
Are you familiar with how your company’s preferred conferencing app works? If not, take a few minutes to get acquainted with it before you log into a scheduled call. That way, you’ll be able to resolve any software or speaker issues in advance. Often, using your smartphone for meetings will work exceptionally well because most popular conference apps (such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting) have mobile support.
8. Deal with distractions.
If you are home with your children while working remotely, it will inevitably affect your ability to work during regular business hours. Older children may be able to fend for themselves, but younger children need more attention. Have a conversation with your manager about this to discuss that challenge. Also, if you live with a partner who will also be home during the COVID-19 situation, talk about how you can share childcare responsibilities. By arriving at an understanding of who is doing what when, you can minimize distractions when you’re working.
9. Keep your company’s data safe.
Make sure you keep your company’s sensitive information safe. Understand how your employer’s VPN (Virtual Private Network) works and the capacity it has. If you’re performing work that doesn’t require you to be connecting to your business’s network, disconnect so that someone else can access it if they need it.
Also, make sure that the computer you’re using when working remotely has up-to-date anti-virus and malware software to reduce the risks of cyber-attacks.
Another vital measure to take is to lock your computer when you’re not using it. Also, don’t leave usernames and passwords lying around on sticky notes. You can never be too careful—even when at home!
We’re in This Together!
With the Coronavirus pandemic altering how companies will operate in the upcoming months, Laser Lab is prepared to help you through the transition. If you are storing files in drawers or cabinets, we offer a cloud-based document management system that will allow your remote employees to access the information they need without physically being on-site. And, if you are concerned about missing important calls from your customers, we can help set up a phone system that will route calls to your home or cell telephone number. We’re also here to answer your questions and help you with your VPN and data security needs.
Contact us at 717-738-3333. We will get through this together!