For many of us, working remotely isn’t new. Since the advent of reliable fast-speed internet the number of people working from home has climbed steadily. But this week the number of workers who will be teleworking is going to skyrocket. We have three tips to help you make that transition, whether you’re the boss or an employee.
Maintain Regular Hours – One of the top complaints of remote workers isn’t that it’s hard to start the workday, it’s that it’s hard to power down. PC Magazine recommends, “Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.” And a newly working from home Bloomberg News employee advises, “Try to stick to some semblance of your original routine from before you started working from home. If you needed to be at your desk at 8 a.m., don’t wake up at 7:59. “Give yourself a little bit of time before your start to wake yourself up, have a coffee, make breakfast.” If you’re the boss, respect your employee’s schedule. If they’re off the clock, don’t assume they will be checking their emails and work texts. It’s important for your employees’ work-life balance to be able to sign-out completely at the end of their day.
Create an Office Space – Those of you who weren’t expecting to be a work from home employee need to take the time to set up an actual “office”. This doesn’t have to be a separate room, just a space that’s dedicated for work. You don’t want to work from your bed. It might be a good time to invest in a mouse for your laptop (bosses, you might want to order them for your new remote workers.) If you’ll be dealing with papers, set up a filing system. Having an designated work area will help signal to any family members or roommates that you are “at work” and they shouldn’t disturb you. One thing to keep in mind, your new home office may not be ergonomic like your real office. So plan to take plenty of breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.
Get Ready For Your Closeup – Don’t just rely on email or chatting apps like Slack for communication. If you’re used to communicating face-to-face, plan to video chat. Employees who aren’t used to working from home, especially now, may feel isolated. Webcams are a way to combat that. Facetime and Skype work, but many tech gurus prefer Zoom. A basic account is free. As Forbes writes, “Zoom is packed with features and is fast with clear audio and video.” If you’re a business owner, you might want to consider signing up for a corporate account which comes with more features.
The switch to remote work is probably going to come with some bumps in the road. These are extraordinary times. Employers and employees will just have to do their best to navigate unfamiliar territory. If VersaTel solutions can help your company in any way, please reach out to us.