Monday 26 October, 2020

A guide to working remotely for employees

Tips for employees to adjust to working from home

Working from home has its benefits, but it isn’t all smooth sailing and people often struggle with the transition. Consider these ideas to help you get started.

Create a workspace

Ideally, try to carve out a dedicated space where you can focus and get things done. But that may not be an option -  and going to a nearby coffee shop, library, or coworking space may also be off the table. Finding a solution might take some creativity. For example, you could create a work schedule with others who share your space, plan to work while your kids are asleep, or invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.

Create a schedule

Even if you don’t follow your usual schedule, it helps to keep some routine in your life, such as waking up at the same time every day, planning a lunch break, and making time to stay in touch with other people.

Stay professional

Leaning into video calls, such as Google Hangouts, can be an important way to keep face-to-face interactions in your day. So be prepared, dress appropriately and do your best to minimise background noise (or mute yourself when you aren’t speaking).

Make an effort to get ready for the day as you would if you were to go into the office. It’s important to continue the face-to-face interaction as it can help increase productivity, so be prepared to utilise Google Hangouts for any meetings you may have. Circle around an agenda prior to the meeting so your team is prepared and ready to discuss the meeting topics. It’s important for the meeting leaders to guide these calls more carefully than they would in an in-person meeting. Be sure to pause for any questions somewhat frequently. During “roll call” type questions, call out on each employee in an effort to not talk over one another and avoid awkward pauses. Sometimes there may be some noise distractions while working remotely - a barking dog, roommates blasting music, building construction, etc - so be sure to mute yourself while you are not talking in an effort to not take away from the conversation.

Take a breather

Since you don’t need to commute, take advantage of the extra time to stay healthy. Catch up on sleep, build exercise into your day, or cook healthy meals.

Socialise (safely)

Working from home can be lonely so find ways to be proactive about staying social. Make connecting with your team a priority, even if it’s just five minutes to see how they’re doing. Don’t hesitate to jump into a video call - it’s more personal than instant messages. Pair up with a “productivity buddy” to stay focused. And if you’re struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

About the contributor

For several years Kandyss has led developer teams around the world in building cutting edge technology. Working with developer teams requires detailed monitoring of several moving parts at once. A task that is best done in person was accomplished with teams as far as Ukraine was done right here in Trinidad from the comfort of a home office with spare time to plan and execute a digital conference called Kanference focused on teams remotely building out disruptive technology in specific industries in two days.

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