The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we work drastically. Those who spent most of their days in their offices now find they have to work from home in the time of the pandemic. Many will understandably find their world turned upside down and are hardly ready for it. That is because the software that organizations use within the office may not qualify as remote work software.
Employees need not be at a loss on how to proceed with remote work, however. And there’s no need to fret: for you, we came up with this guide on work-from-home coronavirus tips that can aid you on how to stay productive, efficient and engaged.
In 2019, only 7% of civilian workers in the US could telework. Meanwhile, 4% of government workers had that benefit. And the one thing they had in common was the fact that they are some of the highest-paid in their organizations.
The demand, however, is higher than that. Indeed, a survey shows that 94% of employees would gain an advantage from remote work. A few of the benefits they believe they would get from remote work are less stress and work-life balance. On that note, one study shows that 24% of employees feel happier and productive if they work from home at least once a month.
Though the pandemic has forced this large-scale remote work experiment, it can turn out to be advantageous. Previous research, such as those involving the US Patent and Trademark Office, have shown that working from home increases productivity. Indeed, USPTO examiners showed a 4.4% boost in output by working remotely.
Of course, there are challenges. Among those are keeping a proper work-life balance. Experienced remote workers may have achieved this already. But for those who are new to it, this article has pointers that can aid them in becoming productive remote workers.
It is easy to blur the lines between work and personal life when you are working from home. So one of the things that you have to do is to dedicate a space purely for work. Even a tiny second desk could be a huge help. This is one of the most important aspects of making remote work successful.
But that is not the only thing that you need to do. Here are more tips that can assist you in setting a clear line between your home and work life:
“Home distractions” is the fourth biggest challenge faced by remote workers. By delineating a work-vs-home line, you can minimize the issue.
Source: Buffer State of Remote Work 2019
Your daily routine in your office can differ largely from your day-to-day activities while working from home. This sudden change from onsite to remote work may throw you off, and this is why you have to establish a routine immediately. It all starts with planning your workday.
The coronavirus pandemic has thinned the line between work and life more than ever. For some, they already overlap. It is not just in daily activities; it happens in the virtual world, too. By this, we mean that you could be using your work computer for personal reasons and vice versa.
Fortunately, there are multiple techniques you can leverage to help you prevent accidents like sending memes to your boss. Here they are:
One good thing about working with people together in one place is that you can have interactive discussions. But at this time, that just isn’t possible. But this does not mean you have to give up on having engaging conversations with your teammates.
Fortunately, some solutions allow for interesting and productive discussions online. The list is not even limited to video conferencing software and collaboration solutions.
But before we move on to those tools, here are some tips that can help you hold productive online meetings:
These tools ensure that team members are always on the same page, a feat that becomes difficult when teams don’t share the same space. These software usually offer features for task management, allowing users to create, assign, and update tasks. As a result, teams enjoy more efficient collaboration and improved productivity.
If your team has numerous documents you need to exchange back and forth, you may want to use a document management software. This kind of solution lets you organize documents in the cloud. There are even examples that let you edit documents with teammates simultaneously and with chat, comment, and annotate features.
Just as it is important to build strong relationships with your workmates in the office, so it is crucial to do the same with remote colleagues. Of course, it can be challenging, as you can neither see the physical signals your coworkers send nor can you send your own (unless you are doing video conferences).
What you can do instead is rely on text. Here are some guidelines you can follow when chatting with your teammates:
We are so used to long-winded emails and email threads that it is almost a fact of life in the office. However, it is easy to lose important information in any of those exchanges. Instead, your team can use communications tools that allow you to send instant messages and collaborate in one interface.
We are all staying within the confines of our homes because of the pandemic. We might have taken the upper hand in mastering the ABCs of how to work remotely from home, but we still need to take good care of our health because even remote work can be stressful.
Recently, health officials have called for social distancing in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This means that people need to avoid being in large groups to stop the spread of the disease. And this also means that people cannot work in their offices anymore as it would violate social distancing rules. Suddenly, teleworking became a reality for a large body of civilian workers.
However, working from home can both be a boon and a bane. Indeed, some of us may loaf around or do other things except for work during a workday. That is not very productive, and it can only lead to frustrations because you have to cram to meet a deadline.
To combat being unproductive, you need to set up a routine. If you are a business owner or a manager, you have to walk the fine line and master the best practices indicated by an excellent remote team management guide. You do not need to have one from the get-go, but you must come up with it sooner than later. In this way, you can round up as many tasks as possible within the day.
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