As the world braces for the impact of the emerging pandemic of COVID-19 and people are looking towards remote-working, some self-quarantined, others in enforced isolation, we want to help and we've gathered our insights for those who are new to working from home.
Don't forget: In all crises, there are still many opportunities!
We all face unique challenges, not only because we have different personalities, but also due to our various lifestyles and the type of work we do. Still, many of the core issues we face as remote employees are the same. Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life. What about office equipment, career development, training opportunities, and building relationships with colleagues?
Working remotely, especially when working from home most of the time, means figuring out these issues and others. Don't forget, you don't have to put pressure on yourself! When facing change it is best to be patient with yourself and your context, and give yourself the time to adapt. With this in mind, things will get better faster.
Here are some tips for you:
Even if up to a week ago your office was in a building somewhere in the center of the city, where you had your favorite flower, 3 monitors, colleagues and morning discussions while enjoying the coffee - today your office has been transformed. Your office has now moved to a communication tool on your laptop. That's a change - right?
See? Turning back a little bit from discussions about adaptability, productivity, and others - I think we must first understand that everything starts with the basics. So...
Give yourself time
You can't expect that in one day you'll adapt to something completely different from your habit that has years of experience behind. Give yourself time, don't put too much pressure and understand that things need to be taken easily, rationally and everything is about being organized.
TIP: Start your day with a light read about working remotely, some new tools, tips and tricks. Replace the time spent commuting with some learning sessions, finding new ways to work productively and to grow.
Go back to the basics
Understand that now, more than ever - from many points of view - you have returned to your first days of work. You have to understand that many of the procedures, tools, experiences you used up a week ago are not working for remote work. And this is normal. Returning to the basics, give yourself the opportunity to discover new tools to help you adapt to working from home.
Learn about a successful video conference, read about what a virtual workspace entails, how communication is transformed now with these new conditions and what efforts you need to make for keeping up the great work.
TIP: We're offering you a journey to the basics on our Youtube channel. Join us!
Structure your day
Don't forget - when working from home the most important thing is to stay organized. And yes - it is a real challenge. Especially when in the room next to you are your children and at the same table, your husband is in a meeting with his colleagues. The distractions are everywhere and you have to understand that you have to organize yourself, set a schedule to keep a work-life balance.
It's not easy and all these things improve with experience. So don't put pressure on you, but start to do this from the beginning. At the end of this crisis, you will become stronger, with a new powerful skill - being organized.
TIP: Start the day, enjoying a coffee or tea and schedule everything on a list. Punctual - both the tasks related to the work, as well as the breaks you have to take and the activities that you have to do after work.
Socialize, socialize, socialize
Socialize as much as possible - don't block yourself in work-related activities, don't ignore your mental health. We human beings are social! Don't forget to take breaks and socialize with your colleagues.
TIP: Here at Upstack, we have integrated into our virtual office (Slack) some channels created on different criteria of interest: sport, food, books, learning, kids, etc.
Every day our colleague Horia - who is passionate about sports - posts a workout for everyone - lucky us!. Other colleagues are sharing ideas for lunch, dinner and other recipes on the food channel. The colleagues who have the children share with everyone interesting activities to do at home with the little ones. And so on...
It is a good opportunity to connect, take a break and use new information for the benefit of all. WIN-WIN!
Remember - it's not gonna last forever
Remember that nothing lasts forever. Take the situation as it is - an accepted challenge. You can leave this COVID-19 period richer - both professionally and personally. Be patient, find a balance and stay positive.
Last but not least...
Above all else, figure out what works best for you. Sometimes the answer is apparent, but other times you might need some inspiration from other people who are in the same boat. A supportive community of remote employees does exist, whether you find them in your organization’s Slack channel or online through blogs or Twitter.
Note: We are offering free consultancy for all of you out there - even if it's a company that needs help setting up its remote manifesto, whether you're a remote worker at the beginning of the road... We were there. And especially because that happened many years ago for us, we now have the opportunity to help and leave a positive mark in other people's lives. We're in this together! Don't hesitate to get in touch.