Finding yourself and the rest of your family in the situation where you are all told to stay at home by the government is by far one of the most surreal situations you could face. At the moment it is the most important thing we can all do to stay safe, even though it can feel overwhelming and be a little bit stressful juggling daily life, homeschooling and maintaining work.
Firstly, the most important aspect is to remember that you are not alone and business all over the world are finding new ways of working to allow trade to continue safely and successfully, but what can you do to help your daily working life adapt and continue when your working week has been turned upside down?
Here are a few ideas to think about when it comes to remote working…
A workspace that includes a table or desk will help to focus your work time and be better for your back and posture if working for long periods. Choosing an area away from noise and distractions provides a dedicated zone for work that you can return to each day.
Whether you lead a large team or are responsible for yourself, staying organised is vital when working remotely. Maintain timetables and schedules just as you would if you were in your original place of work. Create a diary that the whole team can access to ensure everyone stays up to date with appointments and deadlines. Keep lines of communication open whether it be phone or email and schedule regular meetings just as you would.
Create a shared drive where everyone has access to appropriate work-related information/ updates and create an area where saving work can be stored.
Quick, easy and efficient and definitely a great option when it comes to sharing information, create mailing lists that include all the team to be sure information is shared efficiently to many. When setting up group email lists set up a company chat room to allow for discussion boards where people can share concerns or find answers to any questions.
When using video calling or video conferencing it is really important to remember privacy first, think about just how much you want to share of your home environment. Finding a quiet area of your home with a simple background such as in front of a wall or piece of art creates a professional setting to take calls and limits sharing more than you intend to. It is ok to be real though and if a child can be heard in the background don’t panic, let them say hello if appropriate as after all the person on the other end of the call is probably dealing with the same situation and it shares the pressures you both face.
Always ensure that video calling settings are set as you intend, as sharing your whole desktop and emails might not be so relevant.
Just as you would in an office or workspace come together for a coffee break, set a time to stop, make a brew and log in to a chat room or video call. Discuss thoughts, ideas, challenges or just what you watched on TV the night before. Schedule a regular daily or weekly time to boost morale and have a laugh but set a time limit to ensure the hours don’t while away.
When leading a team or maintaining your own workload be realistic in this new and challenging situation we all face. Ensure meeting times are suitable, reach out and be supportive, check-in with colleagues to assess how they are managing their work and remember we are all in this together so let’s be supportive from afar and stay positive.