A large proportion of companies will have begun the process of working from home this week.
As part of the process of preparing for remote working, it is important to have clear processes in place to ensure productivity, communication, collaboration and good mental health are maintained.
Preparation is key for successful remote working. Ensure you and your team are remote ready with our hints and tips:
- Define team roles – ensure everyone knows what tasks they are responsible for doing. Have a plan in place for if a team member is sick and who will pick up their work.
- Prioritise – some tasks simply cannot be done from home so establish what needs to be done and what can’t.
- Communication – this is key for remote working. Tools such as Zoom, Skype, Email, Microsoft Teams, Google Docs and other online tools are available to help emulate an online team meeting environment in place of face-to-face meetings and collaboratively share content. Decide which tools work best for your business and ensure everyone in the team understands how to use them.
- Equipment – ensure that everyone in the team has the equipment to enable them to work from home (laptop, chargers, good WiFi connection, access to the server, etc.)
- Dedicated workspace – encourage your team to set up a dedicated work area that means they are able to focus and work productively.
- Working hours – agree working hours and breaks so that everyone knows when each other is available and to ensure online meetings are convenient to everyone. There may need to be flexibility and consideration for parents who are having to work and manage childcare during school closures.
It is also important to consider that home working conditions may not be ideal for many employees given the current climate. There are certain things that must be considered to ensure that everyone in the team feels supported:
- Isolation – ensure you are looking out for each other’s mental health. If you have a colleague who lives alone, take the time to check in on them outside of conversations about work.
- Kids or other family members at home – it may not be possible for all employees to work their usual working patterns due to lack of childcare during this difficult time. Consider allowing different working hours and be tolerant of interruptions.
For the remote workers, here are some tips on how you can make remote working a success for you and not blur the lines between work and home life:
- Establish a routine! – Even though you’re working from home, get up and get dressed as though you’re going to work. It will help set you up for the day. Also, set yourself working hours and non-working hours and stick to it!
- Keep active – try and get outdoors each day
- Breaks – take some time away from your desk to eat your lunch
- Communication – keep in contact with colleagues and provide updates on project deliverables so everyone knows where each other is up to on tasks.
This is a difficult time for everyone but by following the above tips, remote working can be done with great success.