With each passing week it is apparent that we are operating in a new business climate with organisations all over the world feeling the impact of the new normal of remote working. Whether you’ve been working from home for years, or have just started, it’s not as easy as one may think. The daily reality of remote working can be challenging in several aspects.
The primary concern for many is how to remain focused and productive because despite everything, there are still goals to achieve and targets to hit. When working remotely, we must acknowledge that there are mental hurdles to overcome, most challenging of those, the feeling of isolation especially when teams are used to working in a busy office environment.
Inpute Technologies has always operated as a geographically dispersed team, with our colleagues working across Canada, Ireland and Poland. For practical and effective advice, we turned to Inputes remote working veterans. They have come up with these three guiding principles that help them remain productive and connected while working remotely.
Collaboration is Key
Collaboration on all levels of an organisation is the key to success, the biggest challenge employees who are new to remote work face is an uncertainty on how they can coordinate their work effectively.
The good news is there are plenty of virtual tools available today that can ensure your team can produce their best work even when you’re not working side-by-side. Inpute’s collaborative solutions mean organizations, regardless of size, can have clarity around their work and your mobile workforce remains connected.
Collaboration can also negate the feeling of isolation that can accompany remote work. In this current climate of necessary remote work, Inpute have implemented virtual daily team check-ins for our global team to ensure our team remains aligned. To remain connected on a social level, we have also begun hosting a weekly lunch catch up over Zoom which has been great for team building and helping us ensure our company culture is maintained.
Keep Work & Personal Space Separate
If possible, pick a designated area of your home to turn into your office space. Treat this area as a place of business. This will help you create boundaries and enable you to switch off at the end of each day. Even if you aren’t going to a separate building for work, it should feel like a different environment .
If you don’t have a dedicated space for work, make an effort to create mental boundaries to maintain a healthy work life balance at home.
When we go to an office, many of the typical rhythms of work are already in place. We know what hours the office is open, so we know when to show up for work. Lunch typically happens around the same time for most people. When the day’s over, it’s pretty clear because (hopefully) everyone goes home. The routine is already set up for us, so it’s easy to follow. When we start working from home, none of those structures are in place. Boundaries get really blurred.
It’s easy to start work right when we wake up. Then we forget to eat because there’s nobody there to have lunch with. Suddenly doing the laundry seems like a priority. Our workday doesn’t end at a typical time, because we are already at home.
When working from home, try and create that structure for yourself. Get up at the same time, try to maintain a routine. Maybe, in place of your morning commute take a short walk (if possible). This is an opportunity to hone those time management skills.
Ensuring good time management practices is an essential part of remote working, setting out a plan at the start of each day will result in increased engagement for you and your team. Many may find it daunting when handling big projects without the support of an office environment. It can be hard to know what to tackle first, for all projects it’s a good practice to break large tasks into manageable activities. It will make it easier to plan your time and also to plan for your project milestones.
It’s important to take short breaks during work in the same way you would while in the office. Try and set a designated time for your lunch break. These kinds of breaks can also include getting a coffee (even joining a coworker for a coffee virtually) or just getting some fresh air. Breaks like this are important for your mental health, by taking time for yourself to pause and refuel it will help you stay focused.
While these times are challenging, the team at Inpute has used this as an opportunity to become more innovative in the actions we take to enhance culture and community across our team. The technology and underlying values of our company culture we built, and continue to work on, has enabled us to quickly adapt our operations model without sacrificing our levels of service.