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From the Office to Online

Due to Covid-19, many companies have been pushed towards remote work. Some companies have been gradually moving this way already, so the transfer to full-time remote work may have been pretty seamless. However, for some companies, this new way of working is uncharted territory. Working from home has many benefits as well as challenges, working better for some industries than others.

Under these circumstances, most companies have been forced to move towards telework within days, leaving little time for preparation. This can leave managers and employees feeling extremely uncertain and anxious. With the added burden of school closures, most parents are figuring out how to set up an office at home and balance homeschooling their children. 

From our own experiences and through talking with our colleagues and clients, here are a few tips on how to make remote work as smooth and efficient as possible.

For your daily routine:


Have a morning routine
  • Don’t “jump into your workday” the second you wake up. 
  • Work out, drink coffee, meditate, etc.. or some activity that calms your mind and gets your ready for the day.
  • Put on real clothes (you’ll feel much more motivated and confident on that conference call then if you were in your pajamas!).

Take frequent breaks 
  • Don’t forget to take a “lunch break” where you don’t look at anything work-related 
    • Tip: Use a timer to help. For instance, I sent an alarm using Alexa Echo Dot to remind me to stop and eat lunch. 
  • Go outside! 
    • Want to take a brisk walk outside? Set a 5-minute timer. You do want to be cautious about getting too distracted so setting timers and alarms tend to help.

Have a designated workspace
  • Your couch or bedroom is not the most ideal place to work. Some people have an office space but if you don’t, set up on the kitchen table or get creative. You’ll want to use a space with limited distractions. 


Team Tips:


Isolation and loneliness
  • Isolation and loneliness, which tends to decrease productivity and motivation, makes up the biggest complaint employees have from working at home, especially of those employees who are used to being in an office environment.
    • Tip:  Build a virtual water cooler by adding a buffer into meetings up to catch up with colleagues.

Train on new tools
  • With whatever new tools you are implementing, make sure you are training your team members on how to use them and not assuming everyone is tech-savvy. You will save time in the long run by training upfront. 
    • Video conferencing will probably be one of the most used new tools. Not every meeting needs to be a video conference but it is important to utilize this tool. By being able to see team member’s faces, you’re able to get a better read on how they are doing and what they are feeling. That being said, be mindful that your face is the focal point of the screen and your furrowed eyebrows may come across as being angry.

Train on new processes
  • It’s inevitable you will need to make some changes in your processes now. Determine what those are, create a format and share with your team.
  • Knowing when to use email vs phone call vs interoffice chat system becomes essential. There might have been instances you would have just walked into your co-worker’s office to ask a question and now you’re having to determine what’s the most efficient way to get your questions answered.

Communication 
  • Communication can suffer when working remotely but it does not necessarily have to. You might have sent an email to a team member but they misinterpret it or the email gets lost in the shuffle. Make sure to mention to verbalize vital information and ask if anyone needs clarification.
    • We recommend implementing a morning daily check-in meeting. When working remotely, it’s hard for managers to see what employees are working on. Using a 5-10 minute morning daily check-in (make sure to keep it short), allows team members to share their top priorities for that day and realign if needed.

Regularize the schedule
  • Try to keep meetings on the same day each week with an agenda.


Do you have any tips on making remote work with your team? If so, we would love to hear them! 

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