We’ve learned a thing or two about working remotely, and with everyone implementing social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19, our insight is coming in handy.
Here at Infomedia, we’re no strangers to working remotely. We have clients from out of state (and even some from out of the country), and we hold remote meetings and communicate with them through email, phone calls and remote meetings. Here are a few tips from our staff in making remote working work for you:
Set up Slack
If you’re not already on Slack, we highly recommend this application. It allows your teams to communicate with ease, and it means individuals can message each other a part from the group. Getting started is easy.
Set up a Zoom Meeting or Google Hangout
Essential meetings are a core part of many companies. Make sure you have a digital meeting platform set up so that you can not only communicate, but share your screen and presentation. Here at Infomedia, our favorites are Zoom and Google Hangouts.
Have the Proper Equipment
If you depend on specific hardware or software in order to get your job done, make sure you have those available to you. Most home work stations only have 80% of a professional’s needed tools, and inevitably you’ll be in the middle of a Zoom call that requires that 20% you don’t have. If this requires taking your work computer home with you, that might be something you’ll need to do.
Dress for Success
Our environment affects our attitude. Hopefully, working remotely will energize you and make work feel more personal. That said, make sure you’re not putting yourself into environments that discourage working or encouraging non-productive habits.
- Have a favorite couch you always take naps on? Probably shouldn’t work from there …
- If you usually avoid a having big lunch because it makes you feel sleepy at work … probably still shouldn’t eat that when you’re working from home.
- Rule of Thumb: This is a work day, so act accordingly.
Regular Check ins
At the beginning of each day, it helps for a manager to find out from each member of their team what their agenda is for the day, ask about any problems they encountered the previous day, and see if there is anything they need in order to move forward. The manager should be the primary person to reach out for this information, but all employees should know that this is part of their regular check-in process.
If your manager doesn’t have a process like this, or if they do and you haven’t heard from them when you start your day, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and send the information. Not only does this move the day forward, but it shows your reliability as a staff member.
A Quiet, Well Lit Workspace
This may go without saying, but if you have a meeting, make sure you are working from a quiet, well lit, indoor space with a door that closes. Depending on your situation, you may have kids or pets run into frame during a meeting. We all remember this video … maybe a room with a door that locks.
Have Fun …
If you’re not scheduled to attend a meeting, take advantage of working remote! If it’s a beautiful day, work from the park if it has wi-fi or you have a hotspot. If you discussed your agenda early, get a jump on the day and finish up so you have extra time with the kids. Remote work should be both incredibly efficient and incredibly enjoyable!
… but Take It Seriously
The biggest concerns employers have about remote working is that their employees simply will not work. Some will do it intentionally, some will just take longer to do their job. You should be aware of this and take working remotely seriously. It is a privilege that shows trust from your employer, so please honor that trust with a work ethic that matches.