The term remote work is certainly not new to many companies. However, and in recent weeks, it has become imperative and has forced companies that had not yet adjusted to this reality to do so. Although it is very beneficial in many ways, it also brings many challenges with it that workers should be able to overcome in order to maintain good performance and productivity.
Therefore, we have gathered 10 tips so that you can, during these exceptional times, perform and effective remote work:
1. Create your own space to work
Naturally, at home we feel more comfortable because we are in our own space and consequently the temptation for distractions may be greater.
During remote work it is important that the space where we work is different from the leisure ones. Choose a room/space from your home and make it your “work corner”, preferably with good sun light, where you can be focused and with all the essential things for your working day at your disposal. The bed and sofa should be avoided, since they are spaces that our brains associate with resting, hence reducing productivity.
2. Organize your work and set your goals
There are numerous platforms for organizing your tasks and project management by plenty of teams, such as Asana, Trello and Basecamp. It is important to use this type of tools that, besides being able to identify priorities, allocate responsibilities and monitor progress, can also shorten distances between teams.
3. Take short breaks to relax
In order to be productive, we need some breaks to relax, rest and recover some energy and concentration. Read a little, listen to a podcast, call a relative or friend or just get some air on the balcony or in the garden. This way you’ll be able to return to work with more motivation!
4. Get dressed
A very effective way to make our brains click into going to work mode is by getting dressed and getting ready. We don’t need to choose our best outfit or dress professionally; we can always pick some comfortable clothes. The important thing is to leave the robe and slippers aside and, most importantly, avoid keeping the pajamas all day long.
5. Keep in touch with colleagues
During these times the technology is particularly useful. Do not neglect to contact colleagues and promote daily meetings to have an overview of the projects, align priorities, share some ideas or even moments of relax and fellowship. Videoconferences are an important way to increase proximity among the team, facilitate communication and reduce isolation.
6. Maintain schedules
It’s important to keep a schedule similar to the one you used to keep when you went to the office. Flexibility makes it easier to interrupt work for just “5 minutes”, reducing productivity. Following a predefined schedule is crucial, and within this period there should be no room for distractions. In addition, having a restricted schedule avoids the excessive hours, which often occurs because we are more available.
7. Beware of distractions
Social media is an intrinsic part of our personal and professional lives. However, it is necessary to disconnect from chats, social network’s feeds and e-mails whenever you need to be more focused on certain tasks.
8. Take care of your mental and emotional health
The sudden shift into remote work during the covid-19 pandemic can have negative effects on our mental health. For many people, one of the main problems of working at home is the lack of interaction and socialization, which can lead to isolation. Although extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, we must always remember the importance of personal contact even when we’re apart: there are lots of free video call platforms where you can catch up with your friends. Make some time for yourself and take the opportunity to do what you like.
9. Do not forget to work out
When we are working from home, we naturally make less physical effort and breaking the routine we were used to can lead us to an unwanted state: idleness. Thus, physical activities are of upmost importance even when we are at home. Establish an exercise plan: there are lots of free apps, online videos and live videos that personal trainers carry out on their social media that can help you in this adventure.
10. Count on time and attendance tools
Running away from the routine can make you forget some important things, so it’s important to set times on your smartphone’s alarm clock. As a solution to meet the needs of its customers during the Covid-19 epidemic, SISQUAL has developed a time and attendance software, the SISQUAL Smart Clocking App, which allows you to use your smartphone to check schedules and attendance data and track your working hours. The company promises to bring more news soon, with a solution for everyone, so stay tuned!
As an additional tip we emphasize patience and empathy: this is an unusual period for us all. Any process of change, especially an abrupt one, requires time for adaptation. Although we are currently facing a war with an invisible enemy, together we are stronger, and the storm will eventually go away.
Written by Cristina Meireles
Cristina Meireles has a special interest in marketing, psychology, HR and Employer Branding. She has found in WFM a way to improve the quality of life and productivity of employees, being a strong ally in motivational campaigns. She has a degree in Languages and Business Relations from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and is currently attending the masters in digital marketing from ISCAP.