The pandemic we know as the Corona Virus (or CoViD-19) has definitely proven to be a tough time for economies, businesses and people alike. These are definitely tough times, but as the old adage goes ‘Every Cloud has a silver lining’. We all will come out stronger and better. In the meantime, to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease, businesses worldwide have either authorized leave or work-from-home; the latter putting our ability to adapt and the potential of remote working to the test. Besides the ever-omnipresent tip of thoroughly washing hands with soap; here are 5 tips toward a better working from home experience.
Yes, quite literally. This remains an uncertain time; with the duration of work from home also indefinite. So to ensure having a proper desk and comfortable chair is the first and foremost step towards gearing up for remote working. This also means setting aside a space away from any potential distractions pertaining to household management. It’s safe to say that you wouldn’t be able to carry out the office deliverables with the next episode of your favourite show running in the background. Remembering how location is paramount to an effective group conference, it will ideally need to be a quiet secluded area, in order to let you safely carry out meetings and calls.
Structure Out Your Workday
Structure out what the main aims of your week are going to be just as you would in office; with your daily steps and deliverables towards completing it. This is an integral part of the preparation step, specially prior to any group interactions or conferences, to engage the participants, and to stay clear on the items of the call’s agenda. Set clear timings towards starting and ending your workday; the aspect of either staying or work at home due to the lockdown has definitely provided a gift of spending more time.
This includes breaks too, by the way. Suitably-timed lunch and coffee breaks are needed to achieve better productivity. In addition, the element of working from home also means more time with family, or to do other aspects that are extremely beneficial. So a clear line between work and personal life needs to be set. Do not put yourself to work 24/7; log off at the end of the day.
Set up Internal Tools Needed for Work
The value of video, voice and text tools are only as good as the choice and use of the tool based on the business’s needs, and their nature as a company. At this time of lockdown, group calling is critical to the success of a business in assisting remote business communications as well. Bearing this in mind, MultiCall is a calling app that allows group collaboration, be it your friends, family, or even your office team.
But this isn’t limited to just your communications. Even towards the lines of completing work deliverables, mail trails are bound to increase with everyone remotely working. This can be tedious when working on group projects such as documents, spreadsheets or presentations. Consider using shareable fora such as Google Docs for this, where secure sharing of files and folders can be executed for commonly used file formats.
Working from home means facilities are limited; inclusive of the equipment needed for conferencing, the personnel needed for their setup and maintenance, and functional high-speed internet connection as well. Paradoxically, the productivity level requirement ideally needed is the same as what is acquired in-office. Yet with employees staying at different locations, interactions of all members for this will be difficult, especially considering meetings such as video calling. Keeping this in mind, a solution that bridges both is voice calling. With lesser or no communication lag, voice calling allows for more individuals to participate. And group voice calls on fora such as MultiCall’s don’t require heavy-duty networks. In the case of a MultiCall, data is required only to initiate the call.
Amplify Your Communication
This isn’t just about clarity in communication. Not being physically present in the office means that employees will not be able to see one other, and therein not necessarily know the progress on their deliverables. This can be detrimental to both teamwork and superior-subordinate communication. If you’re unable to progress on some aspect of a group deliverable, make it clear that you’re stuck, and ask for help. Don’t wait, as the silence is open to misunderstanding by others in your team. At the cost of over-communicating, let your manager know what you have achieved daily, and what do you plan to proceed with. Relentlessly communicating is equally applicable to efficient and effective corporate leaders too. In a situation with minimal facilities to work with, clear conveyance to the team with regard to information and thoughts is needed. Communication goes both ways; therefore it’s equally imperative to have the communication skill to listen and encourage input by others; and to motivate the other individuals to contribute ideas and solutions.
The pandemic pandemonium of the Corona Virus has definitely pushed the element of working-from-home for businesses to its limits, which upon reflecting could bring into question whether in the long-term if telecommuting in entirety would form up as another disrupting approach for businesses to work with. But until such time it’s known for sure, the most appropriate course of action would be to optimize productivity with existing facilities and communication in the manners previously stated.