Working from home has become the new norm for companies to move fully remote in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. For some this was already a part of their everyday routine, for others, it’s a result of their newly enacted business continuity plan.
Working from home inherently comes with many distractions—from TV, food, and sleep to kids, spouses, and roommates. So, you need a plan of action, similar to your HR department’s own response plan. Here are some tips to better navigate through the diversions and productivity lulls.
Take care of yourself.
Your physical and mental health are still a high priority. Be sure to meditate, go for a run, or do some bi-hourly jumping jacks in your living room. Whatever it is that works for you, do what it takes to care for your body and mind. Check out a few more tips.
Revisit that long-forgotten project.
We tend to leave emails unread to remind ourselves to go back and work on that one project while others are pushed to the backburner. Take this time to go through some of those old files or emails and work on those long-forgotten projects.
Focus on building trust
Switching over to working from home requires a different way of thinking. Leadership and management must focus on trusting their employees. This includes offering more autonomy, entrusting the decisions made by individuals and teams, improving transparency through better communication, and holding people accountable for their own results.
Trust should not just come from your managers, it should come from you as well. It is essential for employees to trust management, but leaders also need to trust their employees as well and feel confident in their ability to move the company forward.
Provide the right tools
Communication and collaboration are so important when working from home. At Netchex, we rely heavily on technology to keep in touch with one another and suggest new remote teams add easy-to-use video conferencing software, such as Zoom (this is our personal favorite); a real-time messaging app, like Slack or Flock, a shared document platform, like Google Drive; and a collaborative project management tool, like Asana (daily task for the win!) or Monday.com. Apps like these will help employees stay in touch and managers well informed.
Ask the right questions
Consistent communication is a crucial component for any high-functioning remote team. Asking questions on a regular basis allows managers to create a culture where employees feel heard, stay productive, and remain accountable, even from such a distance. As for coronavirus-related questions, those should only be handled by your company’s HR professionals.
Don’t hold back on meetings and feedback
Whether in the office or working from home, truly effective managers provide meaningful feedback to each person on their team. Regular feedback can be easily forgotten when you’re not with your team in person, but it is critical for remote team success, and virtual meetings can be just as effective.
Distance from an office and team can contribute to employees feeling disconnected from the organization’s bigger purpose and larger goals. Regular meetings, which can be by phone or video conference (again Zoom is a useful tool for this), can help managers understand what employees are working on, where they’re stuck, and what they’ve accomplished. Checking in a few times a day when working remotely doesn’t hurt. Someone on your team may be able to contribute on a project you are currently working on.
Every relationship we have is personal, and those made at work aren’t any different. Every interaction impacts our everyday lives, and providing space for honest feedback will strengthen the quality of these connections. It’s these relationships that strong foundations for great companies are built and personal success can reach higher heights. Physical distance presents a challenge, but not one that can’t be overcome when working from home with some smart tech choices, better communication, and increased collaboration.
As the world seeks to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), businesses like yours are working diligently to remain in operation, adapt their policies, and ensure the safety of their employees. Netchex is here to help you accomplish all of this and more.