Our worlds changed almost overnight due to the coronavirus, or Covid19 early 2020. Workers who wanted to work remotely and previously told they could not for various reasons, suddenly found themselves being able to work from home. Employers scrambled to upgrade infrastructure, software, issue laptops and upgrade security to meet the demands of this new remote workforce.
The one thing for sure is that life will not be the same post-Covid19. Many new business processes that have been implemented have actually improved the way some businesses operate. Such as online ordering, renewing, over the phone and via email. Working remotely is likely to become more mainstream as employees and employers see that this is in fact possible and with limited effort and technology. Tools like VPN, Citrix, Skype and other applications have enabled this new remote workforce and changed how the world does business and how and where employees work.
With that, there are obviously some challenges associated with working from a new location, not leaving your home to go to the office, online meetings when used to face-to-face. As well as the lack of social connection even with those people you maybe didn’t care to see day in and day out ;).
There are also new challenges to employers to ensure their staff are being productive, safe and keeping a healthy state of mind.
Tips for Remote Workers
There are many distractions at your new home office and one’s that you cannot simply ignore. Maintaining a routine and sticking to your schedule is a very big step in keeping up with your new remote workplace life.
- keep your same work schedule at home
- take breaks like you would at the office
- don’t overwork yourself
Health and Wellbeing
- setup a workspace and try not to work from your couch all day. Keep work and home separate if you can
- interact with people. Although in a time of social distancing, we can still reach out to friends and co-workers through phone, video chat, text etc.
- Eat a normal diet like you would if you were going to the office. Try and keep away from frequent visits to the fridge and coffee machine 😉
- See the updated Canada’s Food Guide https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/
- Stay hydrated by drinking water
- Stretch frequently
- Benefits include increased mobility, better posture and balance
- Do some simple stretches wherever you are working every few hours
- Go for a daily walk while maintaining social distancing
- Plan your daily exercise routine and start a virtual fitness challenge with coworkers
Tips for Employers
Managing a remote workforce is maybe something you don’t have any experience with. You’re not alone! Many businesses have had to deal with this sudden change of where their employees are physically working due to maintaining social distancing. Here are some tips to help you keep in touch with your staff and maintain your productivity:
- Loneliness is one of the most common complaints about remote working, according to Harvard Business Review article
- Set up recurring touch points with staff and make sure you don’t cancel or reschedule too often. This will give you a better sense of what is happening with people and any issues they might encounter
- Tip: offer to share video once in a while so people can actually see you
- Don’t just rely on email communications, but instant message, phone call, video chat can be effective ways of staying in touch
- Encourage your staff and provide support. You are hopefully doing this already, but it becomes much more important for the remote worker
- Set more specific timelines for any projects or work items that need to be followed up on
Many workers have the ability to work from home but many chose not to. It is the lack of social connection, routine of heading into the office, the routines of your work environment and distractions at home that prevent the remote worker from being remote.
As technologies evolve and employers become more flexible, people working remotely will probably be more common now that we’ve seen it’s possible.
Supporting yourself and your staff is the key to successful remote working strategies.
Share with us any other tips you have for being a remote worker below.