Tips to help you and your team continue productivity when working remotely
For many during the coronavirus outbreak, the new norm will be working remotely as workers practice social distancing. But that brings inconsistencies and imbalance of daily routine to the newcomers of working remotely, as examined by CBS News contributor Derek Thompson in his recent article for The Atlantic, "The coronavirus is creating a huge stressful experiment in working from home."
Although it may be a stressful shift for some people, nailing down a few simple lessons and getting into a routine will help you to stay motivated and allow you to continue to be productive in the remote working environment.
Affinity was built as a remote work company. We have been working from home for the past 5 years, we consider ourselves as veterans at how to be productive in a remote world while maintaining balance. We are taking advantage of the vast technology and tools available to continue to be as productive as ever during this challenge.
You are likely being flooded with news and updates on covid-19, and although it is important to stay informed, we must remember to not let it overwhelm us and to maintain focus when working.
Below we are sharing some everyday tips that have proven to be effective for the team at Affinity. Hopefully they will help you if you are new to working from home or are struggling to maintain productivity.
Maintain Regular Hours – utilize free time!
Work as though you would in the office. Now that you don’t have to spend time on the commute, take the extra time in the mornings/evenings to do something you enjoy. Get creative, read a new book, cook a new recipe, learn something new, get active!
Take advantage of Technology
Get familiar with tools to keep the team connected and meetings efficient and productive. Calls, texts and emails are only a short-term solution. Using tools like Microsoft Teams are effective when it comes to collaboration and communication. Make conference calls fun by wearing a prop or a funny outfit and do prizes each week for the funniest outfit.
Utilise the extra time in the mornings and evenings to take advantage of the outdoors. Set your alarm and go for a walk or a run. Take short breaks throughout the day, remember to walk away from the screen and get some fresh air. Aim to hit 2,000 steps each time you leave. This will help you to keep stimulated and clear your mind.
Set up a working area at home where you know disturbance will be minimal. Create a boundary between work and leisure (Don't work from the couch!). Taking short breaks and allowing ourselves a change of scenery will help to maintain that focus throughout the day.
Being sociable sounds a bit contradictory considering the whole nation is practicing social distancing but it’s important not to isolate yourself entirely. Self-isolating can create a feeling of loneliness during these times in a working from home environment. Take the time to connect with friends and family on your breaks and use facetime so you feel as though you are there with them.
Resource your team
Take this time to check in with colleagues you haven’t spoken to in some time, get the team involved in virtual lunch and learns, organize mid-week online Pictionary or Trivia nights to keep engagement strong and spirits high.
List of Useful Resources
- Microsoft Teams
- Time management
- Staying organized
- Games & Face to face social network