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How to work from home, the right way

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200312-coronavirus-covid-19-update-work-from-home-in-a-pandemic

bbc.com

How to work from home, the right way
Google, Microsoft, Twitter. Hitachi, Apple, Amazon. Chevron, Salesforce, Spotify. From the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, these are all global companies that have, in the last few days, rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19.

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The new normal

Global companies, from the UK to the US, Japan to South Korea, have recently rolled out mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of the new virus.

Working from home will become the new normal for many. Some employees will be working from home for the first time, and need to figure out how to stay on task.

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Clear communication

The key to working from home is clear communication with your boss. Your manager might not be used to managing people virtually or may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers.

To prevent a breakdown in communication, you need to know exactly what's expected of you from day-to-day. Ask your boss for a 10-minute video call to start and end the day. Reach out to coworkers and managers regularly so that you won't get forgotten.

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Treat it like a real job

  • Don't lounge around in your pajamas. Treat it like a real job.
  • Create a space exclusively for work that is removed from distractions, just like you would at your office desk.
  • Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand when you're 'at work.'
  • Bookend your day. If you can't enter and leave a physical office that creates more precise boundaries, use psychological transitions like a 20-minute coffee in the morning, then exercise right after work.

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Avoid feeling isolated

The abrupt shift from an office to a home environment could leave you struggling to get used to the sudden change.

Try to sustain a semblance of normalcy. Try virtual pizza parties or remote happy hours. Celebrate birthdays, give public praise for goals reached, and projects completed. Make time for casual conversations.

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Keep spirits up

These are stressful times. You may worry about negative headlines or sick loved ones and put off communicating with your colleagues, contributing to feelings of isolation, which may lead to depression.

Solutions to this include as much face-to-face interaction online as possible through video calls, regular manager check-ins, and regular meetings with no agenda, like grabbing coffee or a drink.

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Digital Monitoring

Monitoring software that checks time spent on different applications, chat response time, and keystroke recording is now in great demand.

HR departments worldwide are fueling the use of technology to have a way to control the employees that are now no longer in the office.

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Tips On Working From Home

  • Choose a place in your home or a corner that can be a make-shift office, preferably not around the living or lobby area where other people can potentially interrupt.
  • Take...

Adapting To Working From Home

A remote worker has a constant blind-spot and is not able to use their full senses to gauge and tweak their work. This also makes them anxious and feel disconnected from the office proceedings. If handling a team remotely, ensure that the reporting/tracking of their work is transparent.

It helps to come prepared in meetings and answer questions in writing while providing a trace of context in your email/chat. Having a preset plan covering a couple of days helps reduce the constant interactions. 

Transparency of communication ensures minimum ambiguity. 

Equipment At Home

Use video communication as it provides an emotional connection with the team, ensuring that the equipment is working properly and there is no echo on the microphone/headphone.

Have at least two modes of internet connections available, broadband/fiber along with wi-fi.

Keep the Same Schedule

To give your day structure, keep the same routine as when you went into an office. Get up at the same time and make a to-do list. Check in with the same person every morning.

Your s...

Set Boundaries

Pick a place for your office away from distraction.
Boundaries also apply to other people who may be sharing the same space. Children can work alongside you as if they were coming to the office.

Schedule Breaks

You won't have the same cues as you do from your workplace to remind you to get up or get lunch. When you lose the pace of your day, everything can start to blend together.

Treat your exercise, meals and stretch breaks as you would any other meeting. Put it on your calendar, at least to start.