Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software - Deepstash

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Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software

https://www.vitaminsoftware.com/work-from-home

vitaminsoftware.com

Work From Home: Vitamin's Playbook — Vitamin Software
We are offering free advice for companies transitioning to work-from-home.

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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 regular breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Remember that productive work can be fragmented at home due to temptations and disruptions/distractions.
  • It is important to be supportive and share plans and vulnerable communication.
  • Ensure all legalities are in place for teleworking.

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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. 

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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.

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Tools At Home

  • Video conferencing: Zoom software.
  • Chat Application: Slack, which can act as a virtual meeting room. Whatsapp can be avoided as it has an immediacy attached to it.
  • Document System: Google Docs/Google Suite.
  • Also consider a Virtual Private Network set up by work, to access your work documents, if applicable.

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Communication Tips

  • It is very easy to misinterpret emails and chats, so do not make any assumptions and be empathic.
  • Follow meeting protocol like preparing the agenda and providing the meeting summary to everyone.
  • Do not disturb people by requesting them to pick up the phone unless really needed. Do not expect an immediate response to chat and email.
  • Repetitive tasks can be documented to ensure that they can be done by whoever is available.
  • Do not rely on knowledge inside one person's head, ensuring it is written down and shared.
  • Use a checklist to track the team’s progress, sharing it with others.

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The new normal

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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.

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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Remote-first Mindset

Accept that you have to put in place remote work systems, even if more than half of your employees ultimately revert to office-based work.

  • If done right, a remote-first infrastructu...

Build a socially-connected culture

Intentionally design for the same interactions that would otherwise happen if people were in the office.

  • Culture is what naturally happens when a group of people gets together for any period.
  • A great culture happens with intentional design and influence. It's the reason you should make your company's mission, vision, values, operating principles, standards, and agreements visible. 
  • Culture is experienced through emotions, including how your employees feel about the company, you, other leaders, and peers. That feeling is developed through human interaction at the water cooler, kitchen, or hallway conversations.

Your leadership presence

Your people need to feel your presence as a leader as they will have fewer opportunities to see you face to face when they work remotely.

  • Regularly show up in a variety of forms that can include weekly video meetings, periodic company-wide emails, or presence in public channels.
  • Err on the side of more communication rather than less.

Getting into remote working

Getting into remote working

Workers around the globe have been forced to take on the promise and challenges of virtual teamwork.

Many people are more used to working in person and haven't had the opportunity to pr...

Working well

Virtual teamwork places greater emphasis on communication and organization.

Over the short-term, newly formed virtual teams experience more negative outcomes, such as team conflict, lower satisfaction, less knowledge sharing, and poorer performance. But, they will adapt and improve over time.

Adapting quickly

At an individual level, some people will find it easier to adapt than others.

  • A study revealed that when people are imaginative and enjoying a new challenge, they are happier to embrace virtual teamwork.
  • Extroverted individuals prefer face-to-face work, and virtual work may lessen the energy they get from social interaction.
  • Introverts are better at adapting to a virtual environment as it involves less face-to-face interaction.
  • Those who like to make quick decisions prefer virtual teams.