How to be Successful Working from Home
Remote work has grown exponentially over the years with statistics showing that 3.6% of the US workforce works from home at least half of the time - prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we all focus on stopping the spread of the disease globally, a large amount of businesses are encouraging employees to work from home if possible. For some, this is completely new territory and an unexpected ‘trial run’ for remote work options, and if that’s the case, below are five key objectives to ensure success while working from home.
1. Manage Expectations
The number one priority while working from home is to keep working at the same quality with modifications in place. If there are regular KPIs or timeframes for your work, aim to keep them and redesign how to get there if needed. Ideally, outcomes will remain the same even if the process alters. If you or your team are not accustomed to remote work, create a daily or weekly plan as to what is expected and the timeline for achievement.
2. Create a Routine
If you usually start your day with meditation, coffee and a shower, then still start your day with that! If you’re accustomed to working out during lunch, go for it. If you’re used to working specific hours each day, keep to them. Minor adjustments can be made (for example, find an online workout or get moving outside if you are able). Just because your location has changed does not mean everything has to change. Although you may now have the luxury of not having to be as presentable and polished and can pare down aspects of your regular routine!
3. Plan/Batch Schedule
Working remotely can be more productive with better ability to focus or it can be largely distracting based on your plan. Crafting a plan at the start of each day and batch scheduling tasks will minimize the risk of distraction. Even if they are seemingly small administrative tasks, plan for them so they don’t derail your other planned blocks – (hello, overflowing inbox – wait your scheduled turn!)
4. Control Your Environment
It is tempting to tackle other projects if you are home and they are staring you in the face. While sometimes impossible or difficult at the very least, finding a space that is conducive to focused work is important. If you’re able, carve out a quiet, uncluttered area as your at-home workstation so your attention can turn to your work and tackle other projects outside of working hours.
5. Overly Communicate
Regular check ins must go on. When remote, the ability to pop your head into someone’s office and update them that you’ve taken care of something or vice versa, is a little trickier when remote. Create a touch base plan with team members or managers at the beginning of the day and/or end of the day so you’re relaying your plan and priorities at the start of the work day and then circling back on them at the end of the day to communicate the progress updates. Make sure the technology you’re using supports collaboration (video conferencing, team chat threads, email groups, screen sharing, etc.) and that each team member has the phone numbers to reach everyone.