Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Teleworking may become a new norm with the unique circumstances brought upon the workforce by Covid-19. While this may only be temporary for some, it is certainly worth exploring the factors associated with working from home. Some of the key areas of concern for both employers and employees are setting up efficient workspaces, time management, reliability, and overall productivity.
Set Up an Effective Workspace
For decades, offices have been accustomed to specific ways of conducting operations. Due to the unexpected pandemic, many commercial settings have been required to send workers home. Even with companies back in business, all Phases of the re-opening process “encourage telework whenever possible and feasible.” Setting up a proper work area at home is crucial for continued success.
Provide or invest in the appropriate equipment for at-home or remote work, including computer and/or laptop, phone or communication platform, video camera and desktop printer.
Ensure a good, stable Internet connection has been established.
Choose an area or multiple areas in the home that can provide a professional environment or be isolated in the case of video conferencing.
Set up the office near natural light or ensure proper lighting is available while working.
Utilize a surge-protector for all devices and keep software up to date.
Implementing these measures will prove beneficial for both commercial and home settings, making work more manageable short-term and over time.
Keep Distractions to a Minimum
Distractions at home or in a commercial setting are at the end of the day – distractions. Whether it is a screaming child, barking dog or chatty co-worker, anything that deviates your attention from the task at hand can potentially amount to less effective work and lower productivity. Work interferences could very well be kept a minimum with the right communication and planning. Ongoing sounds and noise levels are other common factors that may disrupt productivity but when properly addressed can also be reduced or avoided altogether.
Play soft concentration music with Alpha waves or noise-cancelling sounds such as white, pink, or brown noise to mask out unwanted commotion.
Choose a room in the house that can be closed off to the rest of the house for added privacy and quiet time.
Set time blocks for specific tasks and plan accordingly to make the best use of your workday.
Use Time Management
Time is the one asset we can never get back once it is gone, hence it is no wonder this is at the top of every company owner and dedicated worker to maximize its use. Regardless of where work is being conducted, proper time management is key.
Set effective work schedules and adhere to them as closely as possible helps maintain productivity levels.
Establish a morning routine just as you would if you were having to be present at a professional setting.
Save on commute time and invest it in work. The average commute time in America is about 26 minutes, one way.
Carefully explore different options that can benefit your operation. There may be ways of accomplishing more in less time.
Avoid timewasters. Unnecessary distractions, mishaps and miscommunication may not always be avoidable, yet keeping them to a minimum will save precious time, regardless of work location.
Maintain Accessible Communication
In today’s work environment, there are countless ways of staying connected, whether via written messages, phone calls, video chats or any combination of these.
Whether working on-site or remotely, members of organizations can work to improve quality of their day-to-day communication by optimizing every tool available. Once the right tools have been implemented, successful communication will depend equally on the quality and level of individual and professional engagement.
Communication is an art that takes patience, skill, and practice. Acknowledge both the successes and areas for improvement.
Create a virtual system of progress and work accountability.
Separate the areas of communication among groups and sub-groups. A need-to-know approach means certain situations can be resolved without the need to disclose all details, just the specific information pertaining to the individual.
Asses what information, knowledge or exchange of ideas will be discussed collectively.
Establish and maintain a sincere yet positive and uplifting work environment. All verbal, written and visual forms of communication play an equal role.
While some remote setups will prove to be more effective than others, the effectiveness of working from home is a mutual collaboration between employer and employee. Once the proper tools and workspace are set in place, it is up to the working individual and organization leadership to continue to uphold professional standards.
“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” -Henry Ford
Work modes continue to evolve and learning to adapt to change will help ensure the survival of our businesses, workforce, and economy. Our team at Complete Office can assist in your transition into new methods of operation while preserving your company’s unique operation and integrity. Our broad spectrum of office technology offers multiple on-site and virtual solutions to help meet your production needs. Contact one of our agents to learn more.