Remote Work: How to work effectively from home

Posted on March 19 2020 , at 03:53 pm
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With the positive COVID-19 virus cases in Nigeria, there is a need to restrict movement and community contact to stop the spread. For people who can’t afford to stop working, remote work is the alternative. It helps you save time and money, and not stress about clothes. But there are also problems: friends visiting because you’re around, and if you have any, children can be a handful. Here are great ways to work effectively from home.

Set Ground Rules

Be clear on your working hours, it helps others know when you are available or on a ‘lunch break’, and this minimises disturbances. It helps you also stop yourself from being ‘always on’ with work. That way, you can interact with them without your work suffering. Pretend you’re not at home. Don’t answer the door, or take phone calls you wouldn’t have taken while at the office. Set short reminder breaks to keep you energized and stay focused. Get some fresh air or a cup of coffee.

Be Prepared

Have all the necessary equipment that you need before you start. Ensure that all devices and tools, depending on your work requirements, have been prepped ready for the day. Leaving your desk, or room, to seek out things would give people the impression that you are less busy and give room for distraction.

Accountability

Being at home is not an opportunity to slack off. Know your daily work and create step by step outlines to achieve them. This helps you keep track of everything that needs to be done and also helps you manage your time effectively. If you are an employer or manager, ensure that your team’s goals are clearly stated. There are many tools such as Trello, Wrike, Google Calendar and more, that help in tracking and monitoring tasks, creating schedules and assisting in project management to make work easier.

Software company Hopper Turing, released a remote work playbook emphasizing in it, the importance of accountability. The playbook suggests daily stand-ups, which is a process where every member of the team gives an update of the day. It could be run in the mornings or at the end of the day where each member, based on their tasks, gives a report on what went well, what didn’t go well and what the blockers were. It helps everyone on the team stay in the loop. You could also create one-on-one sessions, where you check on each member of your team on a personal and professional level. It also talks about peer buddy systems which help your employees know each other better and fosters engagement among your workforce.

Communication is Key

The core of remote work is communication. In the remote work playbook, there are tips on clear communication. Document your work for future references and consultation. When documenting, make sure you assign specific instructions for every task. As you work with people, you need to make sure that you aim for clarity and make no assumptions. Link work to past and future documents if necessary. If you feel a message won’t do, have a voice/video call. After such calls, recap talking points in a written message. These help to ensure that information passes smoothly between you and your colleagues.

The Instruments

Learn how to use:

  1.       file-sharing tools like Google Docs and Sheet;
  2.       instant messaging platforms like Slack and Telegram;
  3.       video/voice calling apps like Skype, Zoom and Hangouts;
  4.       project management tools like Asana, Trello, Wrike, Notion, that help you track and monitor tasks and schedules;
  5.       people management tools like Lettice and Donut for managing one-on-one meetings.

It’s essential that you stay connected with your colleagues. These tools ensure that you are never lacking information or out of company dynamics. It also helps managers to have regular check-ins and give feedback on tasks, or even, air out complaints. Try these tools to help you find the best fit for you as an individual, and for your team as a manager.

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