Your office has been shut down? Since the sudden outbreak of the coronavirus, many people have to work from home to prevent further spreading as much as possible.
How can you transition to working from home? And how can companies prepare their employees for new remote work situations to stay productive during this global pandemic?
Here are 5 essential tips for working in a home office environment, while — most importantly — staying safe.
1. Stay safe and flexible
First, empathy is required. During all this uncertainty, companies and managers must show that the safety of employees, their families, and friends is more important than short-term gain.
We should be honest and not gloss over the severity of the situation, while at the same time staying professional and hopeful that the situation will soon improve. Stay flexible: Expectations to meet deadlines and business priorities must be reevaluated in the face of this global pandemic.
2. Stay social (virtually, of course)
The loneliness sitting at home instead of in the busy office is real. And you can’t escape it easily. But today’s video chat and other remote work software have become pervasive in the last years.
Make use of it! Not just for regular work tasks. At home, you’re missing out on all the informal communication going on in an office. Teams should therefore schedule virtual coffee breaks using live video to talk about work, and about how they are coping with the current situation.
3. Stay focused
Working in the home office every day can be distracting, especially when you have kids. You need a quiet workplace with a desk, office chair, and monitors with adjustable height: Don’t work on a laptop all day. Get a mouse and external keyboard, ideally connected to a docking station.
It’s important to set priorities and goals for your workdays. If you’re working from home for the first time, you need a little discipline and planning: Communicate your availability in your calendar or chat tool, plan meetings in advance, document your work, and actively reach out to your colleagues.
4. Stay connected
Video conference software is very common in companies these days and an absolute must for home office setups. But video or voice calls together with email won’t cover all your remote work needs.
Whether you use VPN or remote access software, you’ll need a way to connect to your company’s server systems, applications, files, or your office desktop. Some people might not even have company-issued laptops to access their work from home. This is when TeamViewer can help you stay connected to company resources if you have to access servers, IoT, or mobile devices — no VPN required.
5. Stay healthy
Contrary to common misconceptions, people are actually more productive when they work from home, according to a Stanford study. So, don’t overwork yourself. Take breaks!
Prepare healthy meals, go out for walks while avoiding crowds, or do some yoga exercises at home to stay healthy. Stress is poison for your immune system, regular exercise is the best antidote. Always try to remain active, even during mandated curfews or quarantines.
We’re all in this together.