Smart work at the coronavirus time
At this difficult time, people are requested to work from home to stay safe. Not everyone is used to do it and at the beginning this can be challenging.
Below some tips:
- measure results instead of time but track it. Time spent at home is different.
- comunicate more frequently. Being at home, you are missing 1:1 and team metings. Use your phone wisely and keep networking
- set your routine. A risk is to work too much or not being focus at all.
- avoid distraction, e.g. TV, people around you. Close the door.
- stop multitasking
- take the occasion to relief stress and anxiety
- take a shower, brush your teeth and get dressed in the morning to start your day. Don't work wearing pajamas
- sit at a real desk but vary your location and the view if possible.
- find something out of your job and stay active
What is your experience with smart work? Successful or not? Any advice?
Try to separate work space from home space where possible.
That is, have a desk where you do work only. Avoid sitting at the breakfast or dinner spot.
Listen to music as a way to shut out noise at home and help keep you focussed on your work (note: this doesn't work for everyone, but decreasing distractions this way works for some people.
Take regular breaks as you would at the office. Although you can't have water-cooler conversations, taking five minutes to get a coffee, sit at the meal table for lunch, etc... will give your brain some time and space to mull over things that are going on.
Be aware that email traffic is likely to increase, and manage that wisely. Remarkable how many urgent issues resolve themselves if you dont respond immediately. Fair warning on this one - some companies have a culture of instant response!
As the team leader, make sure that you work with everyone to set expectations of home workers, measure productivity and make time to talk daily to team members. Keep challenges them but make sure that you insist they take time to look after themselves. Also, try a little downtime as a group. Have pizzas delivered to all team members and have a pizza videoconference to discuss things other than work.
-Create a mini ritual that allows you to ease into and out of your work day (much like commuting used to do before). Whether it's a workout, reading a book, or even simply a change of scenery, it helps your mind get into and out of "work mode."
-If you are using Zoom, there's a lot of free backgrounds you can download to help make it more exciting for those daily team meetings. https://stylecaster.com/free-zoom-backrounds/
-Take advantage of the fact that you're at home and can therefore cook yourself a healthy meal for lunch or squeeze in a midday work out in your living room. Even if you're still working a 9-5, you have more flexibility than you would in the office, so that means taking the clock and shifting it to your advantage. If you're most productive early in the morning, why not start your work day at 7 am and close shop at 3?
Echoing a few points - set expectations and be compassionate with empathy for the workforce that has never worked remote.
A key aspect that I have used is to encourage 60-90 min of self-improvement, professional development areas during the work day. Those times invigorate and earn loyalty from your workforce as you are investing time and encouraging them to invest time in their professional development.
Schedule time to have the workforce express their interests and devise a strategy to work towards that in a set period of time.
If a degree is the ultimate goal, then devise class goals to slowly obtain and ultimately earn the degree.
One additional thing to consider is moving to mandatory video calls....for your own team, your boss and your direct reports. This face time is useful and critical when working remote.
Another addition is to up the ante on 'informal check-ins' too-not to micromanage your team but to provide accessibility and the ability to do a 'quick check-in' for understanding on fast-moving project parts....
Things get easily lost in translation when working fast across global time zones, virtually.