Working at home has become the norm for a variety of fields all over the world. Although it allows for more flexibility in your work-life balance and less money spent on commuting, it does come with its own set of challenges. Employers and employees alike have been forced to adjust their workflow, communication process, and even their home to make working remotely as successful as possible.
The tools we use to work nowadays are endless; from email to project management applications, they all require a learning curve. When in an office setting, it’s easier to quickly meet with someone to get acclimated with any new tools. Plus, working from home likely means there will be new tools to learn about to communicate with your colleagues and manage your workflow while being remote.
You can use the time and money you used to spend commuting to work by participating in virtual training sessions. These can be learning opportunities to better yourself in your current role or ones that pertain to gaining knowledge about a role you’d like to move into in the near future. Luckily, due to more people working at home, many companies have started to offer free online training for computer software, project management tools, and other office tools that make working remotely more efficient. These free pieces of training are extremely beneficial but don’t be afraid to invest some money and time into bettering yourself for your career with paid sessions!
Designing an office
It’s important to convert your home into a place where you can work effectively, just as you would in your office setting. When you add children, pets, or roommates into the mix, it can become even harder to focus, which is why it’s important to find a dedicated, soothing space to work from.
If you rent an apartment with roommates, make sure you’re able to work in a quiet area and at a table or desk. A lot of people opt to work in their bed but doing this can have detrimental effects on your sleep pattern and your overall health. It’s best to work at a desk and try to rid yourself of outside distractions like the TV or the people you live with.
If you own a home, it’s probably worth considering renovating an extra room in your house to turn into a home office. This might seem time-consuming and expensive but could be worth it if you plan on working remotely for a long period of time. You can do this cost-effectively by finding out if you should refinance your mortgage to fund the renovation. Additionally, you can find furniture and other accessories at antique shops and by thrifting. The overhaul of a room in your house doesn’t have to be expensive!
Managing your workforce
Managing people from home comes with different challenges compared to being face-to-face in an office. You may have to go further out of your way to feel connected with the people you work with.
Firstly, it’s important to be as transparent as possible with your employees. If you’re in a position where the decisions related to COVID-19 are in your hands, be sure you’re communicating every possible update with your employees. If you’re in a lower level of management, hold your superiors accountable so you can update your employees to the best of your ability. Having tools at your fingertips can make general communication and important updates like these even easier on you. Apps like Slack or Google Talk are essential tools to take advantage of while working remotely.
To help keep track of tasks and workflow for your team, implement the use of a project management tool like Hive or Trello. These tools will allow you and your team to organize your workflow and help you keep track of your overall progress and productivity. Because these tools were meant for collaboration, they can further help you stay connected with your teammates while working at home!
Working remotely is becoming the new normal, so don’t be afraid to make changes to your workflow process, management tactics, or even your home! Changes like these will help you and your team work remotely with more success during these chaotic times.