Insights from Veteran Home Workers
Working from home certainly has its benefits, but without a doubt is a very different way of working, and can even be isolating at times. As millions of us begin working from home in the wake of the coronavirus, we asked colleagues who have been working from home successfully for years for their advice.
Here's what they had to say, with thanks to Pravesh Kara and the team at IT Lab company Perspective Risk.
Stay on Target
Set three priority goals that must be achieved that day, and set three nice to haves. Then its target practise time! Turn off email and other notifications, like Teams, when focusing. There are no SLAs on email or Teams messages. Don't be scared to get some personal stuff done, but don't forget your daily goals.
Use channels like Microsoft Teams and private messages to communicate, and don't forget the banter every now and then. Remember, channels like these are not just to demand or request stuff off your colleagues, it's also good to respond, help and praise.
Be wary of what you type in digital comms as there is no visible or audible tone or body language to understand the message.
If you don't have a dedicated home office, find a comfortable and possibly quiet place where you can focus without disturbing, and being disturbed, by family members. If you have Teams, use the background blur feature, and mute your mic often.
Understand that home working is difficult for some colleagues with uncontrollable home circumstances.
It's easy to get carried away and work late, which is okay when required, but remember to take breaks. There is a time in the office when you log off and travel home; it's easy to forget that when at home.
Many will find they work more efficiently when at home in their own space, but be aware of over-working. Once done for the day, leave the laptop and phone alone.
We hope this advice from the team at Perspective Risk helps you to adjust successfully to your new home working environment. If you're also managing a team of home workers, you might find this blog useful: How to Keep Your Remote Workforce Happy. And as you'll have spotted, our colleagues mentioned Teams, a powerful collaboration tool ideally suited to a distributed workforce.