How to Thrive As a Remote Worker In The Days of COVID-19
All of a sudden, the trend of remote working has taken a center stage amid the scare of global pandemic i.e. COVID-19. Never before we have witnessed such an unprecedented turn of events where millions of workers have been made to work from home as the coronavirus spreads.
With more than 700,000 people infected and over 34,000 dead (as on 30 March 2020), small, medium, and large-scale companies have closed their doors to encourage social distancing and prevent the spread of infections. Tech giants like Google, Infosys, Amazon, Facebook, and Twitter have chosen to play safe and others have followed suit.
Like any socially responsible business, we, at ProofHub, take no second chances when it comes to our employees’ safety and well-being. We will not be asking our team members to come back to the office unless we are absolutely sure that the pandemic of coronavirus has been contained and poses no threat provided proper precautions are taken.
I have worked with remote teams dispersed across various geographical locations and found that some employees do have a tough time focusing on assigned tasks due to one reason or the other. Undoubtedly, working from home is not as easy as it sounds.
If your company has directed you to work from home, you might face issues such as:
Struggling With Loneliness
One of the main challenges that many remote workers face is that of isolation. Although, the benefits are you can work at your own pace and from any location, the fact that you have to work alone, without colleagues, can make you feel lost. Many employees have great friends in the workplace, so they find it hard to overcome loneliness.
Lack of a Proper Routine
While you have to follow a fixed schedule when working from the office, there’s no such compulsion when working from home. The downside is that you might end up working all the time, which might harm your well-being and lifestyle.
Not Choosing The Right Technology
A large number of remote workers love to use technology to their advantage. Moreover, using technology is inevitable for remote workers. However, this not only applies to using a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone, but also different tools and software that can simplify the way projects are managed.
It’s easy to make a hurried decision, which happens a lot, and employees end up buying equipment or tools that are not required for their work. It takes a lot of attention and time, but not necessarily make work productive.
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This is a major challenge for remote workers. Be it communicating with team members, boss, or a manager, remote working does take human interaction out of the picture. You do not get a chance to talk to your coworkers during a coffee break or during working hours when you need to discuss something. Instead, you sit at home, going about your job all alone.
Ways To Thrive As A Remote Worker
Amid the challenge of juggling company and family priorities, remote workers can use this challenge to convert it into an opportunity to showcase their special talents. The challenges of remote working can be overcome with meticulous planning and developing self-discipline.
Here’s how to make the most out of this opportunity and prove your mettle to your managers and bosses.
1. Set a Dedicated Space For Work In Your Home
One of the most frequently asked questions by remote employees is what makes a productive home or remote office. It’s easy to feel relaxed and sleepy when working on a couch, so working at a desk or table is recommended. In other words, have different places for work and relaxing in your house.
A workspace is not just about a PC/laptop, table & chair, and a stable internet connection. You can do the following things to create a positive work environment while working from home.
- Sit in a place with a lot of natural light
- Place flowers on the table to add freshness to the environment
- Invest in a comfortable chair because you’ll be spending a lot of time on it
- Use noise-canceling headphones for improved focus on the task
- Make sure the workplace is neat and well-organized
2. Over Communicate
The fact is that a remote worker can easily feel isolated when working from home as there’s no human interaction. Be proactive in communicating with your coworkers via chats, discussions, and online notifications that keep everyone in the loop.
Be quick to respond to chat messages, video calls — whatever platform your company uses to communicate. Schedule meetings with team members, just like you would in the office, ideally over Skype or Google Hangouts.
Have a contact number of every team member, manager, and bosses, in case you need to get in touch quickly. Let them know you are available and they shouldn’t hesitate to call or text if they want to discuss anything related to work.
Constant communication helps build trust between managers and their reports, which is crucial for successful team collaboration.
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3. Make a Plan and Stick To It
Working from home can make you feel relaxed as you enjoy the flexibility it offers. However, you should remember that your employer expects a certain amount of productivity from you at the end of the day. Therefore, make a to-do list at the beginning of the day for yourself.
Write down all the work tasks you expect to accomplish in a given day. It will help if you let your friends and family know your working hours, so they can respect your work time. Know when to work and when to take a break to refresh your mind and body.
4. Take Good Care of Yourself
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! This old saying holds true for every remote worker confined to four walls in these unpredictable times. Make sure you are taking regular breaks and not checking emails during your lunch break or coffee break. Have a good, sound sleep, and eat nutritious meals.
If you can’t go out, you can do some exercises at home to improve blood circulation and stay fit. Get up and get some air, listen to music, play with kids or pets, even do some cooking. Once you log off, shut down your computer and step away from the job. Give yourself enough time to rejuvenate because you’d want to be in your best health (physical & mental) the next day you begin to work.
Summing It Up
It is a fact that remote working is now not a mere temporary alternative to traditional working. It is here to stay and for long. Remote working has its fair share of challenges, which need to be addressed to yield the desired results.
These tips will help remote workers deal with such issues and help you to be at your productive best without exhausting yourself due to overwork. Proper planning and seamless communication hold the key to ensuring all your tasks are completed in time, every time.
Using one single platform like ProofHub to organize, manage, and collaborate on all work tasks can help remote teams of any size to save time and achieve more in terms of productivity. With all the right tools in one centralized location, remote workers need not waste valuable time using multiple tools from different locations.
ProofHub Serving Educational Institutions In The Times Of Crisis
ProofHub stands tall and strong with millions of schools across the globe in such a grim situation. We have decided to offer ProofHub for free to schools for the rest of 2020, that too with unlimited users and unlimited projects.
Get started by signing up for ProofHub now and get all team members onboard, on the same page.
Are there any other challenges you face as a remote worker? Or maybe you have other ways of overcoming them? Make sure to let us know in the comments!
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