The transition to remote work has occurred abruptly. People are suddenly in a new environment with a new way of working. It has caused a good deal of disruption. Companies and people are learning as they go.
Organizational experts have offered a number of tips to help people acclimate to the new situation, with suggestions like making sure to take breaks, sticking to a schedule, and having a place just for work. But, as the pandemic continues, working at home may become a long-term engagement, rather than just a stopgap measure. With that in mind, here are some additional tips for remote work for the long term.
1. Upgrade your workspace
When people began working remotely, they probably used a kitchen or dining room table. But if remote work looks like something that will be long term, it’s time to make an investment in the right kind of devices and office equipment.
You should try to make your work station as ergonomically sound an arrangement as possible, something that most home offices lack. There are many regulations that businesses have to follow for health and safety, guidelines that cover proper office equipment and setup. But people working at home have no idea what the guidelines are or how they should be implemented.
For help, here is a website from the National Institute of Health explaining what you can do to make sure your work station is ergonomically up to snuff.
2. Maintain boundaries
This shouldn’t change just because you are working from home. You may feel more of an obligation to take care of a request right away because you are not in the office where people can see you working. But there is no harm in telling someone you will get to their task after you finish what you are working on.
3. Focus on communication and taking the initiative
Because you are in a different location, and more isolated, communication becomes much more important. That means staying in touch with people more than you would in an office setting, and making sure when you communicate that your message is clear and to the point.
Schedule video conferences and virtual chats to keep in touch and exchange ideas. If anything, you should communicate too often rather than not enough in these unsettled times. Don’t wait for others to take the lead, or for some directive from management. In times like these, when routines have been disrupted, you need to be proactive.
Working remotely is an opportunity to experiment with new ways of working that may make you more productive. You can play around with your routine and try out different ways of doing things. After all, you don’t have a supervisor looking over your shoulder.