Tips for Working Remotely During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Many companies are currently faced with the challenge of switching to remote work very suddenly right now due to the Coronavirus pandemic, and many businesses are caught off guard and underprepared.
Up until now, working remotely has been about flexibility and convenience, but currently it is about safety for ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities. It is imperative right now that companies change the way they do business in order to prioritize health and safety on a large scale.
Here are some things you can do to make the transition to remote work simpler.
It can be easy to let communication between team members slide when you’re not sharing the same space. Encourage everyone to be in touch regularly via email, online chat, phone, and video conferencing. Remember, over-communicating is better than under-communicating. Not sure if you need to touch base about that task you’re working on? Just check in anyway. It is important for everyone to be kept in the loop. At our agency, we hold video meetings every morning where the team lays out their priorities for the day so that everyone is aware of what every desk is working on currently.
Keep the Culture Alive
Just because you’re not working directly with your team doesn’t mean you can’t still have a company culture. Keep up the little niceties of your workplace, just virtually. When you’re mostly interacting over email and chat software, it can be easy to just get straight to business, but don’t forget to check in with your coworkers, ask how their day is going or ask about their weekend just like you would if you were there face-to-face. There are creative ways to bring your culture remotely with you. Sure, maybe you can’t have your usual birthday cake when it’s a team member’s special day, but you can have everyone jump on a video call to sing them happy birthday!
Video Calls are Your Friend
Having some semblance of face-to-face interaction with your team and your clients is essential, and video calls are the best way to do that remotely. Many businesses assume that Zoom is the way to go, but there are also some great free alternatives. For example, Google Meet is free with your business email service and Skype for Business is free if you have a Microsoft 360 package.Right now, in an effort to make the switch to remote work easier for everyone, Google is offering the premium version of Hangouts Meet for free until July 1st, 2020. All of these services are a great way to stay connected internally or to conduct client meetings remotely.
Have a Routine
Not just a work routine, either. Obviously you need to set your work hours and figure out the most productive routine, but you also need to develop healthy routines for before and after work. Set your alarm, wake up at the same time every day, shower, eat breakfast, and do anything else you need to do before settling into work for the day. Similarly, when you finish work for the day, really finish. Separating your work life from your home life can be really tough when you’re working from home, so it’s important to have an evening routine that gets you away from your laptop and your work email. This will increase your overall wellbeing and make you more productive during the work day.
Create an Ergonomically Friendly Workspace
It can be tempting to try and work while laying on your couch (or bed), but this takes a major toll physically. You need to create a workspace that is ergonomic and healthy. That means sitting or standing, getting up to stretch regularly, using back pillows, laptop risers, wrist pads, etc. Make sure you are working in a comfortable and sustainable position.
What We’re Doing
We understand that these are hard times and right now more than ever, we believe that taking care of one another is what’s going to get everyone through. In this spirit, we are currently offering free help to our clients who are struggling to get their businesses set up online. For more information, contact us.