TOP TIPS ON HOW TO EFFECTIVELY WORK FROM HOME IN 2020

HOW TO MAXIMISE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY AND REAP THE BENEFITS WHILE REMOTE WORKING

With more and more businesses facing the need to execute remote working policies, are you concerned about how to stay productive and collaborate effectively with your team members?

Whilst 4.3 million people in the USA already work from home at least half the time, to move to this full time can feel daunting. So here’s our 2020 list of how to navigate working from home successfully.


With the continuous evolution of mobile technology, it shouldn’t be surprising that the number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005. But for a lot of companies, maybe even yours too, it hasn’t been accompanied by the education it rightfully deserves. Because the office and your home are very different spaces, and yet expectations seem to be that your behaviour will be exactly the same.

Below, we debunk the common issues you might face, and share some tips on how to join the remote workers who already report being 24% more happy and productive than their in-office colleagues!

 

MAKING COLLABORATION WORK FOR YOU, WHEREVER YOU ARE

Remote working offers employees fewer opportunities to talk and network with their colleagues, and for some it can feel like social isolation. But, there are so many tools out there today to keep the connections flowing, that it just requires a change in thought from the physical to the virtual.

Instant messaging and collaboration tools such as Cisco’s Jabber, Yammer, WebEx Teams, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, offer instant communication channels for your employees in a secure, connected way that spans devices and locations. And many offer video options if you’re missing that more human connection.

Top tip: Don’t be afraid to have informal chats just like you would have in the office kitchen or at the proverbial water cooler! Embracing instant messaging allows you to stay connected, and the use of emojis and gifs can keep it feeling light hearted. Or even schedule a 15 minute remote coffee break with a work colleague to catch up on your day / programmes!  If you’d like to know more on this topic you can check out the top 5 enablers for efficient collaboration here.


NAVIGATING VIRTUAL CONNECTIONS

Over 60% of home workers report that the biggest challenges they face in virtual meetings are interruptions / being talked over, or technical issues interfering with connectivity. But there’s no need to let your lack of physicality impact how you would normally contribute to a meeting.

Make sure you have prepped and tested your collaboration tools in advance to avoid live issues – many systems have test features for this very reason. You can also use chat features in instances where a colleague might be hogging the microphone a little bit too long…

Top tip: If hosting a meeting virtually feels unnatural to you, start the meeting by agreeing processes or a system to ensure everyone involved gets an equal amount of time to speak, and follow an agenda to keep focused.

 

MANAGING WORK-HOME BOUNDARIES

Teleworkers operating from a home office often find that the lack of a physical and psychological separation between their personal and professional domains can cloud the expectations on both sides.

Whilst it is an adjustment for everyone, the easiest way to approach this is to be open about your plans, so that your housemates / family know in advance what to expect, and that instances such as a closed door mean do not disturb, for example.

Top tip: Set your working hours, and keep to them. That includes getting dressed in the morning, and setting yourself reasonable break times throughout the day to allow for personal responsibilities – the rest of the time is focused on your work.

 

STAYING PRODUCTIVE ON YOUR OWN

There can often be hesitation around flexible work arrangements and productivity, with managers unduly worried that performance will suffer if their employees aren’t closely monitored.

The good news is that statistics show that companies that allow remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t – so once the trust is there, it rewards itself! But if your manager is one of those who still needs convincing, then set up regular check-ins and KPIs, so that your productivity is proven by results rather than being “seen to be available.”

If you struggle with self-motivation, then try defining a ‘working zone’ – this can be your office, or a space at your kitchen table, or even in your garden – just somewhere that you associate with getting work done.

Top tip: Try working in a different room to where you will start / end your day, so you can have a psychological transition ‘to’ and ‘from’ work. You can also check out how to improve your productivity with technology here.


BE FLEXIBLE TO CHANGING SITUATIONS

When working from home, you can lose the daily structure many people appreciate with an office job. However, you gain time back with no commute or having unnecessary (and often noisy) distractions forced on you. In fact, 77% of people believe remote work improves general health because it allows for a better diet, more exercise, and a generally healthier lifestyle.

However, if you need help adapting to a new space, try to recreate scenarios that help you feel more stable. This could be waking up at the same time as you would to go into the office, and using the commute time to read or listen to an educational podcast. Or if you need background noise to stimulate your thoughts, put on some low music or white noise.

Top tip: Embrace the change and see what good you can get out of it – is it more time with your children, or the flexibility to exercise at lunchtime? You’ll be surprised at how quickly you get used to it!

 


Do you now feel ready to take on working from home? We hope so!

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Konica Minolta actively helps its customers with the solutions, services and guidance needed to step into a mobile future, for example with our Workplace Go solution, available as part of Workplace Hub. Find out how to unlock your potential today here.

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