Everyone is preparing for large-scale containment to combat the spread of the new coronavirus. This is why: Working remotely is not an option, but a necessity. This health crisis forces us to make one rule: Your home is the new office.
Coronavirus: how to work well from home?
Working from home can be very convenient, especially if it can save us from the nasty coronavirus.
However, being away from the office comes with its own set of pitfalls that can reduce your employees’ commitment, productivity and motivation.
Most writers, designers and other web professionals know that one of life’s little pleasures is being able to work from home. You don’t want to get stuck in traffic jams or in an office drinking bad coffee, sitting in an uncomfortable chair. Instead, we should work from home at our own pace and under conditions that suit us (some people don’t even leave their pajamas).
Here are some rules and good tips to follow absolutely during the period of isolation that we go through to work effectively at home:
15 rules to follow to work well at home
Don’t make yourself at home: Stay Professional!
Working in pajamas is not motivating! Dress for work as if you were leaving home.
A remote work day is a work day. It starts as soon as you wake up.
Just because your office is at home doesn’t mean you don’t have a dress code and you can walk around in your pajamas all day, even naked!
Things should stay the way they were when you went to the office.
Do this for the good of your mind and for effective remote working. To make your days even more productive, force yourself to get dressed! Take care of yourself and keep your daily gestures.
If you’re dressed and clean, you’ll have a much more professional attitude when you call people. And you’ll get better results. Don’t fall into the trap of being overly relaxed when communicating with others just because you’re wearing your rabbit-eared slippers!
Schedule your tasks
Starting a day knowing nothing of what you’re going to do do dooms you to failure.
Before starting his activity, the employee is therefore asked to define with his manager the time slots during which he is supposed to be available.
When you work at home, you’re solely responsible for your schedule. No co-worker or boss to get you back on track if you get distracted.
Therefore, it is good practice to make a work plan for yourself, to determine your goals. Clearly determine your goals, whether long term or short term, so that you are motivated and don’t get overwhelmed by unnecessary actions.
Try to draw up a list where the items will be prioritized. Being organized is important.
Build your cocoon and choose a fixed workspace:
Whether you have a desk or a small work table, make sure this area is reserved for your professional activities. It will be much easier to leave work at the end of the day and not let it interfere with your family life. Choose an area away from the hustle and bustle of the house or consider a quiet corner in your garage or basement that will serve only as an office. And, no, your couch or bed doesn’t count. One of the best tips for working at home is to have a specific workspace . And don’t stay in the bedroom or couch under any circumstances!
In remote work, there is only work. Working at home doesn’t mean relaxing in bed or working in the shower.
Establish clear boundaries – Separate work and personal life
Oh, no, you don’t! It’s not the perfect time to do your laundry.
It’s always best to separate work and private life, but it’s essential when both activities take place in the same place.
During your working hours, don’t let outside activities interfere with your work. While it’s easier to avoid these distracting moments at the office, at home everyone can reach you and disturb you.
In the same logic, in order to be efficient it is necessary not to blur the boundaries between work and leisure. Remote workers should therefore choose a dedicated space to carry out their professional activity. If possible a closed room.
Remote worker can indeed lead to work-family conflicts, as family members may interrupt work, especially if there is no room dedicated to remote worker, or make requests for availability which they would not express if the person did not work at home.
It is therefore advisable to inform your family as much as possible of your schedule and remind them to contact you only if the situation is important. The distinction between professional and private life is essential.
Take care to keep everything separate – work only during office hours and only in your work space. This will allow you to “close the office door” at the end of your working day.
In short, remote working means more freedom, more comfort, but also more responsibility and discipline.
Working with regular hours
Just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t be on time. Plan your work day as if you were in an office. If you have children, consider sharing custody with another parent who works from home. That way, you can take turns enjoying these much-needed periods of uninterrupted time. Stick to fixed office hours, whatever they may be. Consider yourself “on duty” during these hours. Plan to report to work and leave work at the same times. This will allow you to set boundaries between work and family life.
Stay connected to your business – Say hello to everyone
One of the most important rules of remote working is to preserve team spirit, so you need to talk often with your managers and colleagues.
When you work at home, you will not see your boss or colleagues often, so it is important to contact them frequently. Send an email to confirm receipt of a shipment, call a colleague to talk about a project and make it clear that you can be reached and that you are available all day.
Trying to say hello in the morning or virtually sharing a coffee in a videoconference is important first to reduce the sense of isolation that the remote worker may feel. In fact, distance can be a source of isolation due to more formalized exchanges and reduced sociability moments.
Beyond sociability, communication is also essential with the manager and the employees. Remote workers should therefore be transparent, especially about the breaks they take, and inform their manager to ensure that the day runs smoothly. In short, being contactable and transparent is a way of reassuring people that they are available and involved.
Take breaks, it’s necessary
Finally a break? Yes, logical.
To better remote work, organize a schedule and a to-do list! Divide up a specific working time for each task you have to do and take 10-minute breaks every 2 hours.
Take a few minutes during the day to relax. Take time to recharge before returning to work and the rest of the day will go much better. It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary. These short breaks are essential to keep your mind clear.
However, you still need to set a time limit for each break.
Remember that a lunch break is one of the things that can make you happier and healthier at work.
Don’t eat in front of the computer
Don’t eat your lunch in front of the computer: it’s a chance to have lunch with your family and to talk about the seriousness of the situation that this microbe has plunged us into.
Plan to take an hour’s lunch break, just as you would at work. It’s not a matter of eating a meal prepared in 10 minutes, take some time for yourself!
Don’t clean up
Resist the temptation to tidy up or embark on big projects when working from home. Stick to your regular cleaning schedule. To avoid having to clean during the week and stay focused on your work, do these tasks on the weekend.
Don’t waste too much time on shopping
It’s tempting to shop when you’re working at home to avoid the weekend rush, but you have to be reasonable. If you work from home, you may receive an e-mail or call about a work problem that you need to deal with immediately.
Try to do your lunch hour shopping or simply let your team know that you’ll be out all afternoon and will be working later in the evening to make up for lost time.
Don’t over-offer your services
Even if you stay home all day, avoid volunteering to babysit children or pets for friends and family. This kind of kindness can quickly become painful if you have to stay very focused during your “office” hours.
Take advantage of technology
Technology is your ally, not your enemy, especially when you work at home. To work at home more productively, you’ll need a reliable computer, a headset for hands-free note-taking, some software to manage your schedule and clients, and a fast, reliable Internet connection. Without these simple technologies, you’re doomed to failure.
Your family become your colleagues: respect yourself
Your family is an endless source of distractions, sometimes unintentionally. You’re faced with a dilemma, so you have to impose that your home is your office and seek their support. Again, explain to those around you that you become invisible for much of the day and that conversation will wait until after work.
A small family meeting is in order: “Tomorrow I’m working and you’re going to help me make sure that everything goes well, okay?” .
Work at home also requires effort from family and friends. Let them know your working hours, the times when you can be disturbed and the times when you are not available. And when they don’t really understand the hint, you can always put up a “Do not disturb” sign or lock your door.
Don’t get distracted
Turn off social network notifications, turn off the TV and mute your phone to avoid being disturbed. If you’re expecting calls from your boss, remember to tell your friends that you’re not on vacation! Save text messages and social networks for your breaks.
Give yourself rewards
Never go through a long working day without enjoying yourself. One of the benefits of remote work is that you can do things you enjoy away from the prying eyes of your colleagues.
Treat yourself to a cookie after completing a task – Make a nice cup of coffee after a conference call.
And finally, I recommend that you prepare your playlists: the confinement may last a long time, and don’t forget to take care of yourself.