By now, so many companies that are able to work remotely have done so. For many of us, we’ve gone through a “crash course” in remote working since the pandemic began. If you’ve been working from home during this time, then you know the basics by now: have a workspace that’s just for your work, have a good morning routine, make sure to go outside, etc.
Now, as the pandemic continues (and some places that were going to open up have now had to shut down) it can be beneficial to look at what you’ve been doing. There are probably some ways that you can be that much more effective working from home. That’s good for your productivity and your career, of course, but some of these can be great for your mental and emotional health, too.
Have a Time When Everyone at the Company’s Schedules Overlap
Remote working, for good or for ill, has plenty of freedom. You can work when you’d like, making your schedule as you go. However, we’ve found that it’s critical to have times throughout the course of a week when your team is working.
That way, if anyone has a question, they can get it answered quickly. That doesn’t mean that every team member is hunched over Slack or their email, ready to immediately pounce on any question or comment from a colleague. But, it does make it easier for everyone to do their jobs, as they can get clarification for what’s important.
Communication is an unalloyed good. However, sending an email or message when you’re working at night and then having someone get it when they start working the next morning, only for them to respond and get it to the person late that night… that can inhibit productivity.
It can make work more stressful, too. After all, it’s not like remote workers can just knock on their colleagues’ door with a: “Hey, do you have a minute to answer this question… ?” Your emotional health, mental health, and willpower are finite resources. If they’re used up waiting for a question to get answered, that’s going to make you less productive and happy.
Having a time when (as many people as possible) in the company are working is a great habit to get into.
Better Defining Boundaries
At this point, you know to set a schedule when you work from home. That way, you get enough sleep, enough rest, enough time away from work, and so forth. That said, by this time, you’ve also probably had to do something on a deadline, too. Meeting a quick deadline can throw off your entire schedule, making it difficult to get back.
The truth is that even the best defined, most carefully cultivated at-home work schedule is always in flux. Doctor’s appointments, time with kids, walks in the park, family emergencies, work emergencies, and more – these have to be navigated around.
It’s OK to use words like “tomorrow,” “later,” and “I’ll have it soon,” provided that you actually have to get the work done. Don’t misunderstand: this is not a call to turn in your work late. Rather, it’s about working hard during your workday so that the “workday” doesn’t become the “work all day and all night.”
Improving Remote Work Improves the Company and Your Way of Life
Everyone’s busy, but everyone’s human, too. During a podcast, a moment really stuck with me when I was talking to one of our clients, Karine Kardjian, a bankruptcy attorney. She told me that, for people who were facing bankruptcy or similar financial problems as a result of COVID-19, they could tell their creditors that. They might be receptive and work with them.
That was genuinely mind-blowing to me. It never would’ve occurred to me to simply say: “hey, I’m going through a rough time, so if you can help me out a bit, I’ll do what I can.” Then, of course, the person does everything they can to make up the money.
You can do the same with your colleagues, sometimes. People are going to understand when you’ll say “hey, I’ll have this a bit later,” provided that you actually do it. People are human, we’re all going through this, and we all want to help.
If you work very hard, very late into the night, you might get something done. But, you’re probably not going to be very productive tomorrow. Managing your schedule properly, changing it as circumstances change, and setting aside time to communicate with your colleagues is going to be a real recipe for success, today and going forward.
As ever, here at Website Depot, we’re ready to help. You can call us at (888) 477-9540.