Tips for Working at Home

Goals

The goal is to determine some tips for working at home for a blog series.

Early Findings

Company

  • Companies transitioning to remote work should be sure to define set policies for remote workers. Policies should cover when to be logged in, what programs must be installed and how they are to be used, and how productivity will be tracked.
  • Companies should set up remote communication as quickly as possible, preferably before workers begin the transition. Programs such as Slack and Zoom can be used to create online meetings and teams.
  • It is important to have security policies in place that dictate which things need passwords, where to store secure information, and using VPNs when connecting to public networks.
  • It is also suggested to meet in-person for retreats or non-business meetings at least quarterly. This helps maintain the "company culture".
  • It may be helpful and more sensible to measure remote workers' productivity in the amount of work put out instead of the traditional number of hours method.
  • Consider creating a synced calendar that lets all co-workers know who is available and when. This allows people to simply look at the calendar to see if the person they need to speak to or work with is currently available.

Individual

  • It is important to set up a dedicated space for work in order to increase productivity and focus.
  • Setting boundaries is important as people tend to feel like they must be available for work at all times just because they always have access to their computer. Remote workers should assign themselves, or be assigned, certain time frames when they can be contacted for work-related needs.
  • Similarly, people should take regular breaks for food, rest, and exercise, just as they would in an office. Some remote workers feel the temptation to put in more hours with fewer breaks just because the work is always there.
  • Remote workers say that communication is the biggest barrier they experience. It is important to find ways to convey tone without seeing a person face-to-face, as well as make room for quick communications, such as a small clarification.
  • Using time management strategies helps remote workers stay on task. Some examples are timers, blocking out projects in a planner, and making lists of what must be accomplished each day.

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