The coronavirus has forced many companies, universities, and businesses to transition to working from home. Nearly one quarter of the American workforce already works from home, some partially and others on a full-time basis, and can offer substantial guidance for those workers and managers working apart for the first time. Here are some tips from those for whom working from home is business as usual.
Go Team, Go! The collegiality and peer interaction that exists and most office settings is hard to replicate when working from home. But with the right technologies in place, any remote team can have meaningful collaborations and exchanges. Dedicate time and focused meetings between colleagues so that everyone gets to know their teammates and build relationships.
Be Ready for Surprises When employees work from home, in their “natural” environment, they tend to be less inhibited and more creative. Managers should applaud a worker’s focus and offer optimal flexibility to see high-quality output. Similarly, when team members are not confined to a cubicle or specific work structure, they can explore all areas of the company’s work and identify new areas where their talents can shine.
Face It! via Video Use a video platform for as many meetings as possible. Do not rely on emails as a primary form of communication. Remote face-to-face meetings are a powerful way to connect, and encourage accountability and participation. Most platforms support co-working on shared documents, screen sharing, and other collaborations. Utilize these features to simulate in-office experiences.
Clarity is Key Whether as a manager or an employee, make your work-from-home expectations clear. Be explicit about your availability and be intentional about the work you do. Stick to scheduled meetings and insist on full attention. If you need some flexibility at this time, ask for it. Bosses should do everything they can to accommodate. If your boss has given you some leeway, don’t abuse it.