- Not Having the Right Tools (frustrations)
- Distractions (Netflix, pets, family)
- Isolation (boredom, loneliness)
Many will struggle to not only stay focused and on-task, but to deal with the day-to-day loneliness and quiet that comes from working in isolation.
Here are some tips for those members of your team who work from home, or have found themselves suddenly working from home for the first time due to Covid-19:
1. Not having the right tools
a) Your Computer: Whether you brought your work PC home, your work laptop home, or are now working on your home computer, you need to have system that’s robust enough to perform your job at the speeds you’re used to.
Your technology person, or partner, will be able to understand what your expectations should be. It’s not reasonable to expect your home laptop, designed to be used by a home user, to work as well as your company model machine. They are provisioned differently and have different engines under their hoods.
b) Your Communication: Collaboration “in the workplace” is going to be key, especially if you’re used to working in a group and you “excel in a fast-paced environment” that is no longer the environment you’re surrounded by. There are many online colloborataion tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, 3CX, Google Hangouts and way more than I could list here. It’s probably best that the team picks one application and sticks with it, but usually any will do in a pinch. One of the most popular for business is O365 Teams. It actually comes included with many O365 subscriptions, so you may already have access to it.
MS “Teams” Essentials: How to Use Microsoft Teams
2. Distractions: This is a big one and the most difficult one to overcome.a) Family & Pets: Everyone knows how distracting it can be to have the kids home, a cat on your keyboard, or a dog so excited you’re home that they won’t stop bugging you. It’s up to YOU to lay down the law. Work time is work time and the sooner everyone understands that, the better. It will be difficult at first, especially for the pets and kids, but you will be better off in the long run if you establish your work hours immediately.
b) Online distractions: Netflix, social media and texting with friends & family is reaaaal easy to sneak in, so most of the time you’re the only one monitoring your time. So keep your head straight and ensure you’re a key player on your team.
Keep a set schedule, your regular work schedule is probably best.
3. Isolation: Not everyone has family at home, or even pets. Distractions are ever-the-more-distracting for those living alone, and suddeny losing the daily distraction of working at the office.
a) Be there for each other. Keep meeting face-to-face, even though you work from home, by using the communication applications above, such as Microsoft Teams. Use this tool to make your calls, let everyone know when you’re “online”, “busy”, or “in a meeting”, and use face-to-face video calls instead of online chat for not only those meetings, but hour-to-hour chatter. Keep meetings to tight times, don’t let everyone get lazy, but use these tools to remind yourself that you’re all in this together and you’re not alone.