As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, employees have been displaced from their traditional office locations to work remotely in an effort to practice social distancing. For some, this is a new way of working. For others, it’s an adjustment working from home alongside partners, children, and housemates.
In the following weeks, we will publish a blog series written by Pontoon Solutions colleagues sharing their experiences and tips for navigating this new world of work.
Join our #remoteworkchallenge on LinkedIn and Twitter by sharing your remote work set-up or commenting with your own tips and experiences!
At a time when there is a huge amount of uncertainty in the world and everyone is having to adapt their behaviour, I feel grateful that as a long-time remote worker the transition away from the office is not another change that I have to get comfortable with.
And let’s face it – when your routine involves going into the office every day, working with a physical team of people around you, the change to home working requires a whole new level of reskilling.
Throw in the presence of a partner, house-mate, pet and a couple of kids whose school is closed and the productivity quotient drops heavily.
So how do we avoid home-working pitfalls and continue to be full-time workers with a house-load of space invaders?
Things to avoid:
Procrastinating – this is not something that I can say I have 100% solved for yet but everyone’s rational brain will tell them that cleaning out the inside of your cutlery draw at 11am on a Tuesday is not a priority!
Distractions – particularly difficult when you’ve been asked 999,000 times before 10am for a snack but 45.5% of remote workers cite distractions around the home as their number 1 productivity blocker.
Worrying about your kids – turns out The Who (the band, not the health organisation) were on the money. The kids are alright and not having an Ivy League-level home-schooling timetable is not going to cause permanent damage. On the contrary, boredom encourages creativity and self-sufficiency and what better skills to instill in the next generation of workers?
Things to do:
Get dressed – important on many levels. Not least because if you are participating in video calls your teammates don’t need to see your pyjamas. It will also help with your state of mind and getting into the “zone”.
Communicate – with your team, with your colleagues and with your family. Don’t limit colleague interaction to being work specific. If you enjoyed having lunch with a teammate continue to do the same over a video call.
Be accountable – you may be at home but you are still working. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.
Relax – the current outbreak is stressful enough without also worrying that you are working hard enough or that your kid threw a tantrum on your team call.
Nothing here is rocket science but what is clear is that once COVID-19 passes and the world starts getting back to “normal”, it is likely that more businesses will adopt a more flexible approach to remote working, and the quicker we can all up and reskill to accommodate, the more seamless that transition will be.
Good luck. We are all in this together and don’t forget, keep washing your hands!
Are you a first-time remote worker or have you been doing it for years? Do you think people will be running back to the office or embracing a more flexible approach to the office? Comment below to share your experience!
You can also follow along on our Pontoon Solutions Insights page as we share more stories, tips and tricks around the new world of work and how to manage this new reality we have found ourselves in. Finally, join us on LinkedIn or Twitter as we participate in the #remoteworkchallenge.