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COVID-19: Tips For Effective Remote Work

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt the remote work model. Employees now operate from their homes. And for companies and workers that aren’t used to functioning this way, it’s an odd way to get things done.

Bosses fear that their staff won’t be as productive as they would be if they were at the office. Workers wonder how they will adapt to doing their jobs in a space they’ve associated with rest and relaxation.


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If you or the company you work for is taking the remote work route, you can follow these tips to make it a success.

1. Maintain Communication

This is at the bottom of the fears expressed by managers. The gulf created by the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t merely concern physical distance. It may also create a communication barrier. Team members may fail to keep up with each other. This may result in a misinterpretation of instructions, and a derailment of projects, to mention a couple of possible consequences.

You can solve this problem by scheduling speaking times. For instance, a call session at the beginning and end of the work day could ensure that staff are kept on their toes. Chat sessions over messaging platforms could also help clarify issues, and keep work on track.

If you’re an employee, do what you can to update your managers about the progress you’re making with your work.  Even if a supervisor doesn’t make it mandatory that you provide reports, you could take it up yourself to provide that information to them.  

2. Use Collaborative Tools

With cloud-based applications like Dropbox, Google Sheets, and Google Docs, you can have several people work on a single project at the same time. They can store, revise, and share data with each other on their digital devices, and view changes to those documents that have been made by other team members.

Many project management and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications are cloud-based as well, so they also have this advantage of being accessible by many people from different locations at once.  Teams can get a lot of things done with these apps, from wherever they are, as long as they have access to the internet.  

There’s an implication for managers: they can see how work is progressing, without having to ask the staff concerned.

3. Approach It Like It’s an Actual Job

When you work remotely, you should do so as though you were in the office. Set times for yourself, keep to an ordered schedule, and shut out distractions when you’re getting into full work mode.

Ensure there are breaks too, just like you would have if you were in an actual office. But don’t let those breaks eat into your job and productivity.

If you haven’t been a remote worker for a significant length of time, you may struggle to adapt to this lifestyle. But after a while, you should settle into it, if you persist with sticking to a daily schedule.


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Studies show that people could be even more productive when they work from home than when they operate from an office. This may be because of the flexibility that this gives employees. It’s something you should strive towards as you adapt to doing your job from your own space.

4. Don’t Get Too Isolated

While you could get more productive when you’re remote working, there’s also the risk that you will feel more isolated after a while. This could negatively affect your overall mental wellbeing, and cause your productivity to drop.

You can prevent this from happening by communicating with other people, especially those around you. Connect with friends and family over the phone as well. By staying in touch with the people you care about, you could lift your spirits and be buoyed to do more at your desk.

Conclusion

For all the freedom that remote work gives employees, it presents risks and pitfalls that you will want to avoid. The tips we have provided here could help you do just that. Hopefully, you and your team will be just as productive in this period, and build a solid base to take off from when the present disruption is over.

Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG


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Ikenna Nwachukwu

Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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