February 17, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Remote work has long been particularly relevant in the ways of operating a business. Whether you are looking for a remote job , you see the need now to do a home office , you are starting a new business and you want it to be born under this new modality or you are in charge of a business already underway and digital transformation is necessary of your company to manage remote work teams efficiently, then there is no escape.
We must learn the new ways of teleworking . Not everything is WhatsApp and email and we must learn new platforms that work properly for our businesses and above all that this does not become a nightmare.
First thing’s first
Prepare the environment: If you can set aside a room for work, that’s fine, but if not, designate a specific place for it to be able to mark a clear psychological division between moments of rest and moments of work. And for heaven’s sake, other than your bed.
Basic tools: Perhaps it goes without saying, however, it is never enough to remember: computer, microphone and camera other than the basic ones; a work chair (not a kitchen or dining room chair, but a work chair) and needless to say a stable internet signal.
Adjust your digital tools: One of the main advantages of teleworking is being able to have the possibility of bringing together a fairly geographically separated group, including international, and therefore the time zones may be different. We must adjust our tools to synchronize the times.
Routines: Establish work start and end times and respect them. Inform and agree with your team on these hours to be able to disconnect from work completely. This will help that work does not absorb you in your own home and can lead to other family, sports or simply leisure activities.
At the start of the day: Make a prioritized list of the things you want to do that day.
Family dynamics: Without being rude in any way, we must make it clear to the family that we are working, and that while we are in our workplace we will not be able to attend to them, unless obviously if it was an emergency, in which case each family will accommodate to its dynamics. In the same way, you have to respect the work moments of others.
Communication: Many times when doing telework we get caught up in our tasks and disappear from the team’s radar until the time we deliver the results. However, one way to improve team dynamics is to report what we are going to do at the beginning, then communicate progress as it happens and show the results at the end. In this way, the team always knows what others are doing, their progress and the results, giving room for reaction if one or more team members are not achieving the results in a timely manner and being able to help them.
Mail, message or call ?: From the outset, mail is a rather unsuitable tool for fluid communication. In fact, the response time of an email can be hours or days and if something needs to be solved quickly, it can be more of an obstacle. Learn to distinguish when a message is sufficient and when a call is necessary. Sometimes for simple things a text is enough, however, in others to solve something quickly, a five minute call may be better instead of a 10 or 15 minute chat.
When it comes to working online there are four areas to cover. I leave you just some of the tools that work:
1. Manage notes and ideas with the team
2. Create and track tasks
3. Remote meetings or conferences
4. Asynchronous communication and project monitoring
This is personal
Each person has their own pace of work. These are some daily personal goals to set for yourself.
Results: You have to find your own rhythm and what hours are the most productive for you. Maybe some days you will finish in four hours what you used to do in eight at the office and that’s fine. Maybe other days you are not productive at all and it is normal, we are all finding new ways, we are all engaging. We are in the middle of a historic pandemic and it is valid not to be at 100% of our capacity all the time.
Attitude: Don’t be hard on yourself or people when working remotely; don’t be the person who gets upset because the children run past the Zoom call or because the dog barks. It is teleworking and we are all engaging in it. Remember: work came into our houses, we don’t take the house to work .
Evidence: Always take notes and minutes of the important issues discussed in virtual meetings and leave evidence on a platform that everyone can access. This will prevent future headaches.
Enjoy: Take breaks. It is a great privilege to be able to work from home, maybe it is not for everyone, but enjoy the family, take a nap, entertain yourself with a book or video. Go out to eat a tangerine in the sun, etc.