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We've seen more and more companies allow employees to work remotely over the years, but we now are thrust into that world, ready or not. With the transition, efficiency doesn't have to diminish and could actually improve. Here are 5 tips that you can use to stay effective if you find yourself working from home.
1. Know your technology
While it may be obvious to make sure you have the hardware you need, knowing what software to use for certain tasks and how to access your corporate data, may be a different story. Be proactive make sure you have all that information and test the functionality of everything before you know you're going to need it. Doing that may remove the potential of getting yourself into a frustrating situation.
2. Have a dedicated space to minimize distractions
Not everyone has a designated home office, but it's critical to have a space that is allows you to be free of distractions. If you can, separate your work area from your personal spaces and use it just for work. Make sure that your family and friends understand that even though you work from home, you are not available and still need to be working during certain hours.
3. Be organized, have a plan
Everyone plans differently, but when working remotely it is important to have some type of plan for your day. This will allow you to manage your time and stay productive. Some people use the approach of setting up their remote workspace like they have it set up in the office. Doing that creates a sense of normalcy that helps for a smoother transition to working remotely.
4. Be social and communicate often
Working remotely can make one feel separated from their team, so what are some ways you can stay connected? Make sure you have the tools you need to see and interact with co-workers. Use tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack or Zoom to have video meetings and chat. Yes, that means that you should get up and get dressed as if you were going into the office – it sets the tone for your day and is a good habit to be productive.
5. Know the expectations
Make sure you know what's expected of you during this time, what your company policies are, and what platforms you should be utilizing for certain tasks (video conferencing, file sharing, and chat). If you aren’t sure of the expectation or policy, then it’s a good time to ask leadership and not assume anything.
Working from home does not have to be a pain. Be organized, limit distractions, communicate clearly and interact with people just like you would in the office. Doing these things will put you in a great position to be efficient and productive!