The main thing is to set boundaries, not to lose touch with colleagues and continue to follow the usual schedule of life.
My friends like to joke that, as a person in the office world, I am engaged in an outmode profession. Despite the fact that my job is to help companies find their dream office, the ideas about which, by the way, have changed a lot and will continue to change due to recent events, I have prepared some useful tips on how to equip the workspace at home and painlessly switch to a new mode of life.
- Start the work day correctly. An office is not only a physical space, but, first of all, a clearly established mode of your life. And now it’s important to keep it. Many psychological studies prove that during remote work you must adhere to your usual schedule. This means that you should wake up at the usual time, work at clearly marked hours and complete the work no later than usual. Do not change your habits and try to correctly use the time that you previously spent on the road - finally you have no reason not to do exercises or skip breakfast.
- Plan your day carefully. All people have a different attitude to planning, but right now we can learn to do it right and understand which format suits us best. It is not necessary to use complex organizers. For example, you only need a piece of paper and a pen to put things in order in your plans. Try to group similar tasks together in order not to switch from activities that require high concentration and thoughtfulness, to phone calls, brainstorms and video chats with a large number of participants.
- Get dressed in business attire. If you change your home clothes to office clothes in the morning and make a to-do list for the day, then you will feel that you have entered the working rhythm. We know that the idea of staying in pajamas is a tempting prospect, but this is hardly the right decision. Dressed in business clothes, you will be psychologically prepared for the working day. In addition, it would be useful if colleagues ask you to connect to an unexpected video call.
- Work in a team. It is not easy for all of us to be in isolation, nevertheless, in the new environment, we get to know our colleagues better and, paradoxically, may become even closer. To avoid the feeling of isolation that may arise during the first time of remote work, it is important to keep in touch with colleagues. My first group call with the quarantined team took more than an hour, and it took a considerable amount of persuasion for everyone to agree to the video format. Gradually, everyone got used to this method of communication, and further meetings were much easier. Our English colleagues went further and practice video drinks on Fridays, where they discuss the results of the week in an easy format - over a cup of tea, albeit each in his office.
- Correctly hold remote meetings. The effectiveness of business processes, of course, lies not only in a positive attitude. Here are some tips to turn virtual chatting and video calls with colleagues into a really useful and effective tool:
- Plan the agenda and follow it;
- The meeting must have a moderator or leader who will maintain the pace of the conversation and pass the floor to other participants in the meeting. The problem of remote meetings is often associated with the repetition of the arguments already said and the reluctance to take stock. Try to be responsive to the time of colleagues and speak briefly, in essence;
- The problem of remote meetings is often associated with the repetition of the arguments already said and the reluctance to take stock.Try to be responsive to the personal time of colleagues and speak out on the merits;
- Use video communication - it creates a stronger contact between participants and avoids embarrassment and pauses when it is not clear whether the previous speaker finished his speech;
- Try not to transfer calls “for later”: the first and tenth video calls differ significantly in efficiency.That is why try not to put things off and make calls, connect colleagues and expand your communication.
- Set boundaries. Define the basic rules for everyone who shares your space when you work. We recommend closing the door for business hours - this will prevent awkward moments during conferences and online calls, and will also create a boundary between the workspace and your home. When I have to do things that require a high degree of concentration, I recall one of my favorite writers - Vladimir Nabokov. He had chalk, with which he drew the border in his hotel room in Montreux - while working on the next book, the family was forbidden to cross this line. Keeping boundaries is important, of course, but it is equally important to share information with your family that will allow them to feel the value of your work and help as much as possible. Keeping boundaries is important, of course, but it is equally important to share information with your family that will allow them to feel the value of your work and help as much as possible. Success in work, especially now, largely depends on the support of relatives.
- Follow the working order. To work efficiently at home, the workspace must be well-thought-out. At the end of the day, it is advisable to put all the files and documents in one place, so that in the morning the table is clean and ready for work. “The order on the table - the order in the head” is relevant advice for working from home. Beloved cat, cookies and computer games should not be in your work area.
- Find the best desktop. We know that a home office or office is a luxury. Do not worry if you do not have it. A kitchen table is perfect as a workplace. And if you are used to office desk, an ironing board can help you. An excellent solution for both a regular table and a desk would be a laptop stand - you need to install it so that the screen is at eye level (this is the recommendation of doctors). For this purpose, a book or a stack of sheets is suitable.