With The rise of the COVID-19 Pandemic, more of us will be working from home. Telecommuting is different that working in an office situation, and with the economic impacts of school and business closings, it will be more important than ever to work as a team to support your coworkers to be cognizant and meet customer and project deadlines. Now more than ever customer service and responsiveness will be critical to business success as most experts believe a recession is likely.
With 20 years of providing Cloud services and working from anywhere that whole time, we have learned a few tips.
- Let your family know that work from home still means work time. Yes it is common to take breaks and switch out laundry or empty the dishwasher, but that is no different than a water cooler conversation. Children may be excited about you being home, but your work time has to be protected for your efficiency and professionalism.
- Create a dedicated work space. Sure there are stories about working from the beach or by the pool, and yes it isn't a bad spot to blog from, but the couch or your bed is not the best place for a conference call or deep thinking. Your employer may provide an extra monitor, docking station and required peripherals to make you as efficient as possible.
- Structure your day. Set appointments with customers and co-workers and dedicate time to check the e-mail, your support box, or even social media if that is part of your job. Leave space between meetings for getting up and walking, bio-breaks and the potential for running behind schedule. The structure will keep you on schedule and provide predictability for your team.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate You don't have the opportunity for drive by meetings, or spontaneous brainstorming sessions while at home with the dog. Making certain you are on your company's communication platform (Skype, Teams, Slack, etc.) can enable this spontaneous communication and is way more efficient than e-mail without being as disruptive as a phone call.
- Announce Completion of Tasks Be certain to let people know when you complete tasks in whatever method (e-mail, GroupMe Project Management Tool, telephone) used by your company. This communication can prompt others to perform the next step in the process or contact a customer based upon your results. Your supervisor or business owner can't see you doing your job, so letting them know demonstrates your value to the company.
- Use best methods for meeting efficiency Remote meetings need agenda's, minute takers and timekeepers as much as in person meetings. Early is on-time and on-time is late if a group of high efficiency homeworkers are sitting at their desk waiting for you.
Work from home and flexible schedules can result in greater productivity when done properly. This takes a commitment to treating work time to structure your time, space and habits.
If your company does not have the infrastructure to support remote working, contact your MSP, Contact Us, or e-mail an I-BN Representative (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see if a "Desktop as a Service" could work for you.