Getting the Most Out of Remote Work

Picture yourself doing remote work.  Does that picture include working in pajamas and fuzzy slippers?  Not brushing your teeth before noon?  Working while floating in the pool?

While employers have offered remote work options in the past, the pandemic has accelerated the move to remote work at a lightening pace.  Some occupations that would not have been considered viable for remote work previously, have suddenly been doing it.  Curious about how to keep it healthy and productive?

Here are some tips for getting the most out of remote work:

  • Communicate intentionally: Since remote work makes it incredibly awkward to “pop in” on an employee unannounced, establish a standard communication process.  Consider holding a daily meeting to review projects, answer questions, and share information.  Find a standardized way to replace the ad hoc communications that occurs in a regular workplace.
  • Provide robust technology: Make certain that your teams have the technology they need and that it is functioning consistently.  Few things are as frustrating as not being able to do your work due to technology challenges.
  • Encourage good ergonomics: Having an ergonomic work area can help to reduce the likelihood of a repetitive motion or muscular skeletal injury.  Being comfortable while working will also improve productivity.  Share information with your team on good ergonomic practices including workstation set up options and the importance of physical movement throughout the day.
  • Supply necessary resources: Make certain that employees have the equipment and office supplies necessary for their work.  Some organizations with long term work from home plans are providing a stipend for home office equipment.  If you do this, develop a process that includes ergonomic considerations as a part of those purchasing decisions.
  • Trust folks: You can’t micromanage every minute of an employee’s day, even when you are all in the same building, so you definitely can’t do it when working remotely.  Provide clear expectations for the work to be performed and then leave it up to your team as to how they accomplish it.
  • Check on wellbeing: Make time to check in on employees to confirm that they are OK, especially those who may be at risk or do not have a strong support system.  If you think that they could use some support, refer them to the appropriate resources.

Working from home is going to be different for each employee as we will have a variety of home situations.  Being flexible in how employees approach completing their work while being clear with what needs to be accomplished is key to creating an effective remote work relationship.

Personally, I’m enjoying the additional time with my family, an even shorter than my usual short commute, and great snacks.

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