You may have thought that being alone was something you enjoyed, but when remote work goes on indefinitely, the novelty quickly wears off. Remote working sounded so inviting when first introduced to it but now it suddenly feels a bit lonely. Remote working requires you to adapt to staying connected with your peers from afar. To make up for the lack of face-to-face interaction, try to do incorporate some of the following activities:
More Video Calls And One-On-Ones
A lot of the time, emails can be misconstrued. Especially now with the stress that comes with having to adjust quickly to remote working due to COVID-19. So, emotions may be a little higher due. So instead of risking an unnecessary misunderstanding, rather schedule more frequent “face time”. This can be done by using online tools such as WebEx or Microsoft Teams. Depending on the needs of your specific work team, set time aside in your calendar for more video meetings.
Perhaps in your work environment, you weren’t always that proactive – maybe because there was always more than enough going on. However now, as a remote worker, it might just be a great opportunity for you to be more proactive.
If you feel that your manager needs to arrange more virtual meetings, suggest it. Having one-on-one video calls with your boss can help keep the sense of office normality – even though you’re working from home.
Match Your Work Schedules
If you miss the daily interactions of your office, line up some of your work hours with your colleagues. Even if you’re only able to match an hour of their work time, it can help to have someone readily available to get work-related advice from when you need it.
Stay Connected While You Work
Talking with your colleagues can be quite insightful when it comes to solving work issues or bringing a fresh perspective to a project. Working remotely eliminates the social interactions of the office.
So, if you would normally sit next to or work with one or two colleagues, suggest that you keep an ongoing video call or text chat during your set work hours. This will help keep you connected and improve your productivity as you have someone working alongside you.
Unless you’re brilliant at staying focused all the time, remote working could cause some of us to take a few more liberties than usual. Let’s have a look at a few ways to stay focused. After all, we still need to get the work done!
Create A Good Workspace
As a remote worker, one of the aspects that rank pretty high in terms of productivity is setting up a productive workspace. An area that is clearly defined for work – an “office” space where you are most productive.
It also helps to take a shower and get dressed before you head over to your designated workspace. This will help to keep the semblance of a normal routine and workspace.
Stick To A Set Work/Life Schedule
Discipline levels vary from person to person but it helps across the board if you create boundaries from the onset. Try to set and stick to your required working hours.
Set a time to “go home” even if you are at home and be strict on yourself about when your day begins and when it’s time to relax. Be careful not to set a precedent of being available around the clock (unless there’s an emergency of course). By setting boundaries from the onset, colleagues will learn to respect your working hours.
Use Apps To Block Distractions
While our screen time has increased significantly, somehow we still find ourselves scrolling on other devices. This may happen when you drift off in a long Zoom meeting, so you grab the phone and start scrolling.
Thankfully, some apps prevent us from having a constant urge to scroll for no specific reason. Apps such as Freedom and Focus block sites, like Facebook, for a set amount of time, allowing you to be more productive.
Check out a site called Strict Workflow that helps with time management, setting sessions for dedicated focus, and allowing breaks in-between. You can try a variety of methods to see what works for you.
Maintaining A Positive Outlook
Encouragement from colleagues during a time of remote working somehow allows us to find ways of introducing normalcy into this new way of life.
Morning Coffees With The Team
How about suggesting virtual coffee meet-ups in the morning to help kickstart your day with your colleagues. It does not have to be a compulsory meet but just to know that there is an opportunity and whoever wants to join at that time over a cup of coffee is welcome to join – no pressure.
Weekly lunches are also great if you just want to catch up with your team in a more relaxed setting than a formal video meeting.
Team activities are another great way of keeping people motivated and lifting their spirits. Steer clear from making activities an elaborate affair, throw a couple of ideas out there, allow people to contribute, and work from there.
Activities could be things such as book clubs, meditation, workout classes, sharing thoughts on a pertinent topic, or a passion project. To exercise the brain muscles, suggest some trivia, or how about a virtual happy hour?
In A Nutshell
With remote working, you can’t simply swivel your chair or peer over the divider to have a quick chat about random things to a colleague. So, you need to find what works best for you to keep you going at home.
Use your imagination and be creative about how you connect with colleagues and don’t forget to have fun. Try not to allow the distancing to make you feel overly disconnected. How you’re connecting may be different, but you can still make it just as productive as before.