Written by Miguel Van Damme
COVID-19 has constrained many organizations to improvise wide-scale remote working to enforce social distancing. Working from home sounds like fun but becomes challenging both for the team members and team leaders when it’s improvised. Here are a few tips to successfully transition your habits from office to remote working.
1. As a team leader...
...Consider the scope of your remote working strategy
Some teams are more suited for decentralized work than others. It is the same for certain type of tasks. As you decide on your remote processes, design the exceptions which do not fall in the remote working policy.
Define clear guidance on what is expected of remote workers: set-up office hours and regular team meetings. Share what is expected of them upfront.
...Change how you measure performance
In an office setting, results are too often related to time spent in the office. Outside of the office, the time spent is not an indicator of results anymore, rather an employee’s performance is driven by the outputs produced.
Using solely result as a measure shifts the attention away from how/when/where an employee does something towards his or her goal. Therefore, a result-focus type of management is more suited in a remote working environment.
2. As a team member...
...Create a workspace and a schedule to help you to get in the “flow”
Ideally, set up a dedicated space to work where you can focus and get things done. If it can’t be at home, then a coffee or library usually does the job (after COVID-19 quarantine).
Moreover, creating a schedule helps to create a routine in your day. Set time slots for the different activities of your day, waking up at a regular time, lunch break and time to exercise.
Structure your day so that your professional life is separated from your personal life.
...Use the extra time for yourself
You have now free time from not commuting to work, use it wisely! The hour you just saved from commuting is ideal for oxygenating your brain and do some exercise. You can also work on those personal projects you never took time for or read a great book.
Set a “self-development” slot in your schedule at the same time you used to commute to work.
...Socialize with your team and take breaks
Avoid the loneliness of working from home. Interacting with people and especially your team should be a priority. Just making a video call breaks the loneliness of working from home, so don’t forget to communicate.
Some fresh air and a change of environment benefit your focus. Go out for a walk every other hour so that it feels like you are not at the same spot all day, every day.
If you are willing to go deeper, we advise browsing the blogs of remote-only companies such as Doist or Buffer. For years, these software companies have been operating on a fully remote basis.