Do you find yourself working from home for the first time? Here at Telcion we’ve used remote worker technology for nearly 20 years, so we’ve compiled a few tips to help make your transition a smooth one.
When you are working remotely, remember that your coworkers don’t know what you’re doing or working on at any given time. Without being able to hear or see you in person, they likely don’t know if you are busy with many activities or concentrating on a specific project. Use tools such as Teams or an IM client to let your coworkers know what you are working on as you move from one task, meeting, or project to another. You will be amazed at how much this helps everyone on your team! It will also keep you from becoming frustrated by a bombardment of requests, all because your coworkers didn’t know what you were busy working on something at the time.
Don’t make every meeting a video call.
Video is fantastic and it’s a great tool. But using it for 6 hours a day can make you feel like you are tied to your desk since you can’t get up and move around during calls. Decide what meetings really need video, and then choose some for audio. If you are in front of a customer, video is really important. When you are talking to colleagues and mainly in listening mode, audio is a great option. If you are talking one-on-one with someone, a video call is valuable. Figure out what’s important. Don’t feel like every call has to be video (but don’t always be the faceless person in a video call!).
Keep etiquette in mind.
Regardless of whether you have a video or audio call, if you aren’t going to be talking one-on-one with someone or you aren’t the active participant, be sure to mute yourself. No one enjoys the inevitable background noise or the click-clack of your keys as you type. It’s easy to think you’re muted when you’re not, which can be annoying to the other participants, so stay aware of this setting.
Working from home can be super productive, but it’s also important to find different spots to work from (and take occasional breaks!) so you can enjoy different areas of your environment, inside or outside. This will keep you mentally sharp and create additional enjoyment throughout your day. There’s nothing like stepping outside for fresh air with your laptop in hand—something you are unlikely to do at the office.
Claim a workspace.
It’s important to have a designated area within your home where you can do most of your work, especially project work that requires critical thinking for 30 minutes or more. Coming to this space will help you become mentally ready to get down to work. If there are other people in your house this will also create some boundaries, signal to them that you are working, and prevent interruptions. If you get up and move to other areas, use that time for quick tasks that don’t require as much concentration. This way if you do get interrupted, it’s not a big deal and you won’t feel as frustrated. When you are done with those shorter tasks and ready to start your next project, move back to your designated work space.
These are just a few recommendations to help you enjoy your time at home and create less frustration as you adapt to a different way of working.