The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has forced people to drastically modify their lifestyles due to unexpected, mandated stay-at-home requirements. Offices have been impacted as workplaces have migrated from traditional office spaces to remote work environments. Although a number of technological innovations have helped to ease the transition—creating productive, at-home workspaces can be challenging.
Staying productive in these newfound home-office environments can be a struggle for those unacquainted with working remotely. While fulfilling job responsibilities from the safety of your living room sounds appealing—a different set of challenges can arise from these newly inherited freedoms.
The transition to home offices was necessitated to help protect public health, but some people have taken longer than others to fully adjust. In many homes both spouses are fulfilling job duties remotely while also handling at-home classroom duties with their children. These individuals must closely balance household management, parenting, and care-taking while simultaneously maintaining an astute level of professionalism.
Did we also mention the dog constantly barks at the delivery guy and wants to play fetch 24/7?
Before going any further, be sure to reflect for a moment and take a deep breath. Next, review some of our tips on maintaining productivity and connectivity during the “new normal” of today.
Creating Home Offices Conducive to Remote Work
Working remotely can be beneficial for many professionals and boost productivity, but others may initially struggle to adapt to virtual office environments. Building effective home workspaces requires personal accountability, but anyone can be productive with the right mindset and action plan.
Here are some tips from other professionals who have effectively transitioned from the cubicle to the home office.
Create a schedule: Our routines have been thrown out the window! Although remote work provides more flexibility, having a schedule in place is a key factor for success. Set your alarm daily and plan out your day to effectively perform job functions as you would at traditional offices. This includes creating a schedule for your children’s school curriculum that they are now working on remotely.
Set up a dedicated workspace: adequately performing job duties with too much noise can be a struggle. Set up a workspace that's free from distractions to help minimize disruptions and maximize productivity. It’s more important than ever because most organizations are using some type of video conferencing to collaborate. Considering our lives in the sea of cubicles has been changed dramatically, we feel the culture of remote collaboration shifting. It’s okay to take that occasional one-on-one meeting outside on your balcony or patio.
Take regular breaks: many people find they’re more effective with regular work breaks. Don’t be afraid to occasionally take the dog for a walk or exercise. There are many free workouts online, so take 30-45 minutes a few days a week to exercise. Regular exercise is proven to improve mental and physical health ultimately increasing your productivity.
Stay connected to colleagues: working alone can be isolating if you lose touch with co-workers. Be sure to keep close communication with others via email, phone calls, or web conferencing services. Don’t be afraid to make small talk the first few minutes of your meetings. This often builds rapport and helps establish connections between the people meeting.
Step away from the computer: constantly working from home can make it difficult to fully disengage with technology. Now that our work and home life is a complete blur, it’s more important than ever to disconnect. Be sure to completely unplug from job duties and outside distractions to focus on loved ones after work hours. A study by the Journal of Applied Psychology found the ability to disconnect from work is an important factor that helps to protect employee well-being and work engagement.
The vast majority of the professional workforce is currently fulfilling job duties from home office spaces. Staying connected to friends and family is critical for ensuring our physical health and mental well-being moving forward.
How TBC is Helping to Improve Remote Work Environments
Many professionals have recently transitioned from traditional offices to remote workspaces. Being productive from home while managing household tasks and parental responsibilities can be a challenging endeavor.
As much of the professional world has shifted to virtual work environments, people are doing everything within their power to stay connected and productive. Technological advances have allowed companies to effectively operate during these times, but organizations may be at risk of cyber attacks if unprepared.
At TBC, we’re providing tools and resources to help create and secure remote environments. During these times, we’re assisting companies by setting up remote contact centers. With the help of our partner, ServiceNow, we’re also providing Emergency Outreach applications free of charge to help disseminate information and confirm employee safety and location.
TBConsulting remains committed to helping companies strategically meet mission-critical needs while protecting security infrastructures. For more information on how TBC can help your company during these challenging times, schedule a free consultation with one of our knowledgeable experts.