Working From Home: Tips for a balanced and professional new normal
Remote work is not exactly a new concept. In the early 70’s, physicist Jack Nilles, realized how telecommunications could replace time-consuming commuting for staff during his work for NASA. Actually, he coined the terms “telecommuting” and “telework” as he worked on projects that would allow employees to work at home.
More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the remote work trend and experts agree that the future of work will never be the same. Growth trends of a growing remote work world were already staggering as FlexJobs notes on their article Remote Work Statistics: Shifting Norms and Expectations early 2020 (kind of before COVID-19):
Celerik has just recently become a fully remote company. Even though before the pandemic we were already flexible enough to be “remote work practitioners”, this new era has definitely pushed us to a decision that honestly, we could have taken years ago.
Technology today allows a great number of industries and jobs to be performed remotely. Lots of people that are new to working from home today dealing with stress, loneliness, and struggling to separate work from personal lives. According to Reuters, 53% of people say working from home increases the risk of family conflict because of the blurred line between private time and work.
To us as a digital company, the reality is that remote work feels just natural, but we’ve still had our challenges and have gone through most of the common hurdles, so we want to share a couple of tips that had made this whole new thing of work from home a gratifying experience:
Get in the right work mood:
Try to start your day as if you were going to your office. You can weak comfortable clothes but try not to stay on your pajamas the whole day. Oh, and yes, take a refreshing early morning shower! You need to tell your brain you are working and not on a day off.
Tidy your workspace:
Do your best to keep your desk clean and use an ergonomic chair. Ideally, your workplace is outside your bedroom, since this helps you brain dissociate “sleep” from “work”. Make sure it is quiet enough to allow you to go join conference calls without disturbing background noises that will make you look unprofessional.
Let others know you have work to do:
In case you don’t have a separate room for your office, make sure you let your family know you need silence and cannot be interrupted. This is probably the biggest challenge when working from home but try to let them know you have specific times during the day to share with them and do the chores.
Stick to a schedule:
Define a time to start your day of work, and a time to shut down your computer. If helps, set up alarms on your mobile so that you know you must come to a stop. Calling an end to your workday is as important as starting it on time.
Double down on communication:
Anxiety can kick in for a myriad of reasons: Are you being explicit enough while communicating with your team? Don’t forget communication goes beyond verbal, so make sure you turn on your video during calls, and nail down important communications with quick and actionable emails using bullet points, just to be clear.