Question: What have you learned about working from home? The good and the bad!
Many of us are novices when it comes to working from home full-time.
And there’s a big learning curve as we figure out how to be productive and content during this new normal that, let’s be honest, is anything but normal.
I’ve learned that I have to be more direct when I am communicating with my coworkers and bosses. That writing down my daily schedule keeps me and my family more on track (and sane). That Slack can be extremely helpful, but also a huge time suck. And that there can never be too many snacks and stickers on hand to occupy a toddler when I am on a call.
I also miss my work friends more than I would have thought.
While it’s taking me some time to adjust to this new work life, at some companies, remote work is all they know.
So why not talk to some work-from-home veterans to learn all the tips and best practices that they’ve honed over the years?
Be overly explicit. Give lots of detail when it comes to setting expectations, giving progress updates and requesting help. You may feel like you are being overly clear, but you probably aren’t. Set regular check-ins to assess workloads and assignment progress.
Set a schedule. Routines can help in the face of uncertainty. They also keep your family functioning smoothly and prevent you from working around the clock. Set your work hours and try to stick with them — that means making sure family members know they can’t just drop in for a chat, and avoiding getting distracted by the latest Netflix offering.
Don’t work eight hours straight. We aren’t wired to work for long stretches of time. Take breaks. You will feel better and be a more productive worker. Don’t let the fear that people assume you aren’t working as hard at home guilt you into working 12-hour days.
Listen up, managers: Whatever you do, don’t micromanage from a distance. It’s not going to work. If you provide clear priorities and expectations with your team and make yourself available to help with any issues that crop up, you also have trust your employees to manage their workloads.
And now is the time to be extra flexible. Do you really care if an employee works from 7-10 pm because they’re also playing the role of teacher to their kids during the day? As long as the work is getting done.