A lot of us will be stranded to work remotely for some weeks or maybe months. It is a situation we need to accept, hence adapting to it as fast as possible might just be beneficial to us. So, let’s start with five basic questions on how to get most out of this.
1. Reconfigure your home environment
Just try to add a little bit of work mood to your work environment. If no changes are made at home, you might start to feel that you cannot make a difference between a working day and a day of the weekend. Being in the adapted home working environment and the rest of your home might help in making yourself aware of this difference.
2. Keep the daily routine
Try to think that the only thing which changed is the place where you do the same thing. But Monday can still be Monday. So, when waking up, do the same things you do usually in a working day back home, no matter is it is the coffee, walking the dog or wetting the plants at the same hour and minute. Furthermore, dress up like you are really heading to work. All of this makes you set your mind on work. Then, of course when you would leave, just settle in your slightly twitched working home environment. You know which is the one big positive side of your stranded situation? You actually saved all your commuting time at once!
3. Setup your teamwork together with your closest collaborators
Agreeing on how you collaborate during these weeks is essential, especially if you are normally cooperating with people through personal interaction. Online collaboration and interaction is almost the same, however, you might night a little bit more discipline in how you communicate in order to avoid strange situation you can easily avoid in-person, like several people starting to speak in the same moment. Some of the basic rules of engagement are the simplest possible ones, like using the MUTE button for you microphone or enforcing one person to be the moderator of the discussion giving word for each person to (unmute her/himself and) speak.
4. Focus on what is most important, it is learning process
Especially in the first remote days, focusing on the most important aspects of your work will help you cope with the new situation. Do not try to solve a long list of tasks, get yourself accommodated with some more easy-going days. Then, when you feel your own dynamic, try enhancing and improving your own condition, and whenever you feel comfortable, extend your workload.
5. Check, learn and adapt some useful online tools for your remote existence.
Just in the last two days Google and Microsoft announced that they online collaboration and meeting tools, Hangout Premium and Teams will be available for open use while this forced situation is upon us. We are more familiar with Microsoft Teams, but we will also test Google Hangouts in more detail to see how this can enable our group work best. We’ll get back to you on them.