Working remotely – effectively

March 27, 2020
Nick C
Nicholas M. Comeau
Senior Director for Process Improvement

Working remotely or teleworking has become the norm for many of us during this Coronavirus pandemic. For many, it is a significant adjustment from our typical practice. Here are some ideas and resources on how to successfully – and effectively – work remotely.

Productivity

  • Plan your week/day ahead of time.
  • Avoid getting caught in the multitasking trap. Be present during your calls and online meetings. Focus on the topic at hand, avoiding the temptation to look at your phone, search the internet, or do household chores. Productivity matters.

Check-in and over communicate

  • Send status updates about your work or align with your team and manager around a shared status update. Ask for feedback early and often. Share updates about the result of your work with links that give people a glimpse into the impact you are making. 
  • People Leaders: schedule brief team meetings and work status reviews. Make sure all work-related resources are available securely online. Share notes with everyone at the same time about all decisions made.  Align on collaboration expectations, including who should join which meetings. 

Look after yourself 

  • Watch your diet and stay hydrated. Fill up a 1-liter water bottle, and make sure you drink it at least once, if not twice, throughout the workday.
  • Take breaks. Stretch your legs every 30 minutes and try to get outside. Try meditation and mindfulness exercises. A fresher mind will help drive better outcomes. 
  • Create new routines – get dressed, set up a home office routine, don't eat lunch at your desk, etc.
  • Even if you have a desktop office set up, change up your location within the house.
  • Set a time limit on how much COVID-19 related news you read and watch

Check out some break ideas to help clear your mind:

Virtual Tours of Museums from across the globe

 Virtual Tours of America's National Parks

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch From Home

7 Board Games You Can Play Online with Friends

10 Ways to Be More Mindful at Work: Inject mindful moments into your day so you can de-stress.

Mind Games: A mental workout to help keep your brain sharp.

Learning and professional development

Take advantage of online courses. For example, check if your organization has access to resources such as LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com), and search for modules on remote working, staying productive, etc. Below are some useful modules:

Managing Virtual Teams

https://www.lynda.com/Business-tutorials/Managing-Virtual-Teams/5028615-2.html

This course provides managers with a clear approach for getting the most out of their remote teams. It includes the key factors that will ensure productivity, engagement, and growth.

Key Points:

  • Providing consistency and structure in a remote team
  • Managing mixed remote and onsite teams
  • Fostering equality and transparency
  • Maintaining regular contact with remote team members
  • Managing workloads and deliverables

The Value of Working Remotely

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/working-remotely-2

This course provides strategies to help you create a productive work environment at home by structuring your day correctly and avoiding distractions. It also explains how to build rapport with remote colleagues, so you feel like you're part of the team and succeed together.

Additional Resources

See below some online articles with content related to the above.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2020/03/23/four-remote-work-tips-to-adapt-your-business-to-changing-circumstances/#253ef332439c

https://insights.dice.com/2020/03/17/7-tips-work-remotely-during-covid-19-crisis/

https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2020/03/16/tips-working-remotely-covid-19/

https://learn.marsdd.com/article/going-all-in-on-all-remote-tips-for-working-remotely-during-covid-19/

 

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