The global spread of COVID-19 has caused many businesses to evaluate the feasibility of enforcing their staff to work from home. Fortunately, Raintree has maintained a remote staff for well over a decade. We wanted to share with you some of the best practices that we have adopted over the years that have helped effectively promote a productive remote working environment for our employees.
Establish a Routine and STICK TO IT
Set a schedule and try to maintain it. Just because you are home does not mean that you can productively maintain a dawn-to-dusk work schedule. It is important to figure out and prioritize the best times to work throughout the day, based on your business hours, time-zone, colleagues’ availability etc. Additionally, ensure that your work schedule is shared with your coworkers and clients, so that there are precedent expectations established for both you and your organization. By staying organized and practicing efficient time management, you will be able to assume a healthy work/life balance.
It is important to take breaks - even if it is for a few minutes. Sometimes a snack break or a quick stroll outside can be refreshing and allow you to refocus. Especially for employees with children and pets at home, make sure you take some time during your work day to socialize with them since a lot of remote workers report feelings of loneliness. Remember that social distancing is not social isolation, so healthy working habits are crucial to not overworking yourself and staying connected to friends, family and loved ones.
This can be difficult for an employee that is used to working amidst the discipline of a physical office location but without clear workspace boundaries, it can be difficult to actually get work done. While this may be especially challenging with kids, spouses and partners unexpectedly home from school and work, here are some ways to better manage and stimulate productivity.
Keep A Dedicated Office Space
If possible, keep your work in a single location. Not only will this help you stay organized but it will also help you mentally identify with a single physical location where “work” happens. By imitating the discipline of a real office, you are more likely to stay focused and be productive.
Distinguish Your Professional and Personal Life
This sounds simple but it is most significant. Personal email addresses, phone numbers and chat/messaging platforms should not be used for work. Make it a habit to organize work files into separate folders on your devices, so that important information does not get lost in personal documents and downloads. Furthermore, it is critically important for healthcare professionals to utilize a verified private network (VPN) - especially if you are working on platforms that access patient records or PHI. You can talk to your company’s IT department on how to set up a VPN.
Working remotely requires you to communicate excessively with both your coworkers and your loved ones at home with you. Make sure to tell everyone who needs to know about your schedule and availability so that no one is kept out of the loop about when and why you are busy.
Take Days Offs
While scheduling breaks allows for your brain to refresh, the same is true for taking time off. Just because you work from home, does not mean that you shouldn’t take sick or personal days. This can prove difficult for remote workers since you live in your work space but it is an essential aspect of developing a balanced lifestyle. Also, when you do take time for yourself, remember to commit to taking the full time and resist the urge to “check-in”.
It may not seem like it in the beginning, but working from home has a lot of advantages. Try to push yourself to identify with these perks and use them to stay positive. Lastly, find a way to overlook any negatives as well as overcome any obstacles you may face in transitioning from the office to home.
Zero commute times
More quality time with family and pets
Personal schedule flexibility
As Raintree's Creative Content Manager, I enjoy both creative and technical writing. Some of my passions include art, anthropology, music, cooking and traveling to new places. I hope you enjoy this article, please feel free to comment and share!