The recent spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has a lot of companies and organizations scrambling to prepare their employees for remote work. Many are being forced into thinking through what managing a completely remote workforce will look like, and how they’ll continue to function at a normal pace.
If you are an employee facing the possibility of going remote for the first time, you might be feeling mixed emotions: trepidation, excitement, stress. But try not to worry. While remote work can take some time to get used to, there are things you can do to prepare yourself so you can thrive in a remote situation.
Our entirely remote team of 100+ employees across the US works seamlessly from their home office by following some of these tips:
Prepare Your Space
This is pretty basic, but one of the first (and most important) things you can do to set yourself up for success in remote work is to set up a designated space for work. Whether it’s a home office, a corner, or a nook, having a dedicated workspace will help you to stay more organized and functional.
Having an office space with a door that closes is preferable, but if you can’t make that happen, just try to seek out a quiet space in your home where you won’t be regularly interrupted or distracted. Test your internet to make sure it can support video conference calls and bump up your bandwidth for the short-term if needed.
Test Out Your Remote Capabilities
Before your first day of going fully remote, take home your equipment and test out your ability to remotely access everything you need from the office. Make a list of any issues you have and walk through it with your tech support team. Ensuring all is running smoothly before you begin will help your remote work journey get off to an even start.
Also, make a list of any equipment you’re missing that you might need, such as a printer or scanner. Talk to your employer about getting you set up so you’ll be able to perform all of your job functions as seamlessly as possible.
Talk to Your Leadership About Schedule, Management, and Expectations
Will you keep the same schedule when you’re working remotely? What should your response time be to emails or instant messages? Will you be required to check-in more often on the status of your projects once you go remote? How should you handle timely inquiries or emergencies?
It’s important not to leave these questions unanswered or to ‘assume’ you are on the same page as your management about what your day will look like when you’re working remotely. Try to have all of the questions above (and any others you might have) addressed and clearly answered before you start working remotely.
Communication helps put managers at ease, so be sure to ‘overcommunicate’ in your first few days or weeks of working remotely. Keeping communication lines completely open and being proactive about sharing updates and letting your managers know what you’re doing will help build trust and show your commitment to your position, regardless of your location.
Do The Work
The best way to build trust with your management while you work remotely is just to keep performing as normal! Be available, be consistent and produce results. Remember, because your management won’t be able to see you working, their only real measurement of your work will be the metrics that you do or do not meet.
“Remote work” has become such a buzzword, laced with connotation, and it doesn’t have to be. Remote work is simply working as you always have somewhere else. So try not to overthink it. Just enjoy ditching your commute, drinking your own coffee and playing your own music.
Remember, the talent and expertise you bring to your position resides in you, not in your office.
Are you planning to go remote in the short-term? What are some things you are most nervous or excited about?
Updated on April 17th, 2020