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Tips on working from home during the lockdown

Suddenly being forced to adopt a remote work operation during the COVID-19 lockdown can be a difficult culture change. For all its challenges, with the right strategies and resources in place, you could discover many benefits.

After all, working together in a busy physical space makes it less obvious for managers to clearly see what’s actually happening with your team. Gaps in operations and culture can be missed. Having the right systems in place for remote work can force you and your business to become more intentional and resilient to the challenges of change.

With this in mind, here are some practical habits to help your business adapt quickly to ease the disruption.

Safe ways to work

Employers must know team members are safely set up to engage with the team from home. Safe365’s health and safety smartphone app supports remote ways of working during the COVID-19 lockdown, capturing important work health, safety and wellbeing data.

Encourage the team to have a comfortable workplace

Set up a dedicated area at home that’s comfortable for working and free from distractions. The best ergonomic foundation is a desk and chair set-up where your elbows can bend 90 degrees, so you’re not too low or too high next to your desk. Your hands should land naturally where your keyboard and mouse sit. The top of your monitor should be eye level so you don’t strain your neck.

Clear guidelines

Set goals and clear guidelines of what you expect your team to deliver in their role. Many team members will be working with young children at home. Reach out to individual team members. Understand their needs and how to contact them if they need help.

Use On-line calendars

Organising a remote team and knowing what Block off regular times for team catch-ups and one on ones to set and review individual tasks and goals.

Video conferencing

Use video conferencing tools like Zoom to meet online for client and team meetings, chats and webinars on mobile devices, desktops and phones. Schedule regular daily and weekly meetings in a place where people can consult with you and share their ideas.

In these meet-ups, set clear expectations of what needs to be achieved for the day and week ahead so everyone is on the same page and you can keep track of delivery and performance against priorities.

Step back

Develop trust in your team members. Everyone has a different way of working from home with different home responsibilities so take a step back and allow some flexibility. Check on their productivity during your one on one Zoom meetings. Set and reset priorities depending on what’s needed at the time.

If you’re concerned one of your team members isn’t performing, have an upfront discussion with them to understand where they’re focusing their efforts and how you can help them.

Digital coffee breaks

Especially for those who thrive on interaction, social isolation can be challenging. Don’t forget to pick up the phone or video chat with someone from time to time. Organise some ‘water cooler’ type interactions that aren’t just about work to catch up with team members and share what’s going on outside of work. Turning conversations outwards can help build camaraderie, create excitement and inspire great ideas.

Stay active

Avoid work creep by setting boundaries on the time you work and keep to a regular routine. It’s good for your mental health and can help with your focus and productivity.

Put the extra hour you’ve gained through not commuting to good use and get outside for a walk or run. During your breaks, do some exercise – with nobody around, it’s easy to do some short bursts of push-ups, squats or lunges that will keep you alert and healthy.

Snack healthy

With the fridge in close proximity, you could demolish a whole pack of your favourite Caramel Tim Tams without even knowing you started. Keep temptation at bay and load your pantry up with healthy options.

Many benefits to working remotely

There are many benefits to working remotely at home. If you’re forced to adapt now and you start integrating some of the remote work options and habits listed above, your business could be better placed as it evolves in the future.

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