When ‘cocooned’ home and indoors internal communication tactics and the possibility of remote working are vital, especially in these kinds of difficult situations with COVID-19, self-isolation and social distancing. The best productivity tips for remote working are now more important than ever, combined with the right digital workplace tools to empower and engage employees.
We at Valo had to re-group too to think about how we are going to handle everything and ensure the business continues despite the global coronavirus pandemic.
Of course, there are some professions and areas of work which can’t go all the way to the remote working mode, but people even in those professions can benefit from our tips for making the everyday work more flexible and easier! And then again, to some – like for us in the Valo team – working remotely if not every day, at least every now and then, is a part of everyday life and business as usual, and these practices can be easily implemented.
Make the most of your remote working
We have collected the most useful and best tips for remote working for you and your colleagues to take advantage of!
1. Make your work station as comfortable as possible
Nothing is more annoying than having to work with bad equipment or in a bad position for a longer period of time. We know the sofa is calling you, but try to keep up a good posture and work in front of a desk. Shift your screens to the proper height (and get at least one external screen if you don’t have one), maybe invest in an adjustable work table and have your online meetings standing up.
2. “Over-communicate” and invest in a good communication tool
In the digital world, it can be hard to interpret people’s tone of writing especially if you have never met them. This is why it’s best to “over-explain” yourself, use emojis to express you and have too much info available than having too little. There is nothing worse than having to guess how the other is feeling or where to find the info. This is where all tools come in, especially Microsoft Teams that you can get even as a free version.
Also, with Office 365 you will automatically get Microsoft Teams, which is a hub for teamwork and all your team’s chats, meetings, files, and apps can be found together in one place. Nowadays even your intranet and teamwork tools can all be integrated into Microsoft Teams for even easier internal communication and working in groups!
3. Have a routine to follow
If you used to get up, make coffee and breakfast, freshen up and commute to work, don’t let go of those habits! It’s important to keep yourself on track even when you just might need to sit in front of a computer or go to our work dedicated room. Have a walk before you start your day, freshen up, brush your teeth and have your breakfast.
Trust us, you will feel more awake and ready to work when you stick to your routine. And don’t forget everything after the day is over either – take another walk, call your loved ones and even unwind cooking something great. And if you are on one of your daily walks and need to check something, a native mobile app for internal comms will most likely be in your pocket.
4. Embrace the “do not disturb” -mode
Digital tools are amazing, but they can also be distracting. Ping here and ping there can cause you to get distracted from whatever you were doing. In most of the communication tools, at least Microsoft Teams, these days have a “do not disturb” -mode that you can turn on and it will not allow regular tagging, messages or updates come thru.
You will choose whenever you want to check what is going on and when to reply. It will give you a sense of control, making your workday even more efficient and relaxed!
5. Take regular breaks
It can be difficult to remember to stretch, get up and even fill up your water bottle. We know the feeling way too well when you are buried in your work, forget the time and suddenly haven’t even had lunch.
Try out the Promodore Technique for this, where you focus on a work session intensively for 25 minutes, then take a five-minute break. Time both of these events and you are likely to notice being more efficient and still having enough breaks! And of course, remember to have your lunch and daily longer breaks.
5. Plan ahead as much as you can with daily goals
Daily goals keep you on track. At the end of the day, make a list for the next day at least on where to start. This will help you rest better during the evening (the thoughts aren’t anymore just in your mind) and you will have something to start with the next morning. Your goals might change during the day, that’s normal, but to have something plan is a start!
7. Set office hours & shut down for real
With the daily tools, you can set your working hours and make sure that meetings won’t be scheduled there, your phone doesn’t *bling* because of work issues and you can unwind at the end of the day.
Close your laptop, put your phone on silent and if you are lucky enough to have a separate room as an office, close the door. Concentrate on your hobbies, your family and everything that makes you happy for the rest of the day, so you are well-rested and can start the next workday with a fresh mind.
Here are some tips for you to follow and share while being cocooned in your remote working space. We know it’s not easy and hope you will be able to share this with your colleagues and try to be a part of the crowd, even having to be physically socially distancing and self-isolating for a while.
Read more about digital workplaces and how to get the best out of your workday:
To find out more about how Valo can help you implement an internal communication solution for your business and help engage your Millennials more effectively, get in contact today and book a free demo or a call!