by Tarminder Singh | 17 February 2022
Remote working has gained traction and publicity in the past 2 years. This was mainly driven by the Covid-19 Pandemic that forced companies globally to transition into a virtual or remote work arrangement immediately. Remotely working simply means employees are working from any location without commuting to a central workplace. It is also known as virtual working — work from home, etc.
Fortunately for us, current technology and tools have made the transition to remote work smooth, not only changing how we think and embrace remote working but also demonstrating how simple and beneficial it can be. Many industries were adopting the change prior to our forced shift to remote working by offering “work from home” days to help achieve a better work-life balance, thus, quickly turning into a necessity for most companies.
Employees have been working remotely for a little over 2 years now. However, despite more and more countries reopening their economy and all economic sectors, most companies have still opted for a remote working arrangement for the future. Hence, with that knowledge in mind, let's look at 4 effective remote working arrangements:
1. Treat it as your Office
I am sure many were not prepared to work remotely in the early days of the Pandemic. However, most would have already turned their homes into an office by now. This is a great way forward. Try to identify an area of your home and turn a corner into a dedicated "office." This means having the right ergonomics equipment such as an office chair, office table, and, if possible, a printer. Do ensure the lighting is bright and doesn't strain the eyes. Since it is your own "home office," there are many ways to personalize it. Opt for some greenery such as indoor plants or something more visual such as photos of your loved ones. Having a dedicated home office space will help you focus and get the job done comfortably and effectively.
2. Stick to a Schedule
Over the past 2 years and especially during the lockdown period, many employees commented that working remotely saves them time and transport expenses; however, it resulted in longer working hours. This is due to a combination of the Covid-19 crisis and employees not socializing. Hence, many had to continue working, even over the weekends. However, now that some form of normality is resuming, employees should stick to a schedule. Make time for other personal activities such as exercising, socializing, doing house chores, and even just some form of self-care. Practicing these activities will allow everyone to be more effective at their jobs while preserving their mental health.
3. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate
It is not easy to work remotely without having physical conversations with your colleagues. These conversations are critical to discuss work issues, brainstorm, and efficiently resolve issues. However, remote working has made this process void as everyone works from different locations. Hence, it is critical to communicate to colleagues proactively. Use emails, Zoom, work chat, WhatsApp and other forms of communication tools. At the end of a virtual meeting, it is recommended to summarize and communicate the key discussion points via email to eliminate any room for misunderstanding.
4. Hybrid Works With Productivity and Creativity
According to EY, 7 out of 10 of respondents in SouthEast Asia mentioned that working in a hybrid environment increases productivity and creativity. Employers had to change their way of working to better manage productivity during the pandemic as they adapted to offer hybrid work arrangements.
It is always best to be a proactive communicator so that your Manager knows you have everything under control. Remote working poses its own set of challenges. However, these challenges can easily be overcome by being flexible, adaptable, and developing good habits.
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