Lots of companies have requested the employees to work from home because of the pandemic. Working from home for extended period of time can be challenging, especially when other family members are also staying home. In this post, I will share some tips on how to stay connected when working remotely.
One of the pitfalls of working from home, is how isolating it can be. When you are used to working in an office setting surrounded by other workers, it can suddenly feel quite lonely when you are working by yourself. That is why it is important to keep yourself connected to the outside world.
So, how can you stay connected when working from home? Here, you will discover some great tips to follow to ensure you don’t feel too isolated.
1. Host regular group chats with colleagues
As you won’t be seeing your colleagues face to face, it is important to keep in touch digitally. Hosting regular group chats with colleagues can really help to keep you connected.
Ideally, you will want to set aside specific times to do this. Having a group chat first thing in the morning before you start work is a good idea. That way, you will be able to get clarification on any projects you are working on together too.
2. Take advantage of social media
While you will want to limit social media while you are working, it can still prove useful for staying connected when working remotely.
To ensure you don’t waste time on it, a good idea is to set aside specific social media times. This gives you the opportunity to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues without it negatively impacting your productivity.
3. Utilize video calls
Technology has come a long way over the past decade. You don’t need to be in the same room as colleagues and clients to keep in touch. Instead, you can utilize video call software to stay connected when working remotely
Whether you use something like Apple’s FaceTime, Zoom or Skype, you can feel much more connected to people. Not only do you hear them, but you see them too which can make a big difference to limiting how isolated you feel.
4. Set reminders for birthdays and events
You can still celebrate special occasions and events such as birthdays, by setting yourself calendar reminders. This will ensure that even when you are out of the office, you still stay connected with colleagues during these special times.
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5. Respond to communication quickly
If you receive emails from colleagues and clients, make sure you respond quickly. When you are working in isolation, waiting hours, or even days, just to get a reply can be tough. So, ensure your colleagues and clients don’t feel ignored by responding as quickly as you can to communication.
These are some of the best ways to stay connected when you are working remotely. It isn’t always easy, but if you make the effort, you will feel much less isolated. It can be a real shock to the system moving from office to home working. So, allow yourself a period of adjustment to deal with the changes and adopt a more flexible working approach.
Tech That Can Help When You Are Working from Home
When you are working from home, there are a lot of challenges you need to contend with. Reduced productivity, time management and motivation can all be problematic when you are trying to get work done. However, the good news is there are things available out there which can help.
You can invest in a lot of different technology these days. When implemented correctly, the right tech can make working from home a breeze. Here, we will look at some of the top tech you will want to invest in when working from home.
A decent router
As you will be relying upon the internet to work from home, it is important to make sure you have a good router. If you have had your existing router for a while now, you might want to consider upgrading.
The more reliable and modern your router is, the less likely it is going to cause issues when you are working from home. So, if your router is pretty old, consider asking your provider to send a newer one. Or, you can invest in one yourself if need be.
Another thing you are going to need is network security. This is especially true if you work within a data sensitive industry. At the very least, you will want to get a VPN set up so you can work privately away from the prying eyes of hackers.
You will also want to make sure you have got good virus protection in place. The latest internet security will help to keep you safer while working from home.
Noise cancelling headphones
Noise can be a real problem when you are trying to work at home. So, to block it out you might want to consider investing in a pair of noise cancelling headphones. This will help you to better focus on your workload and drown out any distractions such as the TV.
Obviously, it is going to be hard to use noise cancelling headphones if you have kids to look after. However, you could always use them while the kids are busy watching a film or having a nap.
Did you know there are some great online tools you can use when you are working from home? Task management software is especially useful, and you can use a lot of it absolutely free.
You have a number of options when it comes to task management software such as Asana, Basecamp and Trello. Make sure you compare the different tools available before choosing the best one for your needs.
These are some of the top pieces of tech youíll need to work from home more effectively. You don’t need a huge budget, although it is best not to opt for the cheapest security software for example. Know where to spend and where you can cut back, such as with free online tools.
What to do when you don’t have supportive employers or managers?
Working from home can be a real struggle when you aren’t used to it. However, it can be made wore when you don’t have supportive employers or managers.
During difficult times, it is crucial employers are transparent and supportive with their employees. So, what can you do if yours isn’t?
Here, you will discover some of the key steps you can take if you feel you aren’t being fully supported.
1. Let them know how you feel
The first step you should take if you feel your employer or manager isn’t being supportive, is to talk to them. This can be intimidating, but your employer may not even realize how you feel.
It is a good idea to write down what you want to say. Try and think of ways you feel they could be more supportive too. They may ask you what you would like them to do or how they could help so having a list available will be useful.
2. Team up with other coworkers
If you don’t get anywhere after talking to your employer, it is worth teaming up with your coworkers. Chances are, they are being treated in the same manner.
There is a lot of power in numbers. So, if your coworkers are also experiencing the same issues, you will stand a better chance of changing how you are being treated if you stand together.
Again, try and talk to your employer together, or if that fails try and speak to someone higher up in the company.
3. Talk to HR if you need to
While your manager is usually the person you talk to when you experience problems, you can also speak to HR. If you are experiencing an issue with your employer, they are the people you should turn to first.
There will be policies which need to be followed and it is the HR team’s job to make sure they are implemented. So, any issues need to be reported to them as quickly as possible.
4. Search for a new job
If all else fails and your employer still isn’t being supportive, it could be worth seeking new employment. In the current economic situation that may sound impossible. However, if you are at home it is never been a better time to search for alternative employment.
The pandemic won’t last forever. When it is over, do you really want to continue to work for a company that doesn’t support you? Consider taking online courses too if you need to top up your skills. This will make you more employable once you are ready to make the switch.
Nobody should have to deal with an unsupportive manager or employer. Remember, the current situation is temporary and there is lots of support available online. Follow the advice above and if you feel your employer is breaking the law or putting you at risk, don’t hesitate to take your complaint further.
P.S. Need help planning your work at home schedule? Leverage a Work At Home Planner to help track your schedule, project and agenda.
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Are you used to be working in the office with other colleagues but now need to work from home? What challenges do you have and how do you resolve? Share with your comment below.