19 Mar Tools and Tips for Making the Move to Remote Work
The COVID-19 virus outbreak has made remote work something every office worker is going to need to think about over the next few weeks. We hope this post will provide you with some tips and tools to help smooth out any transition stress you may be having if some of your team pivots to remote work.
Getting Started Up
Make sure to turn on new email message notifications. It’s important to quickly reply to emails from colleagues when you are separated. Prompt replies make the other person feel acknowledged and connected. Adjust your setting on your email program (for your PC and your phone), so makes a sound or pops up a notice for a new message. This will let you quickly decide if you need to reply, or if you are going to let the new message stay in your inbox.
Consider scheduling an email hour in your day. While you’ll need to reply to important messages as they come in, having a scheduled time each day to dive in and respond to the other messages you received will help you keep up to date.
Sign up for a free zoom.us account. While there are several video conferencing choices, one of the most widely used right now is zoom.us. They offer a free account option, and you can run your meetings in a browser window or follow the download instructions to install the desktop app.
Check and see if you have Microsoft Teams. If your office runs on Microsoft Office, you may be able to start using the powerful Teams application. Teams gives colleagues the opportunity to send text messages and do audio and video calls in the app. Check with your IT administrator to find out if this tool is an option for you.
Update your company phone list and distribute a fresh copy. Send out a current copy of your employee contact information. Each employee should take a second to add all of their co-workers to their contact list on their phone, so they have everyone’s current information, and their team members will pop up in caller ID.
Stay Connected from Your Phone
You don’t need a big computer to stay connected with your clients and co-workers. There are a number of apps on your phone that will let you do text, call, and video chat.
- Facebook users have access to free audio calls and video chat in their Messenger app. You do not have to be Facebook friends to connect with someone in Messenger.
- WhatsApp is another free option for audio and video that works on iPhone and Android.
- iPhone users have the FaceTime app built-in. The person you want to call will also need to have an Apple device to take your FaceTime call.
- Android users have their choice of several video apps in the Google Play Store like Google Duos or Skype.
Other Tips for Successful Remote work
Email your team with an update. Sending an email with what you’ve accomplished each day lets them stay informed about the work you’ve been doing throughout the day. Using email for this communication also allows your manager to review your recap when it’s convenient for their schedule.
Try and carve out a home office space. Finding a space in your home that is a devoted “office” space can help you feel more like you’re at work and also signals anyone who’s also home with you that you’re at work.
Don’t forget to stand up and move. A traditional office environment provides many opportunities each day to get up, stretch, and move around. When you are working remotely, it can be easy to stay focused on your laptop and remain at your desk. Take a few minutes each hour to stretch and move around.
We hope these tips are helpful for anyone who is adapting to the new work environment that is developing as a result of the pandemic. We hope you stay safe and productive as we continue into 2020.