In our previous article, we shared about setting yourself up to work effectively from your home. While, of course, making yourself comfortable and getting ready is critical, the other half of this coin is all about being able to coordinate well with your coworkers, isn’t it?
A lot of our work ties in to the work and contributions of several other people at work – our team members, cross team members, vendors, business partners, customers and sometimes external sources as well. So, in this article, let’s address the part other than self. Let’s see how we go about dealing with others.
Considering that while at work, your coworkers were barely few feet away most of the time, at least accessible on the same or nearby premises, for majority of us. Now, this handicap eats away into precious time because every time you need to discuss something or clarify a piece, you need to get on to a call or message (which still can lead to undesirable delays). Not only this, but this can literally drive you insane. As a quick response, let’s begin by getting our communication tools in place – the most obvious tool, the phone is always there invariably, but there must’ve been times you keep calling and keep getting busy tones/no responses. Frustrating isn’t it? Get your team and close coworkers to leverage on tools like WhatsApp web, Skype – so in case you called & couldn’t connect, leave a message citing urgency. Also, for those of you needing frequent communication, develop timely schedules for yourselves and make yourselves available for such pre-scheduled calls/video meets.
Get your Collaboration tools in place
A lot many of us would have been operating in restricted online spaces / drives at our workplaces. And these would definitely have an inclusion of your team/division members. In working in isolation, get your IT administrators to enable appropriate accesses for requisite stakeholders. Where internal accesses can’t be given develop shared workspaces through tools like Dropbox, Google Drive & One Drive, which will help you save the day! Earlier, probably it was possible to just review some work quickly by stepping up to a team mate’s desk, but now if it can’t be done that way, you definitely don’t want to be mailing every version of W.I.P files!
Set some rules
With the comfort of your office now not being there, a whole lot of schedules will not get aligned naturally – not unless you take the initiative to get some alignment! Whether it is about beginning work on a project, responding to a customer, cut-off times on an activity, escalations, etc… you want to pre-empt scenarios that were manageable easily in the office but now will face the risk of delayed action, owing to the distance between you and your colleagues. So, get your team and yourself to deliberate on how work-life and routines/TATs can be normalized as much as possible and set rules and processes about managing situations when you are working remotely.
Last not the least, it is an anxious time we all are going through. Owing to the lack of smoothness in operations & tasks; in fact, inability to carry on certain tasks is so frustrating. Don’t let that eat into you. Remember to relax and have fun – by yourself and with your colleagues as well. At the end of the day we are all humans and the best way to beat monotony and anxiety pangs, is by leading a mindful life. Engage in team video calls, have short-quick experience sharing sessions, jokes, sing songs, create contests, etc…
All said and done, keep indoors during this pandemic, stay safe and stay calm. The above tips are sure to help you in working from home and yet lead an interesting work life! Until you visit us again, adieu!