Basics 101: How to Work Remotely
Updated: Aug 26
How WFH is actually a good thing?
The practice of working from home just got a major boost from the current global pandemic. Now that the CMCO is in place and the rules have been vastly relaxed, most of us would still prefer to work from home “just in case”. However, the truth is that even before COVID-19 became a thing, the working-class has been shifting to home-based offices and kissing goodbye to having to travel for work. Thanks to the ever-evolving technologies such as G Suite, Google Meet, Facetime, Slack, and cloud computing, it’s no longer an obligation to appear physically in an office to be a productive member of the team. As a matter of fact, many kinds of work can be done just as effectively, and occasionally, working from home actually enhances productivity rather than in actual offices.
However, while being able to work from home seems appealing to employees, this idea wouldn’t be a strong trend if employers didn’t also recognize the benefits from their side of the desk.
According to recent research at Harvard Business School, it appears that companies with work-from-home policies can boost employee productivity, reduce organization costs, and lower turnover rates.
Telecommuting — also known as working from home — has increased in popularity among employees and employers due to its flexibility. Rather than wasting time sitting on congested highways, modern workers can now make better use of the time with the help of technology to connect and fulfill personal obligations. As a result, this modern employment opportunity can offer an improved balance between personal and work life leading to enhanced job satisfaction and performance. In other words, not only remote work arrangements benefit employees, it increases employers’ gains as well. This helps to explain why so many businesses have embraced telecommuting.
Aside from the advantages that come with a happy and loyal workforce, companies have reduced operating expenses, recruit better talent, and increased profits. Also by this, in the event of any unpredicted disaster (maybe another COVID-19, touchwood), a well-distributed workforce also keeps the company in a better position by ensuring operations are running, even if some of the division goes offline.
How to Work Effectively From Home
Whether you’re working remotely every other day, it’s salient to ensure that you are set up to be productive. This starts by having a designated workspace with the right technology; ways of dealing with family members, kids, pets, and other potential distractions; and a schedule effective for social contacts and co-worker communications. Here are some strategies and tips to excel in working remotely.
Play by the rules
Does your employer expect you to adhere strictly to the 9-5 schedule, or any time of the day as long as it’s best suited for you? Is your home Wi-Fi fast enough to handle your work operation? Which are the collaborative tools you might need, such as Google Meet for video conferencing, Telegram for group chats, or Trello for project management? If you have a superior, it’s vital that you check with your employer whether there are any rules to be followed or proper equipment needed, like a laptop with decent network speed, and instruction for remote login including two-factor authentication. It’s also wise to do a trial run before important meetings to work out any unfamiliar issues that might impede your process. If you’re self-employed, feel free to explore collaborative tools that work for you.
Defining your workspace
Not every home can be used as an office. The essence is to have a private, quiet space for you to work, particularly — free from distractions. Therefore, it is highly advisable to separate your work area with your personal workspace and use it just for work, not for other activities. So, move your laptop back to your desk and get up from your bed now!
Stable internet connection
If you have kids or housemates, chances are you’re sharing the same Wi-Fi connection. Their Netflix and Youtube habits may slow down your connection and download speed. Moving your Wi-Fi router as close as possible might be good as distant devices tend to stale your bandwidth. A dongle might be an excellent choice as well as laptops don’t have Ethernet ports these days.
Take advantage of new apps
If making long-distance or international calls is part of your working routine, consider using apps like Google Meet, WhatsApp, and Skype for free calls over the Internet across the globe. This saves a lot of money and time, and it’s actually smart.
If you have chirping birds or jackhammering workers outside your windows, consider investing in noise-canceling headphones, such as Sony’s or Apple’s Airpod Pros (they save headaches and do pay off in a long run). And if you have young children who needed more than just attention — then maybe you should talk to the manager about the working hour arrangement.
Though some folks prefer working in solitude, even the most introverted among us can start feeling claustrophobic after a few weeks at home. For most of us, this period might be the first time in history that you are legally prohibited from meeting your family and friends, it can definitely get lonely. So, it is nice to schedule some connect-with-the-outside-world time, like a video chat with friends, a workout class together (apparently it’s trending nowadays), or maybe a call with your family can help to maintain sanity.
For employees, working from home saves time from commuting, enhances productivity, and encourages better time management.
For employers, working from home yields higher-performing employees reduces turnover and reduces organizational costs.