As our Nytronians are going on close to five years as a group of stellar professionals who tirelessly deliver amazing experiences from the comfort of their homes, I thought this would be a great time to share some tips from within our company that could help those who are new to telecommuting.
As I’ve shared before, there are those who are big fans of working remotely, as those who don’t precisely consider it their cup of tea. We even compiled a few tips on how to not go crazy while working from home, but those were for regular times where self-isolation is not the deciding factor to telecommute. Due to the current circumstances presented by the novel coronavirus, here are some ideas and recommendations you may find useful (whether you’re an employee or a company) to implement these practices for the first time:
- Make sure all the important documents are on a shared drive: the first step to take before all employees start working remotely is to ensure they have access to all the files they could need while they’re away from the office. Not every company has take-home equipment, so make sure that if you’re asking your employees to work from their personal devices, they have all the credentials and virtual desktop know-how to access their own files as well as whichever ones are relevant to their roles.
- Set strong work-life balance boundaries from the start: what a lot of people don’t realize when they start working from home, is the creeping temptation to start working earlier and keep working past the regular hours to get ahead on certain tasks. While this is not a negative practice, it can cause fatigue and burnout quicker than expected. We don’t know how long people will have to remain at home during this pandemic, so it’s important to set health-driven standards that both the employee and the company agree on and respect.
- Encourage as much virtual contact as possible: one of the biggest reasons that some people don’t like working from home is the lack of human contact. While many people take comfort in the solace of working without distractions and in their own spaces, a great number also craves those daily interactions that fulfill their social needs in the workplace. To help combat this, try to set up as many team/division/regional/global all-hands as you deem necessary to keep your team connected, engaged, and sane. These calls don’t have to be about work only. A half an hour set aside to share some personal anecdotes could be the solution to prevent isolation within the team.
- Leverage digital tools to encourage education: if you’ve ever considered giving your employees time off or resources to learn a new skill, this may be the perfect time to do so. Whether it’s something you’d like them to learn to bring back to the team, or you just want to give them a gift so they learn a trade they’ve always talked about in the office, there are plenty of ways to do this. Whether you use Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, LinkedIn Learning, HubSpot Academy, or any other digital class tool online, we can all make the most out of this time at home to grow our knowledge and skillsets.
- Offer project management and time-tracking tools: as this may be a hard adjustment period for some, using project management or time-tracking tools can be a good way to manage workflows while everyone is working virtually. Some of the tools we’ve used at Nytro with a number of clients include: Basecamp, Asana, Monday, Wrike, and Trello.
This is a time for businesses and individuals all around the world to get creative and problem-solve until things normalize again. Safeguarding the health and safety of our communities should be our top priority, and accommodating to these circumstances to the best of our abilities is the only way to flatten the curve of contagion and prevent our health systems from overloading. We may see some brilliant business ideas come out of this crisis, and it might just come out of your team if you empower them and enable their creativity. If you have any other tips you’d like to share to stay positive during this time, please add them in the comments below!