The coronavirus pandemic has led to the sudden shift of many corporate leaders and employees to remote work. To help them adapt, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions regarding remote work in this article.
Is it necessary to redefine the norms of communication?
Yes, it is. Usually, office workers share a lot of information among themselves during informal conversations. It helps them understand what their colleagues are doing as well as keeps the feeling of isolation away.
Teams switching to remote work need to create new norms so that the communication between team members stays the same. It’s necessary for a smooth information flow. For example, giving phone calls to a co-worker several times in a row may not be ideal in an office context. But it is perfectly fine if you’re working from home.
If someone isn’t accustomed to remote work, how can they get psychologically prepared for it?
First of all, you need to establish a routine. It’s a must to manage your day in a disciplined manner. If you like to take short breaks between work and move physically, make sure you continue that. Also, if you enjoy communicating and collaborating with other team members, make sure that it still happens. Working remotely doesn’t mean that you have to do everything differently.
Let’s talk about work-life conflicts. How can we establish boundaries?
It’s easier for office workers to limit work-life conflicts. Because they are used to do their work during office hours and live their private life for the rest of the time.
Remote workers also need to define a similar type of relationship between their life and work. Negotiate with your manager a suitable schedule that helps you balance both responsibilities. Also, have a conversation with your co-workers about when and how they should contact you for work matters.
Further, have a dedicated workplace and inform your family members about it. So that they know when you are working and don’t cause any distraction.
How should the check-ins happen? Via voice chats or video calls?
It’s crucial to ensure that in a remote environment the frequency of contact doesn’t go down. Voice chats or video calls should both work fine. But as video calls restore many visual cues, it is the preferred method of communication. Slack, Skype and Zoom are some of the widely used video conferencing apps that you can use for this purpose.
Does remote work affect psychological health? What should the employees do to stay committed and happy while working from home?
In remote work, people can’t have an unplanned cappuccino or water cooler chat with their colleagues. They are important to many office workers and have a direct impact on their performance.
What can remote workers do instead? They can do some fun stuff as well, for example, having coffee breaks, happy hour, and lunch together virtually.
Remote work enables you to think flexibly about your time. You could do things like playing the music of your choice or take a shower between tasks; things you wouldn’t be able to do if you were working in an office. So, once you get used to remote work, it should actually be better for your psychological health.