How to make working from home work for you – hotel-online

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By Béatrice Venturini

From a no-no to the new normal

In his TED Talk 2017, British economist Nicholas Bloom jokes about how his mission to encourage Work from Home (WFH) initially met with derogatory remarks such as “to escape from the house”, ” work abroad ” or simply, “To be paid for not dressing”. He argued that the WFH would save businesses money, create more time for productivity and certainly reduce global pollution with less unnecessary travel.

What was once an HR issue, mostly reserved for working mothers, has suddenly become a modus operandi imposed around the world. In recent weeks, businesses large and small have implemented mandatory work-from-home policies amid the spread of Covid-19. It’s realistic to assume that the move to the “home office” will become the new normal for weeks, if not months, to come – or even indefinitely if that turns out to be the success that Bloom has been trying to convince us of from the start.

For many employees, that means working from home for the first time and figuring out how to stay focused on a task in a new environment that doesn’t seem particularly focused on productivity. The current climate is conducive to fear and uncertainty, not to mention new responsibilities such as caring for young children and the elderly. But don’t despair, there are ways to get results and avoid going crazy by putting in place carefully researched practical and psychological systems. From YouTube to local governments, the internet is full of lists and tips on how to make working from home work for you. Here is a summary.

1. Treat it like a real job, make it also “in the office” possible

Do whatever is necessary to get into the work mindset.

  • Designate a specific room, area, or area of ​​your home that is only used for work purposes.
  • Communicate to roommates, partners and family members that when you are in this space, you are working. Create boundaries that mean “business” in every sense of the word.
  • Avoid working from areas of the house normally associated with leisure, such as a bed, chair or sofa.
  • Prepare in the morning as you normally would: set the alarm, wash, get dressed, “show up” for the day.
  • Quietly commit to doing more, just because it keeps you alert and allows you to focus on getting things done. The bizarre rule of productivity is that the busier you are, the more you will actually accomplish.

2. Aim for efficient time management

Segment your day in a way that is both practical and productive for you.

  • Start early! A tip unanimously advocated by 99.9% of the professionals of the WFH.
  • Try to stick to a clear beginning and end; take into account frequent breaks and a good lunch. Stepping away from your workspace can help you recharge your batteries so you can do a better job afterwards. Travel regularly if possible.
  • Separate daily / weekly tasks into easy and difficult categories. Try out the more difficult tasks during your peak hours, that is, early in the morning if you perform well from the start of the day, keeping the less intelligent tasks for off-peak hours.
  • Solidify your schedule the night before so that you feel more motivated and clear-headed when you wake up the next day.
  • Some seasoned household workers suggest cooking the midday meal in the evening, in order to free up more time during the day.

3. Eliminate / manage distractions

Chatty coworkers and cooler moments are often replaced by a continued desire to eat, sneak up on household chores, or take a walk on social media.

  • Limit the temptations of foodies by saving snacks for breaks and as a reward for hard work.
  • Use household chores, like washing / roasting a chicken, as a specific amount of time in which you can complete a multitude of quick tasks.
  • To reduce social media interruptions, consider removing links from your browser shortcuts and logging out to attempt each account.
  • Some WFH professionals swear by the Serene app which has three main functions: planning the day, blocking out distractions, and improving focus.

4. Use the right tools and the right technology

This point is essential for optimal communication and productivity.

  • Line managers need to take the initiative and ensure that WFH employees know the best applications available and how to install them.
  • Slack, Zoom, Trello, Webex, Hubspot… the varieties are numerous and they all have a collaborative purpose to minimize physical distance, facilitate conferences and productivity.
  • Use technology to stay connected and remember how your work contributes to the big picture.

5. Communicate like it’s an Olympic sport and go for gold

It is the key to successful remote work and to keep employees motivated, informed and on board.

  • Line managers and team leaders need to make employee monitoring part of their weekly routine, especially when the FMH system is in its infancy.
  • Have a daily point of contact with a colleague, manager or team. Establish a peer-based buddy system so often advised.
  • Be proactive in reporting help if a feeling of isolation or depression sets in. The WFH requires a different set of skills, expressing personal needs from a distance is one of them.
  • Consider setting up online activities after work with your colleagues (aperitif, game, exercise, movie).

Tips for those who work from home with young children.

“We’re all finding out. It could get a little messy ”, Elana Benatar, Children’s Therapist, Washington DC.

  • Establish shifts with your partner, who can also work from home. Clearly the simplest of the obvious.
  • Try two sets of “deep” work per day, about 1h15 each time, balanced by faster tasks that can be done with a few flying distractions.
  • Screen Time: Accept that it’s both a blessing and a curse. Use it sparingly on low peak days to balance essential need during peak productivity times. Look for apps and games that are both entertaining and educational.
  • Be clear with your colleagues and supervisors that your job needs to be balanced with other pressing responsibilities, so flexible hours are a must.
  • Focus on weekly goals, not daily goals. Be prepared to change your priorities regularly. Have realistic expectations.
  • Some locked-out WFH parents suggest postponing the children’s bedtime, for example from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., so that they sleep longer in the morning, allowing you to work quietly from the start of the day. daytime.

Conclusion

In short, get organized, manage your time well, practice a little self-discipline and stay in constant communication with your team using the right tools. This way, the future can be simple, yet effective. In these difficult times when economies are teetering on a dangerous edge, the WFH must be seen as the gateway to a new decentralized and distributed way of working. Managing it successfully is an important addition to every employee’s repertoire of professional skills.


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