It's probably one of the most talked-about topics, along with corona disease itself, the lock down and working from home. Working from home keeps the economy open and aims to maintain as much productivity as possible. This at a time when children are at home, schools are switching to digital education and life rhythms and most households are not equipped to work from home on a structural basis.
As a technology company, Ximedes was already quite used to remote working, sometimes at client locations, sometimes from our offices in Haarlem, Hamburg and Novi Sad and also from home. Therefore we invested in the important infrastructural facilities of the company such as VPN connections, cloud based tooling, development and test environments, online communication and calendars and last but not least trust in our colleagues.
In our network, a colleague IT company called Affinity has written a good article on how to structure working from home as a professional. It is called "Being prepared for the future - How to approach remote work like a pro" by Carlos Correia - CEO Affinity. We have reproduced it with permission below - you can find the original at https://affinity.pt/en.
Today's technology allows us to work from anywhere on the planet. In most cases, all you need is a computer and a good internet connection and you’re ready to effectively work remotely. Despite having its challenges, remote work enables us to overcome many possible contingencies and emergency situations such as the current world crisis caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Work anywhere on the planet
In my point of view, even before we were pushed to take full remote work action, there was already a latent tendency for remote work to become an increasingly common reality in many sectors associated with technological development and work-life balance measures taken by the several organizations. Remote work has many advantages and there are many tools one can use in order to organize the work and ensure great individual and team performances with integrated text, voice and video communication systems that will undoubtedly be greatly improved in the years to come with the development of virtual reality and 5G.
As a technology company, Ximedes was already quite used to remote working, sometimes at client locations, sometimes from our offices in Haarlem, Hamburg and Novi Sad and also from home. We are keen users of tools like Slack for internal communication and Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Daily.co and Jitsi for external videoconferencing during client meetings. Important are of course the infra structural facilities of the company such as VPN connections, cloud based tooling, development and test environments , online communication and calendars and last but not least trust in our colleagues.
Tips & recommendations
As for many of you, however, this might be a completely new reality, I would like to share some tips and recommendations to help you organize and ensure effective remote work from a personal professional perspective:
Have your own working space, pleasant, comfortable and where you can be fully concentrated without being interrupted.
Clearly define the different slots of the day in an even more disciplined way: make sure you contemplate all the things your day will be filled with such as making calls, answering calls, scheduling meetings, follow-ups, conducting interviews, responding to customer requests, relaxing, reading, practising physical activity etc.
If you work as a team, have daily scrum meetings in the morning. These meetings can take as little as 5/10 mins but are extremely important to address different issues/tasks that you have in hands, exchange points of view and line up the priorities for the day.
Record your weekly progress using any tools of your choice. There are specific tools that can be very useful for those who work remotely, you can explore these tools or simply use e-mail to record developments and share them with your team.
Return calls, messages, audios or videos quickly. If you miss the call of a colleague, get back to him/her as soon as possible, when you work remotely it is important to make yourself available because people tend to be more aware of time when working remotely.
Privilege contacts in videoconference instead of an audio conference. In order to reduce feelings of isolation and promote greater proximity between people as well as ensure the clarity of communication.
If it is something urgent use the phone for a quick resolution.
Professional clothing (but relaxed!) Even in remote mode. If we work remotely we do not have to follow a specific dress code, but my advice is to leave the slippers and the robes for your relaxing moments and try to be disciplined even in the way you dress in order to create a self-perception that you are in the productive hours of your day.
Take regular breaks for water, coffee, reading, exercising or catching up with a colleague about your next vacation destination or weekend soccer game. It is important to stretch your legs and anticipate moments of relaxation that ease your mind and later facilitate when you want to return to concentration!
When in remote work: communicate, communicate a lot! If we are far from our team and colleagues, we must ensure that we stay aligned and motivated by communicating very regularly, whether to share more informal impressions or to discuss ideas about the task at hand.
Finally, I believe that when remote work is predominant, frequent face-to-face encounters are extremely important. Either in formal or informal contexts, people need opportunities to meet up in person to develop and strengthen the bonds between each other.
There is still no technology that replaces the value and power of human contact and the culture of an organization is undoubtedly made by the shared values between people and it is enhanced during the moments they get to interact with each other.
Remote work is, for many, a new reality and each person or each company has its own pace and dynamics adjusting to the new circumstances. I hope, therefore, that this post can be a good help for you to have a productive and prosperous remote work routine!
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