5 Important Lessons We’ve Learned While Work-From-Home
It’s been 10 months into the world’s most extensive work-from-home experiment, and the results are starting to roll in. It’s been estimated that by 2025, 70% of the workforce will work at least five days remotely in a month. And it occurred before coronavirus drove most of us to start working remotely. Big and small businesses were embracing remote work already. Whether it’s amenable work for work from home for some days or full-on remote work.
Although there’s yet plenty to learn about work from home, two things are clear. Firstly, remote work can help keep a business running when in-person work is difficult. Secondly, remote work ordinarily does encourage employees to get more work done.
Now, many of us have been part of the greatest work-from-home experiment in history that is now closing in about two months, where all managers and executives working remotely are temporarily missing a physical headquarters.
There is no doubt that the current pandemic will forever change corporate space use. Enterprises now better understand how to collaborate with their workforce from remote areas. They will be quite prepared to adapt to this method of work in the event of another emergency. Companies are promptly testing, developing, and executing communication etiquettes and systems to establish their specific enterprise requirements, and employees learn to work productively than ever before from remote locations.
So, let’s reflect on what we have learned from this unprecedented, unprepared experiment:
1. Separating Work Life From Home Life
Many of us would’ve thought that maintaining work-life balance becomes more manageable when working from home. In reality, you got rid of all those distractions from the workplace, suddenly replaced by home disturbances. With bed, tv, or other distractions. It is crucial to maintain a work schedule to avoid falling off track. Most people usually start their day when they go to the office—wake up at the same time, eat breakfast, dress up, and get ready for video calls. It helps them to do work without getting distracted by things they can do after work instead.
2. Self Reliance v.s Asking for Help
You will inevitably hit bumps in the road in any work setting while working on assignments or with a certain technology. We’ve observed that remote workers usually take it upon themselves to troubleshoot the query as best as possible before asking for guidance. Learning self-reliance is a great quality because sometimes, 10 minutes of Googling a query can result in a solution. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from asking for help. We’ve noticed that some remote workers require support to reach out when they have difficulty, and that requires another set of eyes and a chain of authority for who to question.
3. It’s crucial to stay on top of your tasks
As teammates working from different locations, communicating and collaborating with them changed a lot from when they were all in the office. Most of the companies used project management tools for remote working in real-time. It helped employees keep on-track with deadlines and who was responsible for which areas of the projects. It gives visibility on progress for various parts of the projects. This ensured that small tasks didn’t go unnoticed and boosted visibility and accountability across individual roles even though they were dispersed.
4. Remote employee silos happen without communication
Silos occur when co-workers don’t communicate or interact with each other regarding what they’re working on. And when the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is performing, it can be very harmful to companies.
Silos often result in blind spots, repeated work, and other major business risks. They’re more prone to occur when clarity is lacking, especially while working from home. Though communication, conversation, and collaboration can cure employee silos like progress reports, status meetings.
5. Feedback is critical
In a 2014 Harvard Business Review study, 72% of respondents said they believed their productivity would advance if their supervisors provide corrective feedback. Moreover, 92% agreed with the statement, “Negative feedback, if given rightly, will help enhance performance.”
While this study shows that employees welcome both positive and negative feedback, remote workers can become isolated from feedback simply because they are out of sight, out of mind. It’s hard enough for employers to remember to celebrate a team’s strengths when everyone is in the same office building, so the task requires even more intentionality for the telecommuters.