Seven Recommendations for Teleworking

28 May, 2020
Teleworking will undoubtedly become more and more frequent as time goes on. However, working from home forces us to take into account a series of strategies which can help us to be more productive and feel more satisfied with this working lifestyle.

The idea of working remotely is a new trend. Not only is it an opportunity to facilitate family connection and promote work flexibility, but it’s also a good way to advance in business, be innovative in your company, and maximize your talent. However, guidelines must be followed in order to make it effective. Read on to discover our recommendations for teleworking!

A lot of people would dearly love to carry out their work in a virtual way. They would save on travel costs and, in many cases, even the company itself would see an increase in productivity.

However, at the present time, and as an effect of the current coronavirus pandemic, working from home isn’t just an option for many; it’s a necessity.

Having to make an overnight change has caught both organizations and employees off guard. Not everyone had protocols in place to do it effectively. Many companies don’t have the technical means to do it, nor any clear guidelines.

After all, carrying out tasks remotely must allow you to carry out the same goals as if you were doing it face to face. This requires certain strategies.

The company itself must decide on, and design, these protocols and guides. Aspects such as the schedule, meetings, or coordination in certain tasks must be specified.

On the other hand, and no less important, the worker must also consider setting out some personal guidelines in order to be as productive as possible, and, most importantly, to feel at ease in this new situation.

Let’s have a look at some of these guidelines.

Recommendations for teleworking that may be useful

You must take into account one fact when considering these recommendations for teleworking: not everyone is suitable for this type of work. Nor is every job suitable for working remotely. Thus, as interesting as it may seem to you, carrying out your work remotely and at home isn’t so easy. It has its challenges and complexities.

Studies such as this one conducted by Dr. Ralph Gajendran of the University of California show that conflicts often arise between colleagues or managers from a distance.

This study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology points out that the ideal thing would be to alternate in the same week between face-to-face and remote work. Perhaps the reason is that we lack practice in this type of work.

Here are some recommendations for teleworking.

1. An exclusive space for teleworking

The first rule to be productive, and to be aware that you’re working, is to avoid working in bed or in any common family areas. It isn’t recommended that you move your laptop from place to place, one minute in the living room, the next minute on the couch watching TV.

Teleworking implies demands and, as such, you need an exclusive space for it, separate from the rest of the home.

A well-lit room, a table, an ergonomic chair, and a quiet space that encourages concentration will help you be more productive.

2. Recommendations for teleworking: never in pajamas

Yes, you’re at home, and yes, you like to be comfortable there. However, one of the recommendations for successful teleworking is that you feel like you’re really at work.

Therefore, wearing pajamas or a bathrobe really doesn’t help. Dressing more formally makes you more prepared mentally for the task in hand.

3. Yes, you must keep a schedule

It’s quite possible that your own company will set you a fixed schedule. In this case, you’ll have to organize your household tasks wisely and make a clear separation between work time and family time. On the other hand, if you don’t have a fixed schedule set by your company or your clients, then you’ll need to make one yourself.

Establishing fixed routines and setting daily goals and meeting them will help you manage your time better. The ideal thing is to avoid being busy 24 hours a day and working into the night and during the weekend.

4. Establish breaks to rest and eat

You can, and should, allow yourself to take some breaks. Stopping for a half an hour to eat a snack or to do some exercise is a good idea. You can, and should, give yourself a break for an hour at lunchtime. During this time, you definitely shouldn’t have your computer next to you.

The ideal thing is to not spend long periods of time at your desk and in front of your computer.

5. Specify the communication channels

Another recommendation for teleworking is to establish communication channels with your colleagues and bosses. You can use e-mails or video calls.

However, you’ll also have to consider the wisdom of using WhatsApp or other instant messaging services, and whether this would mean your work life and your private life converging too much.

6. Set digital switch-off times

When you finish your teleworking day, mute your cellphone. Avoid constantly checking your emails, notifications, and social networks.

The mental burden that your devices add to your working life can be a source of stress. You need to learn to manage this well, and, above all, to put your phone on silent from time to time.

7. Socialize: small talk gives you energy

Another major recommendation for teleworking is to avoid isolation (unless this is enforced as it is many countries at the moment). Don’t get stuck in a rut. Don’t limit your life to the point that you only communicate with your co-workers and family.

If you can, leave your house two or three times a day to go shopping, walk your dog, and have small talk with your neighbors, the supermarket cashier, etc.

It’s also important to spend time with friends and with people outside of work. That will allow you to focus and connect with other areas of your life that are equally, or more, important.

Teleworking is the future, there’s no doubt about it. But you mustn’t let it isolate you and cause you to gradually lose the dynamism and freshness of daily social contact.