Advice For Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic
The following blog was written by Molly Crockett. You can learn more about her at the end of the blog. In reading her words, it occurred to me her advice is applicable to doing work remotely while we are away from our offices during the coronavirus pandemic.
As millions of people worldwide choose to work from home, remote work can still come with its own challenges. Challenges are present, whether you’re a parent struggling to keep the kids entertained, or if you’re a workaholic who wants to never miss a deadline.
In truth, remote work mistakes can happen – some that can be fixed right away, others that aren’t so easy to fix. Therefore, you’ll need to be ready for anything. Here are seven common mistakes to avoid, as a remote worker.
- A Great Worker Is Not Always A Good Remote Worker
“No matter how hard-working you are, it still might not be enough for you to take on remote work, if you don’t know how to do so,” says Declan Eastwood, business writer at Boomessays and Stateofwriting. “If your skills work well in the office, then it’s best to work in an office setting. On the other hand, a good remote worker already has the experience, and knows what to expect, making them self-motivated and self-accountable for the work that they do.”
- Trying To Do Several Tasks At Once
Multitasking is common for workers trying to complete tasks while juggling childcare or other household duties. But sometimes, one or two things can slip through the cracks without you knowing it.
Own up to missing something like a deadline, but don’t kick yourself too hard. More importantly, apologize to your supervisor(s) about the mistake, and be professional and sincere about it. Then, find out how the error happened, and not do it again. Let this be a teaching moment, so that you do better next time.
- Not Having The Right Set Up
When working from home, you’ll need a designated workspace to get stuff done.
Working in bed or on the couch is okay at first, but then you’ll get body aches. Also, working in the dark can cause headaches. Therefore, try working at a desk or table; and have the room well-lit.
Also, make sure you know where everything is, so that it gives you more time to work, rather than have you waste time looking for equipment. And when you’re done, put everything away in their correct spot, so that they can be ready for the next time you work.
- Overcommitting To The Work
Trying to get too much done in so little time can be disastrous, because it will only make you prone to making unintentional errors. If you’re overbooked, try talking about it to your boss or manager, and see if you can get an extension for some deadlines. Plus, don’t make the same mistake again in the future. Finally, think before immediately saying “yes” to something that can only complicate things later.
- Distractions Galore
It takes longer to work if you’re distracted with other things in the home. If you’re prone to distractions, try to set a decent time (one or two hours) to really stay focused on the work. And, if you have kids, try setting up a quiet time for them beforehand.
Plus, keep interruptions to a minimum. If you need to tend to chores like cooking or laundry, try to do those things prior to work, so that they won’t keep you from completing your tasks.
- Unclear (Or Lack Of) Communication
Communication is crucial to remote work. Whenever communication is unclear, or there’s a lack there of, it can be hard to get stuff done.
Using more than one communication tool like video, email, phone, texting, etc. can confuse things. Instead, have your company stick to one or two modes of communication; and make sure that communication is consistent for all modes used. Plus, know what time zones you’re working with, and set up a period of “core work hours” when everyone can be available online.
- Suffering Burnout
“Burnout is the most common roadblock in remote working,” says Finn Hack, project manager at Australian help and Paper fellows. “When workers start taking on longer hours, they risk being burnt out. So, it’s up to management to know the well-being of their employees, and to have them take breaks every so often. Also, words of encouragement can help workers not be bummed out about having to do heavy workloads for the sake of recognition.”
At the end of the day, coordination, communication, and culture are essential to the success of remote work. If you can avoid making these seven mistakes, remote work will be easy for you to do.
Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on May 21, 2020. Visit Steve's website to learn more about his services.