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Home Working: It Is Finally Time?

Home working

Home Working: What Is?

In our last post we commented on the consequences of the Coronavirus in our daily lives. And those changes are here to stay, at least in the short term. That’s why we have to adapt, both personally and professionally. On the latter, many employers already encourage or require their staff to work from home. Welcome to home working time.

Although working from home or telecommuting is not new, it’s useful to refresh its concept. We can say that it’s the working modality where the employee does not have to move to the company’s headquarters, branches or any place where conduct business. Home working gained popularity in the last decade, with the strong development of communications, and systems and applications for remote work.

Some Clues for Telecommuter

While it is highly positive for both employers and employees, it poses challenges that must be properly addressed. Here are some tips that can help us in this direction.

  • Maintain a regular schedule: since there is no “leaving the office”, there is a risk of overdoing it. Therefore is important to maintain a work-life balance. The latter includes taking breaks at intervals, in particular to respect the lunch hour.
  • Establish clear rules: inform the family members or those with whom you live, what times you are working and what household activities you can do. 
  • Set up a work space: set aside a desk, a computer and some peripherals for exclusive work use. If this is not possible, use the computer for free time outside that desk.
  • Socializing with other home workers: participate in chat channels with colleagues to share common topics. 
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself: if at any point you divert your attention from your tasks to a social network or search for the next vacation spot, think about it as something common that also happens in the office.
  • Closing the day: have a habit that indicates you’ve finished your day, such as going to the gym, reading a paper book or walking the dog.

Tools

From a business point of view, there are several tools that allow telecommuting, task management, project management as well as keep the communication of the company’s labor universe. An important point of clarification: home workers should be encouraged – if not forced – to use virtual private networks or VPNs to access applications from their homes or nomadic workplaces. That way, all corporate data will be out of reach of cybercriminals.

Below are some examples of these remote working utilities(*):

Asana, Trello and Zoho Projects: these project management applications allow remote collaboration among the organization’s employees. Cloud-based, they help with task planning and their follow-up.

Telegram, WhatsApp and Google Chat: these tools allow internal communication within the work team. Although they all have their own characteristics, the basis of these tools is that they function as a messaging channel, allowing the formation of separate groups and even sending and receiving files.

Google G Suite and MS Office 365: these sets of applications are the best known and most classical on the market for document management (Word, Excel, Google Docs, Power Point) in the cloud. They also add other facilities such as email (Gmail, Outlook), storage (Drive, One Drive) and calendar (Calendar).

Final Remarks

Indeed, this crisis has arrived and it looks like it will be for a while. And it will have consequences in the economy. So it’s important to find ways to help mitigate its impact. Home working is one of them. If your business model allows it, you should not hesitate to use it. That way you can maintain – at least in part – your productivity and reduce the unintended consequences of this global epidemic.

(*) Note: qeldar does not receive any commission or any other type of fees from the companies mentioned in this article.

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