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Remote working is not a new concept. Most of us have done it, be it for an occasional household chore or as part of a regular schedule. While the perks of working for home are numerous, you must always be prepared for some unexpected challenges that could arise. Here are some tips to get your virtual office set-up running smoothly in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

 

Evaluate your company technology

 

Make sure all your company laptops are up-to-date. Also check the limits of your remote working facilities. If you use virtual meeting-solutions such as Zoom, make sure your plan will be able to handle all your employees at once.

 

Explore new tools at your disposal

 

Brainstorming is one activity that can be missed out on, and there’s no true replacement for the energy and ideas that come from a face-to-face session. Employ collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom, which offer several features to get your team involved – it might not be the same as face-to-face meetings, but it works.

 

Make sure your team is technologically equipped for remote working

 

Your team will discover the limits of their home Wi-Fi when they are forced to count on it everyday – it might be fine for surfing and streaming, but your team must make sure their home Wi-Fi network is capable of handling the workload of remote working. You will also have to think about printing – you will definitely miss your workhorse office printer when you have to rely on a home deskjet.

 

Meeting etiquette

 

A virtual meeting might be unusual at first and will take about 4-5 tries to master the art of video-conferencing. One thing you should make sure to do is to use the mute button until you’re ready to talk to prevent talking over each other – you can use the chat feature to let your colleagues know if you want to say something next.

 

Establish your limits

 

When you start working from home, you will feel incredibly productive because you will have eliminated your commute, which means you will be starting your active workday earlier than usual. However, on any given day in the office you will have natural breaks from work – whether you stop by a colleague’s desk, grab a coffee or even step out for lunch. It is important to build similar breaks while you’re working remotely, otherwise the work will get to you and you feel burned out early very soon.

 

Don’t pass on a chance to communicate:

 

Successful remote working banks on transparency. Every team member has to post a schedule everyday, allowing other members to know what they have on their plate at the moment. Don’t forget to make sure your clients know that your office will be working remotely for a while and let them know all the new ways they can get in touch with your team to assure them that work will go on as usual.

 

Make sure you have all these points in check before you decide to adapt to a virtual office to steer through the current COVID-19 situation.

 

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