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Setting up guidelines for working remotely

It’s happening everywhere and will probably continue to happen. Companies are sending their employees home to work remotely because of the pandemic that caught everyone by surprise. Apple, Google, and Amazon are among the largest global companies that have restricted travel or asked their employees to work remotely as a precaution against the virus.

How are companies dealing with the crisis? Redfin CEO, Glenn Kelman consulted with other companies who have had remote workers for years and shares some guidelines he gave to his own headquarters employees who now find themselves squirreled away in their domiciles.

Key Guidelines for Working Remotely

The first is to set up a safe work environment. “Adjust your chair height so that your knees are level with your hips, and your keyboard is at the same level or below your elbows,” he advises. “Your monitor should be an arm’s length away. If you have a home office, please use that rather than working for long periods from a couch or a dining-room table. If you’ve been sitting all day, stand up, move around and stretch!”

The location of your work is important as well. The fewer distractions, the better and good headphones can help. Then stock your home with the food and drinks you need to stay productive. It might be best to turn off the news while you’re working.

If conferences or meetings are being done by video, be there and be there on time. Staying engaged with others is vital. He warns against multitasking and suggests that if you don’t have a laptop with a camera, contact your IT department to arrange it. Then set up a monitor you can use in addition to your laptop screen close to your laptop camera. “This lets you use one screen to see the people in the meeting and another to see the work you’re discussing,” says Kelman.

Your employer will probably expect to work regular hours so that collaboration is seamless. And set some boundaries for yourself by not working all day and night. Stay in the same routine to get in a work frame of mind each day. He advises saying goodbye to any others who live with you the way you would if you were leaving for and returning from the office with salutations like “Have a good day” and “I’m back!”

It’s a great idea to share your hours on your Google calendar with others you work with. Leave some gaps for a few personal appointments, but be sure to tell others who rely on you when you’ll be back. All those communication services you use are a top priority right now, like Slack messaging, because you can’t just get up and walk into someone else’s office. Be Johnny-on-the-spot with email and messages, even if it’s just to say you got someone’s message. Check your communication channels often, but don’t forget that you can also do things the old-fashioned way — picking up the phone. It’s faster and friendlier.

This is not going to last forever, so go the extra mile to be a positive force for your team, whether you’re a manager or a colleague. “Catch people doing good work,” says Kelman. “Ask how someone’s day is going,” Kelman admits this is the most important message he has to relate to as well as what he has told his new remote workers.

Source: Redfin | BusinessInsider | TBWS

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