COVID-19: Stay Productive With Remote Working

By Farwah Aslam | Collaboration

Mar 16

Money makes the world go round. But occasionally something big and unexpected happens that slows or even forces businesses to a halt. Most recently, it was a novel corona virus that originated from Asia. The COVID-9 virus has now spread to Europe, America and beyond. And with all the economies so closely intertwined, industries of all shapes and sizes are feeling the effects, wherever they are.

I had two clients come into the office today for a meeting and while we were having a discussion, the receptionist sneezed two or three times in the lobby. The clients immediately wrapped up the meeting and left the building as quickly as possible.

Later when I was coming home, I stopped at a 7/11. The cashier coughed and immediately two people who were paying for their items got upset and demanded she wear a mask.

We all know why that happened. Everyone has their own concerns and their own defense mechanisms with the spread of the coronavirus. And so I am writing this blog today, to make sure that you have your remote options for your office and your employees so that they all are fully functional and fully secure. Employees should be able to sit down at home, open a laptop and work 100% securely and efficiently just as if they were sitting in the office. Everything should work flawlessly and seamlessly without the need to come in or use public transportation to get to the office. But at the same time, employees shouldn’t be sucked in by the isolated environment of working from home.

In 1979, IBM was making headlines by becoming one of the first Fortune 500 companies who allowed employees to work remotely. That’s right! About 40 years ago the corporate giant adopted this modern outlook on work. In fact, IBM found the practice to be so successful that by 2009, 40% of their 386,000 employees worked remotely. According to Gallup, remote workers put in longer hours and are more productive than their non-remote peers. Remote work is the future. Now is the perfect time to impulse telework and let employees to work from home.

Think of this as an opportunity to host online events or meetings and to move your business online. No matter what type of business you are in, you know there is an online version of your services or your products. There is always an online way for your customers to interact with your business. So, take the leap and embrace the technology. Get your finger on the pulse and be proactive. Don’t let the virus slow you down. Be there for your customers and clients and offer them your services like always. At the same time look after your employees. Help them build home office and work as effectively as possible. Stay safe and help them stay safe as well.

Microsoft Promotes Teams for Free

The corona virus is here, and it is going to stay for a while. But don’t panic! Amidst all the chaos of COVID-19, Microsoft Teams is going to be your saving grace by offering you 6 months free of Teams to promote remote working and health. You can learn more about the offer here.

I have been using Teams for a long time now for my tele-medicine business and I can tell you that it’s going to be a blessing in disguise for you in times like these.

Microsoft Teams will help you communicate, co-author or collaborate and work more effectively. Microsoft teams is a collaboration app that helps your team stay organized and have conversations, all in one place. More and more organizations are transforming to Microsoft Teams to enhance their communication and collaboration.

One of the many benefits with Microsoft teams is that you can create a more open and transparent dialogue where employees feel more engaged and involved, especially when people have to work remotely. And because it’s in the cloud, it lets everyone work together no matter where they are. Teams help you to connect and create in brand new ways.

Tips to Boost Productivity in the Coronavirus Pandemic

While working from home sounds fun, even luxurious; you don’t have to wake up early get ready and do the commute. But let me tell you, it can get old fast. The isolation sets in. the couch starts beckoning and by the end of the day you can feel like an unproductive garbage human who longs for the days of awkward office small talk.

“People talk about the freedom of working remote, but not the cost,” Schawbel says.

Now that more offices are sending workers home for the foreseeable future, what are some ways you can make working from home, work for you?

Step 1: Shower and Get Ready for the Day.

It’s tempting to sleep in as late as possible and roll straight out of your bed into your inbox. But I am going to highly recommend against doing that. You really will feel gross by the lunch time. Get up, shower and put on some real clothing. And then give yourself some buffer time before getting to work. Maybe make some coffee. Have some breakfast. Having that fresh start will really go a long way.

Step 2: Set Up as Real of an Office Space as Possible.

Everyone’s home is different. But try to carve out somewhere that can feel as close as possible to a desk or an office space. If you are working on a laptop, I will consider getting a mouse or a keyboard or a monitor.

Step 3: Have Conversations with Humans.

Working from home is boring and isolating. Studies have found that human interactions are good for creativity and innovation. It’s not going to be possible to perfectly replicate those face-to-face interactions but that doesn’t mean you should give up on socializing completely. Video call can be a nice change of pace.

Step 4: Build In Breaks.

Studies have found that the most productive days include breaks. One method says that people work best for an hour straight with a 15 minute break. Another popular method, says that set a timer for 25 minutes and work straight through and then take a break. Also make yourself a nice lunch.

Step 5: Have a Hard Stop at the End of the Day.

Pretty soon work is going to feel like home and home is going to feel like work. And honestly, it’s a really terrible feeling. So make an end point and stick to it.

I cannot stress it enough that now is the time to make sure your remote system for all your employees will work at full capacity. So that your business can keep going without any hiccups and your employees remain safe at the same time. Stay safe and healthy using Microsoft teams!

About the Author

Farwah Aslam: Your routine healthcare physician and a technology enthusiast.

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