Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone around the world is encouraged to stay at home if they can so that the spread of the coronavirus will slow down. Given the quarantine measures that are being enacted by countries all over the world, a lot of workers now find themselves needing to work from home.
While there are people who area already used to working from home (myself included), not everyone can quickly and easily shift from an office space to a remote work setup. If you’re one of those currently struggling to work from home, here are some tips from Lenovo VP of Global Commercial Marketing, David Rabin to help you work remotely:
1. Stay flexible and connected through portable technology
Our research team found that of the employees working from home, 71% feel they have access to the technology they need. Just like in today’s workplace, where there might no longer be a traditional office environment, we move with our laptops in hand from a desk, to a huddle room, to a couch, or even to the walking treadmill if your company has one. When working from home, the new form-factors and easily portable laptops and mobile workstations allow you to keep the same pace, so you can stay active. You don’t have to sit in the “home office” base or one setting through the entire day. Instead, you might move to your sofa or kitchen island with your laptop. And you no longer have to worry about battery life. The improved smart stand-by features in laptops give you 30% more battery usage, so you are free to roam around. Staying active will in turn make you more engaged and efficient while you use these technologies to fuel your work.
2. Leverage productivity and collaboration tools
Consider productivity enhancers like a monitor, webcam and collaboration tools, such as a headset or conferencing tool.
A monitor is a major productivity tool in the office and at home. If you are used to having two monitors, your laptop and a larger monitor at work, you should consider duplicating this set-up at home. In case you are working on a lot of spreadsheets, graphic design items, architectural plans and detailed work that requires larger screens, an extra monitor is immensely helpful.
Video is key to the remote working environment. It’s an engaging style that enables employees to feel connected and avoid that feeling of isolation typically reported when working from home. It’s important that companies make sure their employees are armed with the ability to use the best video-conferencing technology. The latest laptops, desktops and workstations all have enhanced video and audio features that provide microphones for 360° reception and a 4-meter far-field performance.
3. Encourage flexible work schedules
As COVID-19 impacts childcare and other services, be sensitive to the ways your colleagues may be juggling work and home responsibilities in new and challenging ways. Chances are you’re no longer the only one in your household dealing with the effects of coronavirus in your community, so make sure to communicate clearly to let your household know it’s work time.
While our research found 61% of employees feel they are as productive if not more so when working from home vs. working elsewhere, the primary reasons employees choose not to do so in normal conditions, or feel they are less productive at home, are distractions like TV or an inability to separate work and family life. Setting some boundaries and daily schedules will help eliminate those distractions and increase your ability to focus.
4. Communicate often as this might be the new norm
As we move forward, company policies are evolving and will continue to do so. The many uncertainties presented by COVID-19 challenge businesses to find new ways to collaborate with their teams while remote. Will this pandemic create a future where remote work will be more of the norm than it is today? There is a sense this situation might usher in more permanent change. According to Lenovo’s global research, 77% of employees feel that companies will be more open to or even encourage letting workers work remotely once we get through this period.
Of course, we all need a break after working, even while at home. If you need a quick break, or are done with your tasks for the day, consider unwinding by trying out these titles: