The future of work has finally thrust one of its favorite trends upon us: working from home. We all started out feeling a little lost or confused, partially due to our daily routines being turned upside down and having to create a new one from scratch. Working from home may have been a foreign concept to traditional 9-5 employees, but we’re all steadily getting acclimated to the remote culture and crafting new schedules perfectly suited to our work from home needs.
At HiBob, HR began by getting in touch with their people and explaining the processes for web conferences, who to report to whom in times of need, and how to clock in and out during this hectic time. However, once HR had snuggly set these standard protocols into place, it was time for managers and employees to focus on their individual and team priorities, beginning with the following setup for success that we implemented our first-week remote:
Scheduling daily standups
Managers and team leaders blocked out 30 minutes of their people’s daily schedule (preferably in the morning) for a standup. During the first day, these standups consisted primarily of instructions on how to work from home. Before our first meeting started, we made sure our collaboration tools were up and running, as well as our laptop’s video and microphone. We all need to be able to view our team’s workflow and communicate with them effectively.
These daily conference calls are now a chance to sync up with our entire team and report back on any ongoing or new project process; it’s the ideal time to learn where we need to improve in terms of team collaboration so that the next day or following week grows increasingly productive as we work remotely. Remember – these daily standups should be designed to help your teams produce faster and stronger results while working from home through task updates, company announcements, and brainstorming sessions.
Our Managers and employees also host their own one-on-one standups for 30 minutes daily, in order to assess an individual’s time management skills and their to-do list. A private one-on-one also allows employees to give their managers feedback regarding their new work from home processes and policies or sound off on anything specific that may be bothering them or hindering their productivity outside of the office. We all take full advantage of our one-on-ones!
Once we synced with management and our team, we got organized – especially on day one. We each created a comfy, yet ergonomic space for ourselves and planned ahead for any home distractions or responsibilities that we normally would have tended to during the day time. Now, we’re dealing with a new and unique situation, therefore time management is key and should be practiced to the best of all of our abilities. We mapped out your tasks and tried to allocate time in our schedules for each depending on projects, and scheduled meetings with blocks in between so we could prepare for each fully.
If you’re struggling to prioritize your to-dos, talk to your manager in your one-on-one. They will be able to identify urgent matters and help you find wiggle room in your schedule for medium to low priority tasks. That’s what we try and do! We also break out the ol’ whiteboard or stick to our daily planners to stay on top of our tasks by writing them down and visualizing our day or week’s schedule. It makes all the difference in the remote world.
Be a goal-getter
We got organized, in sync with management, and connected digitally. Then, what? It was time to set some weekly goals to make things interesting. Maybe some Bobbers wanted to pick up the speed of their writing by using an online app. Maybe others wanted to start turning in tasks early by setting their own deadlines ahead of time. The point is, we try to get creative with our projects and look for aspects or challenges that strengthen skill sets.
Establishing goals such as these will allow us to structure our schedules in a more efficient manner, elevating productivity to a whole new level. Why? Because we’ll be contributing to our personal growth, as well as professional.
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Cleaning house… projects
Without coffee breaks with coworkers, we noticed a little extra free time on our plates. Those typical office distractions that take us away from our desks are no longer present, so why not make the most out of those small windows in our schedule? During our first week working from home, we took notice of these windows by writing them down in our schedules and substituting water cooler talk for a previously neglected task. It’s the perfect time to clean house and take care of projects that have been sitting on the backburner.
It’s more than okay to take some time to get situated; we certainly did. Working from home doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But, once we synced with our teams and leaders, prioritized tasks, and mapped out weekly goals, it was time to get down to business… and we’re doing so successfully. Working from home is all about finding your groove and staying connected to the people you’ve always counted on in the workplace; even if you’re using Zoom to catch up face to face.
From Stephanie Stevens
Stephanie is Content Marketer at HiBob. She has a background in Clinical Psychology and Crisis Management, and enjoys abstract painting and watching horror films in her spare time. She believes that people can connect with themselves, their peers, and the world around them through creative writing, helping them foster a deeper sense of self and their life goals in the process.