March 17, 2020
After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic, business the world over are looking at enforcing strategies to roll out mandatory work from home to enable the ‘social distancing’ initiatives undertaken by many a governments.
However, not everyone is equipped to accommodate this kind of a sudden disruption. So, whether or not you’re a new comer to working remotely, in this blog I will explore few ways in which businesses can familiarize the leadership as well as the workforce with remote working and staying vigilant and productive at the same time.
Today, like millions of other employees around the world, I too am coming to you from home. And, before we get into the nitty-gritty of it all, let me tell you right away, I am not a big fan of working remotely. My desk is littered with books, paper napkins, a hand sanitizer, multiple charging cords and to top it all off, dust. My empty kitchen table becomes my cafeteria, while the 20 seconds walk from my bed to the desk becomes my commute to work. Not a very inviting work environment, I know.
However, just like the millions of people resorting to working from home in the wake of the havoc perpetrated by COVID-19, I too must adjust to this new environment and make it work in the longer run. Why? Although I am a huge believer in our capacity to battle this virus, there are still many things that can go wrong, which lends greater uncertainty to ‘how long’ the world will work-from-home.
The bigwigs, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon have all asked their employees to work from their homes after implementing remote working policies for their global offices. Google (Alphabet) has recommended all employees (North America, Europe, Africa & Middle East) to work remotely. Twitter has made it mandatory for all employees to work from home. Facebook is set to enable work-from-home assistance to global employees (if their job allows). Amazon has recommended employees to work from home if their jobs allow.
Clearly, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven business to go remote, which is, in a way, a nervous dry run for working remotely at a global scale. However, COVID-19 or otherwise, the remote work culture was already rising globally, especially in the US where the percentage of workers working from home almost tripled in the past decade or so, says the Federal Reserve.
Nevertheless, many people will be working remotely for the first time ever. And, this means adjusting to a whole new work environment and staying productive. Practice does make one perfect, but first comes the awareness and the knowledge of remote working. Thankfully, there are many exercises once can undertake, including becoming familiar with the ins and outs of the skills needed to successfully work from home through effective courses and videos, both for the employer as well as employees. No surprise then why searches for courses related to ‘working remotely’ have exploded in our Plethora searches.
So, fret not and get going with these top in-demand courses featuring key tips pertaining to remote work-
Whether you are newbie or have experienced the remote work environment before, these Plethora courses will provide insightful tips and hacks to help you adjust to working from home, boost productivity, create an effective schedule to avoid burnout, and taking online meetings from home.
- How to Succeed at Remote Work
- Enhancing Productivity with Remote Workers
- How to Be a Productive Remote Worker
Remote Leadership & Management
While leading and managing multiple teams in the workplace involves different processes, best practices and unique challenges, the challenge of leading or managing a remote team and ensuring engagement and performance is a different ballgame. These courses will help you build engagement, motivating and productivity in your teams.
- Remote Leadership: The unique aspects of the Virtual Work Environment
- Remote Leadership: Classic leadership with a Virtual Twist
- Remote Management : Effective ways to Communicate with Team Members
- Remote Management : Handle poor performing employees
Remote Working Tools & Apps
Technology is at the center of every remote work engagement and productivity challenge. The remote work environment call for familiarization with and adoption of virtual technology that will help you and your colleagues build a seamless process. These courses will help you learn the tools to effectively connect and communicate with your colleagues.
- Maximizing Virtual Tools
- Web-Based Presentation Basics
- Leading a Virtual Meeting
In effect, it seems most likely that this shift to remote work will last for at least a period of 2-4 weeks, given the circumstances. However, how a prolonged period of 2-3 months of full-time work from home affects global businesses and employees remains to be seen.
Again, a cockeyed optimist that I am, I can’t help but believe that ‘everything is going to be okay’ and I urge you to maintain a positive attitude throughout and reassure your friends and family of the same. Prioritize one-on-one or face-to-face video calls than texting to avoid the feeling of isolation; take virtual breaks together, grabs a virtual coffee together.. you get the point.
For leaders and managers, I encourage you to help teams stay positive and build up each others’ morale and maintain a cheerful remote work environment. God forbid, if we end up working remotely for a couple of months (which is possible), the key will be to keep our spirits up at all costs.
So, whether or not you are new to working remotely, I sure hope these courses and tips and guidelines help you maintain productivity in your home office, lead virtual teams, maximize virtual tools and keep people connected.
And remember, safety first.