You have certainly heard a lot lately about the benefits of working from home. In recent years, the manner we do our jobs has shifted accordingly. Previous office-based employment has been relocated; persons who previously worked from home only on occasion are now doing so on a regular basis. Perhaps this is the first time you have attempted it on your own before.
Working from home has a number of benefits. Because you do not have to commute, you save both time and money that you would have spent otherwise. You can make use of your breaks to do some housework, walk the dog, or spend quality time with your partner. Depending on your preference, you can even work in your pajamas!
As with anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to working from home, and working from home can definitely have some disadvantages. For many of us, the most difficult part about being away from the office is losing the companionship and company that we get from our coworkers. Many people find that working from home makes it difficult to distinguish between business and personal life and to shut off at the end of the day. Others have stated that they have difficulty motivating themselves when they are not in their typical office atmosphere. Then there is the issue of how to resolve a problem while you are operating from a distance.
Problems will surely arise, as they always do in life. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be through them in no time.
Make an effort to identify problems as soon as possible.
The earlier you identify problems, the more likely it is that you will be able to resolve them. Maintain control over all of your regular tasks and obligations, and schedule time expressly for checking on anything that has changed as a result of remote working arrangements. If anything does not seem quite right, do not dismiss it without looking into it further. Maintaining concentration and keeping an eye on things is the most effective technique to identify minor issues as soon as they arise. In addition, resolving minor issues early is the most effective approach to keep them from becoming major issues.
Use your problem-solving skills
If you encounter a problem or are unsure of how to complete a task, your first inclination should be to attempt to resolve it on your own, if at all possible. This entails knowing where to look for the information and determining whether or not you can locate it. It is the mark of a strong team member to be proactive when it comes to problem-solving, and this is especially true when you are working remotely.
In certain cases, this may entail using Google, searching through your Employee Handbook or Intranet, consulting the handbook for a specific piece of equipment or software, or consulting documents from past training sessions may be enough to help you to fix the issues.
It is possible to proceed as needed if the information you require is discovered. If this is the case, proceed to the next steps in the sequence that makes the most sense for the problem you are experiencing.
Inquire with an expert
If you have been in your position for a long, you have probably developed a solid understanding of who the subject matter experts are on your team. If you know someone who is the go-to person for a specific issue you are experiencing, send them an email or message. Make sure you clarify what the problem is, and what you have already tried to resolve it, clearly and simply.
If there is a distinct team that deals with this type of issue – for example, an IT Services team that deals with technical issues – now is a good moment to reach out to them for assistance.
Consider getting input from your team
If you and your team are now working from different locations, you need to have some form of function for staying in touch as a group. It may be Microsoft Teams, for example. If you do not have access to Teams, a simple Skype or WhatsApp conversation will suffice instead.
With the use of crowdsourced input, you might be astonished at how quickly a problem can be resolved. As a result, inquire within your team as to if anyone has previously experienced this problem and how they resolved it. Great problem solving is frequently the result of effective teamwork!
Pick up the phone and call your boss
A large number of people despise chatting on the phone. Although remote working is now a reality for a large majority of previously office-based employees, it is crucial to become familiar with it as soon as possible if it is possible for you. If you have exhausted all of your options for resolving a problem or require additional information, do not be afraid to call your employer. Because you are working remotely, your colleagues are still available to assist you and would be delighted to do so – especially if they can see that you have taken proactive steps to resolve the situation if at all possible.
Whether you phone your supervisor as needed, send them an email first to schedule a time to discuss, or save any non-urgent matters for your weekly check-in call or team meeting will depend on your company’s organizational structure and what makes the most sense for your particular function.
Last but not least, give yourself a break.
The bulk of us is unfamiliar with the concept of long-term remote working. While there will be a learning curve, the process will not always be straightforward, and things will not necessarily go smoothly at all times. So be kind to yourself, set realistic goals for yourself, and strive to do your best every day of the week.
Wishing you the best of luck!