Businesses of all sizes are thinking about what the future of work will look like. Avoiding the daily commute is better for the environment and working from the comfort of your home can dramatically increase your productivity. It almost sounds too good to be true, right? But everything comes at a price, and many are experiencing the challenges that come with replacing work-life balance with work-life integration.
Business continuity plans are a hot topic in contact centers as enabling remote workers to seamlessly communicate and collaborate from a distance has become table-stakes for effective teamwork. But for many remote workers, the struggle is real as they encounter a series of frustrating challenges while juggling home-schooling and meeting project deadlines. Here are a few ways to avoid some of those everyday struggles.
Coping with poor connectivity which impacts job productivity
When working in the office, your network connection will be configured to ensure you always have the bandwidth that you need. By contrast, your home is likely to have one wireless network shared by your entire family. As we fill our homes with smart appliances, you could be competing for bandwidth with others in your household who are playing online video games or streaming 4k Movies on Netflix.
As you enter a video conferencing meeting, you run the risk of being stuck with choppy video and poor audio. If that sounds like a familiar tale, you could create a second Wi-Fi network in your home that is only used for work purposes and guaranteed to provide the bandwidth that you need. With no other devices competing for bandwidth, you should never see the dreaded buffering screen ever again.
Having the right technology and software to support connectivity is essential in ensuring that you enjoy a positive working from home experience. If your business collaboration tools are not cutting it, you would be advised to work closely with a unified communications partner to help you design and deploy a bespoke solution that will meet your unique requirements and goals.
Working from home with kids
Countless articles claim to help keep parents sane and productive when working from home. But the reality is that any tips, or even the entire rulebook, will go out of the window on day one. The good news is that we are all in this together, and most of us are failing miserably with hilarious results, so don't put too much pressure on yourself.
One thing we share with our children is the importance of a routine in our lives. Establishing a routine early and sticking with it will help you enjoy the experience together. There are many free learning apps that can help keep your children entertained while you are performing low-level tasks such as emails.
Your schedule should have regular breaks together to prevent boredom setting in and make the day fun for everyone. If your child has a regular nap time, use this quiet window to your advantage to focus on work that requires more concentration. Many parents will tell you how they overcome the steep learning curve that comes with being a parent working from home, but everyone will have a different routine that works for them.
Establish your routine early and stick with it. These are just a few ways that you can make working from home, work for you and your family.
Location, location, location
Ideally, when working from home, you will have the luxury of a spare room that can serve as a dedicated workspace. Somewhere you can get your game face on and close the door to avoid interruptions or distractions from family, friends, pets, and the loud explosions coming from a games console. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. Coping with inadequate workspace when trying to concentrate or attend video calls and virtual meetings can send you on a one-way trip to burnout.
The romantic notion of sitting on your couch in your pajamas with Netflix on in the background is unfortunately far from reality. The problem is the lack of boundaries and blurred lines between your workspace where your mind should be active and where you like to unwind or switch off.
It would help if you had clear boundaries and an area of your home that is free from distractions and dedicated to work only. These boundaries form a mind hack that enables remote workers to determine where they can and cannot be productive. Even if you have limited space in your home, a folding table and chair in a place dedicated to your work will help you avoid the temptation of working from your couch or bed.
Before you create your workspace, think about the ability to remove background noise. If you are also hosting video conferencing calls, remember that you will be inviting the eyes of your colleagues and clients into your home, so also think about your backdrop. Thankfully, most of today's software also allows you to add virtual backgrounds relatively easy too.
How your personality traits could affect you when working from home
We are all different. Some of us thrive in an office environment, while others are much happier working on their own in a quiet room. When working from home, it's crucial that you understand your personality traits and how they could affect you when working from home.
For example, introverts can thrive when working from home in isolation as they have no desire to be the center of attention in a busy office environment. But they will need to set aside time for relationships and loved ones to avoid becoming too absorbed in their work.
Extroverts crave attention and conversation with those around them. It will be essential for them to maintain contact with the outside world and get outdoors to exercise or enjoy a change of scenery. Understanding your personality type will help you avoid creating an imbalance between their home life and work life.
Working from home vs. office
Businesses need to quickly learn the unique advantages and disadvantages of working from both the home and the office. The future of work is actually the flexibility to work from anywhere, depending on the task at hand. As a business, you need to ensure that you have the right communication and collaboration tools in place so that every employee can thrive, regardless of their location.
There shouldn't be any communication barriers when working remotely. Team messaging apps that also facilitate HD video and traditional phone calls are now considered standard ways for teams to connect. Seamless communication that enables organizations to collaborate faster and be more productive will also deliver the superpower for your business operations to succeed from anywhere.
If you would like to explore how multiple-channel communications can help you and your business to become location independent, contact us now.
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