COVID-19: How to Improve Your Remote Workspace Technology

      Chris_blog Chris Lamoureux / March 19, 2020

How organizations view workforce management has been evolving the last several years and continues to change. According to a Global Workplace Analytics report, the number of people who work from remote workplaces has grown 173% since 2005, 11% faster than the rest of the workforce. At this point, telecommuting may be the only option for keeping certain businesses operating in these uncharted waters.

As more and more businesses move employees to remote working (where possible), home offices will become the norm. There are practical considerations when employees are working from a remote workplace, and ensuring they are safe, prepared and operational is the goal. A critical part of working remotely is technology. Technology to communicate, collaborate, access information, and more. While a normal remote working set up may only have a handful of employees working from home at one time, we are in unexplored waters with COVID-19, where everyone is working remotely and your technologies will be under a lot of stress and the cracks will start to emerge.

At Veriday, we have a lot of experience working with our clients on building and enhancing their Employee Experience capabilities such as an Intranet. We find there are two major areas that should be looked at to fill those cracks; User Experience and Technology.

Company intranets, especially legacy platforms, are often built to solve a small number of problems. They won’t consider all the users’ journeys that will be interacting with the system. Once COVID-19 has settled down and people begin to return to the office, take the time to interview different user groups to understand the headaches that were experienced during this time.

In the interim, here are some tips to be productive when working from home:

Maintain Routine: When working in the office, your day is full of routines; getting ready, commuting, morning conversations, coffee, etc. It’s important to maintain as many routines as possible, even adding more routines to add structure back into an empty day. If you have a family, their daily routines can also keep you on schedule.

Create Separate Spaces: To avoid feeling trapped, make sure you have a separate workspace. While it might be more comfortable to work on a couch or in bed, you won’t be able to escape work at the end of the day. You will be stuck in a cycle of work-sleep-work-sleep.

Socialize and Over Communicate: In the office, it’s easy to turn to your colleague and strike up a conversation. This is the opposite of practicing social distancing. Remember to take the time to chat about anything with your coworkers; whether that’s at the start of a meeting or randomly throughout the day.

Use Video Chat: Collaboration is a key part of working remotely. While it’s easier to have a quick phone call, you will have a far more human experience by using video. It’s also a good way to get everyone out of their pajamas.

Know when Disconnect: When you work from home, your hours become less rigid. Might start working early, or late because you don’t have to commute, etc. Take breaks throughout the day, go outside to get some fresh air. If you have a family, spend time with your kids to help them get some energy out. You don’t want them to go stir crazy and distract you from your work.