Seven Helpful Tips to Guide Your Remote Workload
By Krystal Rennie / Adlumin, Inc.
The COVID-19 pandemic has today’s workforce adjusting to a new reality—from lockdowns to stay-at-home orders, we are all being urged to remain indoors. This has caused businesses to either close their doors or adapt work environments and rely on new or unfamiliar technology. According to an Facility Executive article, “regardless of whether or not employees showed coronavirus-related symptoms, 88% of organizations have encouraged or required their employees to work from home, according to a March 17 Gartner, Inc. survey of 800 global human resources (HR) executives.”
With millions of Americans now working from home, it’s vital that teams lean on one another for advice, support and direction. Below are seven tips to help keep you focused while working remotely and ensure that your financial institution remains secure and continues to be monitored during this time.
- Create a designated workspace: Unless you already have a home office or designated workstation, it’s important to create a space designed to help you stay productive, uphold motivation, and maintain a sense of normalcy. For example, you can work at the dining room table, outside on the patio, or in a den/sunroom. Regardless of the space, it is important that your primary needs are accommodated.
- Set a routine: Being home all day can make it very hard to establish boundaries and remain organized. By creating a realistic weekly routine, it is easier to stay on track and accomplish tasks. Continue waking up early as if you were going into the office, eating breakfast and lunch at normal times, and taking breaks throughout the day. The goal is to keep your schedule as normal as possible, so you feel less disorganized and more determined to do your best work.
- Dress for success: To get dressed or stay in your pajamas? This has become the million-dollar question we battle each morning. While in the comfort of your own home, staying in your pajamas might seem appropriate, but it is important to get dressed before starting your workday. By doing so, you will be more motivated to do work, connected to the rest of the working world, and prepared to attend online meetings.
- Establish proper communication channels: Schedule a team meeting to discuss the main communication channels that will be used during business hours. Be very clear, and remain consistent, when establishing day-to-day expectations. In an article by FormAssembly, it reminds us that “…as cliché as it may sound, it’s true. Communication is important in every aspect of life—and business is no exception. And with a remote team? It’s vital.” Mainting open and honest communication is essential to the success or failure of any team, especially while teleworking for extended periods of time. Use platforms such as Google Hangouts, Skype for Business, Slack or Outlook to keep conversations and projects going—and everyone on the same page.
- Connect at least twice a day: Whether at home or in the office, checking-in is both necessary and important to a team’s overall flow. Regardless of your position, you should communicate with your team, manager or co-worker(s) at least twice a day. It is often recommended that check-ins are scheduled at the beginning and end of a workday.
- Monitor your banking platforms: If your company or IT team is experiencing (or expecting) capacity concerns, investing in a third-party security and compliance automation platform can help provide extra security layers for your financial institution. Additionally, you should consider a platform with a 24/7 SOC Service, which quickly addresses cybersecurity needs and strengthens IT operations. For additional resources, check out this Forbes list of fintech firms providing free technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Establish a cut-off time: Knowing when to close your laptop is probably a hard decision you face each day. It is important that you set, and stick to, a time to stop working and attend to your evening routine. According to an article by Microsoft Office, “a recent study of 1,400 information workers commissioned by Microsoft found that 40 percent of people work outside of regular hours in a way that interferes with family time.” Of course, we all strive to finish as much work as possible, but maintaining a healthy balance is key – especially in our current climate.
Now, more than ever, prioritizing tasks, communicating frequently, and more are lifelines for remote teams. Adlumin understands that self-isolation is no easy feat, and our team will continue to stand with financial institutions during these uncertain times. No matter your team’s strategy – collaboration, virtual meetings, check-ins, work-life balance, etc. – share how you and your team have overcome challenges and continued to grow under different roofs.