Amid the pandemic, many people across the world have been thrust into the realms of remote working - at very short notice. For most employees this is a new challenge, but from 20+ years of experience, the pointers below should help.
Do your best to replicate your office routine, including dressing as you would for the office and keeping to start and end times. Have a lunch break. Get up and walk around when you make your next coffee - and if you spot something that needs doing, make a list for later once you’ve signed off. Keep in regular contact with the colleagues you normally converse with.
Messaging and communications
If your employer already uses an integrated solution like Slack, Microsoft Teams or Facebook for Business, then you have a head start. Video calls are particularly helpful for those new to remote working. Skype is the grandfather of video calls, but Zoom has really taken over as the leader, and today it’s worth the same as the sum of Delta Airlines, United and Southwest combined. On Zoom, 1-1 calls are free, as are conference calls of 40 minutes for 3+ attendees. If you are just messaging in words, WhatsApp is much more secure than text (SMS) messages.
Ideally, have a separate room to work in where you can close the door. If that’s not possible, hide your laptop away as soon as your work hours are complete. Then there’s the environment itself, the distractions are all around. Don't put the TV on until your work hours are over - you need to have the “work hours” mindset wherever you are located to make sure you concentrate on the job in-hand.
It is said that if you repeat something for 30 days straight, it becomes a habit, and while the “30 day” number seems to vary depending on who you ask, the principle remains the same:
Persist through the “conditioning phase” - do the same thing every work day
Start with simple things - sit in the same place at the same table, facing the same way
Set reminders - the building-a-habit phase is the only challenge - once it’s a habit, it’s easy. Write a list of the tasks you do and check it daily to stay on track
Stay consistent - this is more about timing than task. Start work at the same time. Finish work at the same time, etc.
Working remotely does not come naturally to many, but if it can be a life-changing move that brings benefits you may not expect.
And a lighter note - from the Emerald Media team and other female industry colleagues . . .
In the absence of any professional hairdresser - L’Oreal’s Magic Retouch for an instant root concealer or dry shampoo (prior to any Zoom or Teams video calls).
Always try and look your best in case the video option is on - by accident.
Keep morale up in a family household with enough food. Everyone is at home from work, school, college, etc and not eating out.
Keep the peace and don't be selfish when every member household wants the broadband for something 'very important' - straining the broadband.
Be flexible with working hours, especially if juggling kids.
If kids are trying to be nosey on a call, feed their curiosity, let them say hello, they’ll soon realise it’s boring work chat and will disappear.
Do wear a bluetooth headset and speaker when on conference calls if fighting to hear yourself (owing to noisy partner - also on a call).
Arrange group video calls with friends - to signal the weekend.
"I'm wearing a red dress over my jogging gear - ready for video calls. Trying to (not) cut my hair with nail scissors; finding guests are entertained by jumping cats on Zoom and most importantly, learning to factor in the time it takes to put on protective gear, shop, wash the shopping and generally keep taking care." Liz Moscrop, Gearup Media.
"Video conferencing especially has become a welcome relief in week three of quarantine. Trying to home-school is not without its challenges. Aircraft finance is nothing compared with trying to explain division and multiplication to a completely disinterested 6 year old. When they are not trying to permanently injure each other, it’s a pleasure having more time at home with the kids, but there's always the constant fear of home life appearing in all its glory in the background of a video call. To be frank, the global nature of the pandemic has translated into a lot more tolerance and less excruciating professional embarrassment." Aoife O'Sullivan, The Air Law Firm.
We're living in a two tier house. Night owls (the teenagers); Early birds (the parents). I would never have advocated this before but with two teenagers - let them sleep in. I'm the most productive in the mornings so whilst they snooze away until 11.30 - 12 noon I can use all the bandwidth without worry. Once the PS4’s fire up after lunch (their breakfast) speeds drop. Lindsey Oliver, BBGA.
And finally . . . it's OK to prioritise PE with Joe (YouTube). The nation's new hero.
About the Author
Jeremy Parkin launched the world's first helicopter industry news website in 1999, and has focused his aviation journalism on the rotary-wing world ever since. His website HeliHub.com brings together both news stories, safety data and Jeremy's insight on the industry, which is under-pinned by an extensive network of contacts.
HeliHub is run by a globally based team. Jeremy worked for one of the largest IT companies for a number of years, and managed teams spread around the globe from his home office in the UK. With so many people now working remotely in the current pandemic, Jeremy also brings expertise for those companies and employees suddenly thrust into the realms of working apart instead of face-to-face.
BlueSky Business Aviation News | 9th April 2020 | Issue #552
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