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Working from home – a GAR best practice guide

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 3 minute read SMART 0 Likes

The last few weeks have been trying for many of us given the COVID-19 outbreak. With the escalation of the situation globally, businesses and governments are encouraging social distancing and working from home to minimise spread of the disease.

In a first for our business, GAR is adopting Work From Home (WFH) for our employees in Indonesia and elsewhere, as part of our response to COVID-19. While some are familiar with the practice and may thrive on it, for many of our employees it will be new. In this blog we try to offer some tips to make the transition successful. Here’s a list of best practices to help you WFH more effectively.

The equipment

It is important that you have the basic tools required to carry out your tasks, and stay connected to your colleagues even if you’re not in the same physical space.

Ensure you have working computers or laptops that can connect to your home internet. If you require VPN, Skype for Business, or any other crucial applications to be installed on your laptops, do so before leaving the office.

Conduct meetings via phone or Skype where possible.

You’re also going to be having a lot more remote meetings, so make sure you have a decent internet connection at home which allows you to access emails, and conduct Skype/video calls with your teammates. A headset that plugs into your laptop or computer will provide a better quality experience for you and those in the meeting.

If you anticipate poor internet connection at certain times, prepare back-up plans. For example, if need be, have your mobile phone handy to dial in via Whatsapp instead.

The environment

The office has designated areas for focused work that we often don’t have at home. We recommend recreating an area like this at home, by allocating a fixed space to be your temporary work zone. Try to ensure your work zone has a comfortable desk and chair, good lighting, and minimal distractions, to help you WFH more effectively.

If there are others at home with you sharing the space, make sure to indicate when you are working and should not be disturbed. This could mean placing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign or simply closing the door. But remember movement, and fresh air, is important to your overall health and wellbeing – be sure to schedule appropriate amounts of time for breaks!

Providing daily checklists and updates to your team during WFH helps build transparency and trust.

The mindset

Accountability and trust are important traits to be mindful of during WFH. When interactions are virtual, there is a tendency to worry about whether work is actually being done. Clear communication with your managers and teammates can help build transparency and lessen this uncertainty.

Managers should set aside time before WFH begins, to clarify what practices are expected from team members who are working remotely.

If you are working from home, you can provide daily checklists and updates to your team, which reduces anxiety and helps plan your day.

Documenting everything also helps reduce communication gaps. This way, if you’re unsure about something and do not have another colleague nearby to ask during WFH, you can refer to what you have documented via email, Microsoft Word, or other team platforms.

We must continue to be accountable for tasks assigned to us, and also trust our colleagues to be doing the same.

As the situation evolves, the company will continue to monitor and update its practices. With each of us playing our part in making WFH a success, we are sure to get through these uncertain times together.

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