Tip Sheet Series: Workplace Location
Updated: Mar 17
Accurately assessing attitudes towards an employee's physical work environment shows how ready they are to work independently and collaborate with others. Here are the questions you should be asking:
1. Am I ready to work remotely?
While many employees have been working remotely for some time, do they have the right tools to optimize performance? Are you working from a laptop or desktop? Do you have a large monitor (or 2 monitors), printer, updated software such as Windows 10 and Office 365? Do I have a place to work relatively free of distractions? Do I have the right office furniture and space for office supply storage? If you must make any purchases, ensure your boss pre-approves and retain receipts.
2. Am I ready to collaborate remotely?
Let's face it there are so many choices on technology applications today it can become overwhelming. Are my peers and managers all using the same applications to collaborate? Do we share documents in the same secure website that is easy to access? Do I need training to improve my skills? Agree with your peers and managers on what applications all are expected to use and ensure training is provided.
3. How are your planning skills?
Planning begins before your day begins. Taking a few moments at the start of your day to plan will enable you to focus on the critical tasks you want to accomplish. Set daily goals and measures.
Creating daily to-do lists first thing in the day, or at the close of the previous day will give you the jump start you need to be productive, incorporate your personal time and reduce stress over making decisions on how you spend your time to achieve your goals. Making the time to plan and set priorities will free up more time later rather than just diving into things.
4. Write it down!
Do you have a day planner to write things down? What resources do I need, who controls the resources I need, do I need help, what are important errands, household tasks, calls or appointments I need to budget into my day? Share your schedule with those who need to know. Helpful tools may include a CRM, Kanban boards, shared calendars, and self-scheduling tools. A word of caution - do not fall into the trap of over planning. Leave some buffer time in your day to catch up if things run long, or unplanned things pop up.
5. Am I organized to be effective and efficient?
Staying busy during the workday may not always translate into effective and efficient use of your time. Beginning with the place you work, setting boundaries between work and personal time allows you to keep the contrast between them. It will also enable you to switch yourself off at the end of work time. Post a sign on the door “work in progress”, this may reduce those unplanned and awkward interruptions from family or friends.
6. Dress for work at home?
“90% of the game is half mental”! (Yogi Berra). This works to help get your mind focused on work time. Like showering, it gets your brain ready for your work rituals. While comfort is key, pajamas or sweat suits are not the default uniform. Keep in mind slogans on your t-shirt may offend those on your virtual conference call. Business casual attire is ideal. Remember you want to portray a professional image to those you may be on your video conference call.
7. Take out the trash!
Figure out what you need and don’t need. It is easy to lose your concentration in an uncomfortable workplace. Make your workspace serene and surround yourself with beautiful things and important knick-knacks that promote creativity and productivity.
8. My tasks dictate how I manage my time?
This is the one area you have complete control over, time is your most valuable asset. Setting goals and prioritizing them allows you to make a plan to budget your time. For prolonged tasks or projects, it is helpful to put your goals on a monthly planner and reverse engineer deadlines into your weekly and daily plan. Can you delegate or share time consuming tasks you don't have to perform yourself to achieve your daily, weekly or monthly goals?
1. Dell Technologies. Remote Productivity Series from Dell Technologies Services. 5 questions to ask about enabling a remote workforce. Retrieved 18 February 2021, from https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-us/remote-work/index.htm#pdf-overlay=/en-us/collaterals/unauth/briefs-handouts/solutions/5-questions-to-ask-about-enabling-a-remote-workforce-is2101g0017-016.pdf
2. Craig, Susan. Yonder. 7 Tips for Organizing Your Remote Working Space at Home. Retrieved 20 February 2021, from https://www.yonder.io/post/2019/12/5/advice-for-organizing-your-remote-working-space-at-home
3. Flexjobs. Find a better way to work. What to Wear When Working From Home. Retrieved 20 February, 2021, from https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-wardrobe-tips/