These are not normal times and it’s important that we remember that we’re all human and everyone is trying their best. Stuff will happen that can’t be predicted, can’t be mitigated, and can’t be planned for.
If you’re working from home, don’t expect it to go perfectly. If you’re managing people working from home cut them some slack and show as much support as humanly possible!
We’ve all seen the famous BBC interview… and if not, here it is
IT’S OK IF YOU’RE WORKING FROM HOME AND…
- your kids start yelling in the background while you’re on a call (or they casually walk into your home office/bedroom to ask you for something).
- you accidentally forget to hit the mute button and we hear you scream across the house for those same kids to be quiet.
- you didn’t have time to shower because you had a call with the UK team at 7am and you don’t turn on the video.
- you’re new to working remotely and we can see everything in your closet behind you.
- your wifi goes down and the call drops, twice.
- the lawnmower outside or builder next door is a bit too loud for comfort.
- your dog starts barking in the middle of your sentence and suddenly you go on mute.
- your cat jumps on your lap or keyboard in the middle of a video call and you lose your train of thought.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREPARE
Modern collaboration tools are great and there are probably some things you can look out for to help the situation. Here’s where we suggest you start!
- Find out how the manage the “mute” – your collaboration tools probably have tools to help you mute one or even all of the participants on a meeting.
- Can you “blur background”? – it’s not always possible to work in a quiet and distraction free space, not everyone has a home office. Bluring the background behind you can help keep focus in the meeting and also means no one has to see the mess we all inevitably actually live in!
- Create symbols for your family – is there a sign you can put on, a light you can turn on, or a flag you can raise to show you’re family when you need quiet time to work so they can do their best to avoid disturbing at the critical moment.
- Get some headphones or earbuds ready – if there is a lot of background noise, then it’ll be potentially difficult for you both hear and be heard. Using some decent quality headphone will help on both ends! Make sure you’ve set them up correctly however in advance of the meeting. If they’re Bluetooth you may need to spend some time connecting them to your PC or phone
Finally: Organisations will have to be relaxed about this whilst people get acclimatized to remote working – whether they like it or not…
SOME LINKS TO FURTHER READING
- How to work from home: www.theverge.com/2020/3/11/21171349/remote-work-how-to-home-coronavirus-quarantine-productivity-tips
- Top 5 Tips for Remote Working – https://www.michelleharris.social/top-5-tips-for-remote-working.html
- Working Remotely in Slack: Getting Started (webinar): https://slack.com/events/webinars/working-remotely-in-slack-getting-started
- Gitlab Guide to having an all remote company: https://about.gitlab.com/company/culture/all-remote/guide/
- Tips For Running A Great Webinar: https://owncloud.more-onion.com/s/QKXDsx9YLdndyk6#pdfviewer
- OMG I’m working remotely, now what?!: http://omgwfh.com
- Best practices and tips to help you stay sane, focused and boost your productivity while working from home, a coffee shop or really anywhere in the world, because distributed teams are a reality and remote work is the future: http://www.benedikt-lehnert.de/contact
- Starter level video conferencing tips: https://workremote.us/5-advanced-video-conferencing-tips/