So how’s the rāhui treating you? If you’re not an essential service worker (salute) and you’re working from home, then it’s probably been a bit… weird. It certainly has been for us.

And us many of us come to terms with turning our bedrooms into makeshift office for the foreseeable future and seeing our colleagues in their pyjamas for morning meetings, some of us might be finding the stark reality a bitter pill to swallow. If you’ve never experienced working from home before, it can be a daunting and lonely prospect and it takes a bit of getting used to.

You might have all the latest communication tools and online working spaces, but the success of WFH is ultimately up you. Luckily for you, two masterminds, Roberta and Nathan J. Sawatzky have sussed out the key to success in a virtual, technological environment and published it in their report, Remote Work: Competencies and Motivation. Here are 8 areas to consider to make the most out of your home office.

Cups of tea at the ready and let’s dive straight in!

 

Communication
Whilst working remotely, you might feel like you’re dropping too many messages, asking too many questions and being a goddamn nuisance by distracting your colleagues. But this is simply part of remote working. Remember, you can’t do a 360 in your swivel chair to ask a small question.

How is anyone going to know you’re struggling if you don’t communicate with them? Embrace the over-sharing and raise queries succinctly to avoid confusion.

 

Self-Motivation
Now seems like the most opportune time to organise your sock drawer and come to think of it, your pantry deserves some love. Staying motivated whilst WFH is a battlefield.

Without your boss giving you work to do you might slip into an unproductive state. To combat this, make work for yourself and solve potential problems before they’re an issue.

 

@dogsworkingfromhome

Trustworthiness
To all the managers out there, micromanaging your team through digital mediums is a sure way to dampen motivation. You have to trust that they’re working just as hard (unless evidence proves otherwise) and make sure to celebrate wins together.

And seeing as you can’t share cake, send cake emojis instead!

 

Discipline
Possibly the most difficult to navigate is self-discipline. The sock drawer and pantry can wait; now’s the time to organise your time. Try dividing your day into manageable blocks with plenty of short breaks in between. Work out a reward system that treats you to breaks, walks, chocolate, whatever floats your boat really.

 

Curiosity & Critical Thinking
You might be in the habit of disturbing your colleague in the next desk whenever a problem raises its ugly head and unless you’ve moved in with them, you’re on your own now. But use this as an opportunity to exercise your own intellect and solve problems yourself; you learn so much more if you do.

 

And if you can’t solve it alone, you can still contact your team! Win win!

 

Adaptability
Lack of face-to-face communication means that projects and tasks can do massive U-turns and change focus completely. In depth discussions aren’t exactly convenient over Slack, so you need to be ready to (as an Australian surfer once said) “go with the flow duuuuuude.”

It can be hella frustrating, but you’re going to cause yourself more aggro by fighting big decisions.

 

Accountability
It’s essential that you can account for your time. You can’t be judged on your dedication by turning up to work anymore. The only way your colleagues can see you’re being productive is by the work you’re doing.

Slacking off can also affect the overall morality of a team so make sure you meet deadlines, tune into meetings and fulfil commitments. Lecture over.

 

Empathy
Last but not least is empathy which is especially important considering the crisis we’re now facing. If a colleague seems ‘off’ check in with them and if they haven’t met their deadline ask about their general wellbeing. You can’t get them a real one so send them a virtual tea instead.

If you’re struggling with your new working situation, rest assured you aren’t the only one. Stay connected, stay empathetic and most importantly, stay home.