With much of the professional world transitioning to remote work and the concept’s widespread acceptance among previously skeptical corporate management, the traditional idea of work-life balance is being pushed in new directions, including a work-life concept. remote life-tourism never before imagined.
Drew Sing, Manager of Fully Remote Growth Products works at a tech start-up, lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal, since the beginning of March, after a few months in London. He planned to fly back to the US in May and even booked three return flights, each with a 24h cancellation policy, but given the COVID-19 trends in the US and Europe,
“every day I spent here, I said: ‘I think I’m staying’. I think this is a safe place to stay during these unprecedented times.’”
Tips for creating a “work from home” experience accessible to everyone, which promotes quality work and avoids exceeding the recommended time for screen activity.
More and more people are transitioning to the world of remote work, we are facing a decade of new learning and ways of working: what it takes to be more productive and successful from home. When thinking about how we interact virtually with our colleagues, it is important, for example, to keep accessibility for people with disabilities in mind. One study gathered testimony from employees with disabilities on how to create virtual meetings and experiences where employees of all abilities can participate and, most importantly, feel empowered to bring their authentic selves to work. They reacted positively to the idea and left positive feedback, declaring that the last few months, since the transition to digital work, have recovered calm and the ability to focus, underline the importance of less noise in the street and a decrease in the feeling of loss of goals. Another positive point was the online presence and discovery, which allowed many social inclusion far from their appearances or sensory difficulties, facts that have no consequences in the digital world.
Get ready for productive work from home
A “home office” looks different for everyone. Employees should seek to make accommodations to meet their work needs and have a technical support tool available where they can ask their questions, without the need for physical interaction. Matters such as virtual assessments, remote subtitling and interpreting programs, etc.
The “home office” is a relatively old concept, but it has gained fame over the last few years. In fact, this model of work can be frightening and promote the feeling of “social disintegration”, or fear of losing work more quickly. However, the domestic model brings a work dynamic that promotes the quality of work rather than the number of hours spent in the office. In this way, if a good employee proves that he can do the same work he would have done in 8 hours before the pandemic, now he does it in 4 hours, he will have more time to carry out extra tasks and lead the company to success. At the same time, better performance is reflected in greater flexibility of hours, internal confidence in the company and in department heads, and overall success at work, personally and socially.
Focus on inclusion within meetings.
Remote work relies heavily on video conferencing and engagement can be challenging. Choose a platform that is compatible with multiple software and easy to access, be sure to activate it for all meetings with 50 or more people, or for smaller audiences. Ask everyone to turn on their video cameras and propose a moderator so people don’t talk about each other – it’s not just a boon for lipreaders! Also, make room for people who might not be as comfortable talking on a video call — and be sure to ask if anyone has questions near the end.
Always try to pay attention to the difficulties of other employees. Ask yourself if there are deaf, hard of hearing or blind people, if there are people with different sensitivities or who don’t get along with technology. If it’s time to talk or present something, it’s an asset to tell other colleagues not to forget to turn up the volume, put it in fullscreen and other rules that promote smooth operation on digital channels.
Understand that we all work and learn differently. Quick shifts to remote work are easier for some than others. Encourage teams to share their best working hours and block out times throughout the day for breaks and uninterrupted work, and remember that showing flexibility and compassion is a means of social integration.
COVID-19 Response: Digital Accessibility and Other Best Practices for Remote Work