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Coping with Covid-19 - the Business Response

Mission: remote! How to be successful at work (and help to save the world at the same time)

By Joanna Bilińska, PR & marketing assistant, and Bartosz Mordaka CoE deputy director, Digital Platforms, Cognifide
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Remote work is the new reality for some of us, as an answer to the imposition of new restrictions connected with the global pandemic.

Even if we had been working with people from all over the world before and we thought that we’d mastered the art of remote work, we now face many more challenges caused by isolation: the lack of proper tools, need for personal contact as well as possible psychological anxiety. The global situation is changing rapidly, and we are all wondering what can we do to change our working methods to make it all easier and more efficient right now. Of course, the need to respect the requirements of the new reality is paramount now – in terms of our health, as well as the wealth of our community, business and the global economy. Where are we in this overall picture and how can we actually make a positive contribution? Check out a few tips and tricks for a successful work-from-home mission – and maybe help to save the world at the same time!

Mind & Bodyhow can I take care of myself while working at home?
You may well feel confused – we all do. The first thing you can is just accept it – all your stress, bewilderment and distraction. The situation we’re all in is new – we’re in this together, but all of us need to find the best, individual way to cope with our emotions. When you’re ready for acceptance – start working on it. Think casually about your day and try to adapt your daily routine to the new circumstances.

Start from the beginning – if you like picking out some fancy clothes or doing your makeup before going to work, dress up for your home office as well. What about the time spent daily on commuting? Are you used to reading a book on the bus, or maybe listening to your favourite podcast while driving to the office? Schedule some time for things that used to be part of your day. It doesn’t matter if it happens before or after work – what really matters is to keep up your regular lifestyle. If you’re an active person and miss your gym, look out for some online workouts – there are more and more opportunities on the web: live gym streaming or online classes via your laptop camera. It is extremely important to move our body a little bit – especially when we don’t have so many chances to walk down the street as normal. Remember as well to make short breaks during the workday just to stretch and give your muscles a bit of relaxation.

Create the best space for working at home. If you’re used to two or three screens – agree with the office if you can borrow them for home. Use your favourite equipment, do your best to make a comfortable and ergonomic place to work. If necessary, talk to your family or flatmates about setting out some ground rules that will help you all be respectful about each other’s needs.

While working at home remember about some small habits that are easy to forget about at home – like, for example, drinking water or eating regularly.

Feeling better? Let’s move on to the next level!

My team – how can we work together when we're not together?
Taking care of yourself will surely have a good influence on your team – sharing positive vibes and a smile can make others feel better and support them. Try to have short, everyday meetings with your colleagues – maybe a remote morning coffee? Stay in touch, remember about updates and schedule meetings. If possible always turn your camera on – or in the event of a poor Internet connection – simply turn the vision on while saying hello. It extremely important to remove barriers and make the remote meeting as personal as possible.

Organise your team’s work around the ‘remote-first’ idea and let technology take the strain. You can find new tools that might develop your workflow and communication in the team. A good idea for improving teamwork while working remotely is to create shared documents and notes. It is always beneficial to have a base we can refer to – with home office, it’s even more essential. This is not an environment where we can easily take advantage of tribal knowledge, get some fast advice or have a quick discussion – that’s why written data can save us from having to search for answers via several calls with different people. Remote work is also a good opportunity for all of us to develop the habit of creating specific documentation – something that could be extremely useful in the future, if remote work becomes necessary again or you just got into it and fancy some more.

At Cognifide we've discovered several ways to take care of well-being and positive attitude among our teams. Each week we release a company newsletter with useful tips and tricks regarding remote work. We schedule sets of meetings open to everyone in the company to support wellness – lectures with a dietician, physiotherapist or psychologist. We’ve even organised a fully remote internal conference focused on developing leadership skills. We care about communication and offer regular updates about what’s going on at the company in terms of the global situation. Once a month, we offer a global presentation from our CEO, Leigh Gammons. We’ve recently discovered and promoted a lot of remote opportunities to encourage people in their self-development and training.

Remember to be more empathic and understanding while meeting people remotely. You all have different backgrounds and family situations. You’re dealing with different challenges. Be respectful and open to various perspectives.

Got a plan for pleasant and efficient teamwork? Perfect! Let’s move forward.

Business – how can I make sure my remote work is efficient enough and makes a positive contribution to my company?

If you feel good, know how to cooperate with your team more positively despite the physical distance, you’re already doing great! What else you can do to make sure that you’re improving your home office work outcomes?

Start with the conviction that remote work is still work. Often we can hear opinions that home office is not as effective as a regular day at the workplace. It doesn’t have to be like that. The current situation is the best opportunity to learn how to do remote work properly. When you’re more confident with the home-office situation, start working on your new processes. Remember to schedule your time – including breaks and team meetings. A good plan can help you cope with all your work and a host of calls. To avoid a constant current stream of phone and video calls, schedule in some slots dedicated to your own planned goals. ‘Desk time’ also works during home office even though all your meetings start from the same desk. Think more about flexible work-time opportunities – maybe you need a longer break in the afternoon and work a little bit more in the evening? Talk with your team and discover the best work-time balance for you.

Remember about self-discipline – you’re the boss in your home office but this also means carrying the boss’s responsibility!

The World – does it all really matter?
So, following these suggestions gives you a chance to remain healthy and positive – someone who is part of an integrated and effective team, one which is working towards successful handling of the overall situation. Assuming that the company is made up of 400 people (positive and healthy) in 40 teams (integrated and doing their best) we’ve just discovered a big community that makes a positive impact on their company. A healthy and growing company makes a positive impact on the global economy. You do matter. As well as your daily decisions.

Ready for the mission?

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