Many of us are still adjusting to working from home during this challenging time. Looking for guidance, we asked Ex Libris employees with years of experience working remotely for their advice.
Here are the three tips they agreed are central to making your work-from-home day a success.
1. Keep communications plentiful and flexible
Martin Büscher, Senior Support Director at Ex Libris EMEA, notes, “Communication is super-critical when working in remote teams. My advice is to communicate a lot, even more than you think is absolute necessary and more than you would usually do when working in an office. You may even want to ‘over-communicate’ to a certain degree – you may need to repeat information so that everyone is on the same page.
Agree with your coworkers and teammates on the best media for communication. It may be different per team and situation. When working in ‘isolation mode’ like in the current situation video conferences can be a nice tool to stay in touch.”
Working from home successfully is about setting things up so that your space and your habits work for you, not some random person on the Internet!
Shelley Hostetler, Senior Director of Customer Success adds, “I don’t know anyone who loves videoconferencing, but it matters. Seeing faces, reading expressions – it all has a much bigger impact on communication than we may like to think and it can actually be comforting to the person on the other side. Be willing to turn that video camera on as often as possible.”
When managing others, Shelley notes, it’s important to stay flexible. “When managing employees who are remote, it’s important to be available in different ways. Some prefer phone, some chat, some email. Your preferences matter too, but remember that you may have employees in different locales with different stressors, so it is good to be flexible and offer ways of interacting that meet their needs.”
2. Set clear boundaries
Katy Aronoff, Senior Director of Solutions Architecture, emphasizes the importance of boundaries, both physical and mental. “You need to ask yourself — when are you working and when are you not working? Where do you work and where do you not? When do you start working and when you do stop working?”
Also, Katy adds, “Remember to take breaks and find a routine that works for you. Working from home successfully is about being honest with yourself and setting things up so that your space and your habits work for you, not some random person on the Internet!”
3. Keep a clear schedule and a healthy routine
Shelley notes, “Routine matters. People have different preferences in terms of how they start the day. Some people still dress for the office, for example. Others may journal or meditate in the morning. The important thing is to have some routine to transition yourself into (and out of!) work mode.”
Martin adds, “Stick to a clear schedule with your managers and colleagues, but also with yourself. Having kids at home may be challenging and sometimes require more flexibility in terms of work hours but I recommend you agree on certain core working hours with your colleagues and managers. Avoid the danger of staying online at work because you are already ‘at home.’ Take regular breaks and if possible, get outside and enjoy fresh air at least once a day.”
We hope that these tips help you stay productive and sane while working from home, and look forward to the day we can all meet again!
April 30, 2020