By Craig T. Bogar, Ed.D.
Faculty Director and Associate Professor of Sports Management, School of Health Sciences, American Public University
The current healthcare crisis has certainly turned the working world upside down. Instead of going to an office every day, hundreds of thousands of employees now face entirely new challenges of working remotely from home.
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Of course, people have worked with computers for years to help them do their jobs. But a much different environment exists when working on a computer from home.
Additions to the new working environment may include children, spouses, roommates or even pets. The result is more noise and fewer interactions with family or friends.
Overcoming the Challenge of Working Remotely
So how do we meet and overcome these new challenges? These 10 tips may be helpful to you if you’re working remotely for the first time:
10. Set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day and plan to start your day on a schedule. Don’t work in your pajamas.
9. If you need background noise, choose soft music without lyrics. Use headphones if you have them.
8. Use a dedicated workspace where distractions (both audio and visual) are minimal.
7. Some people who have not worked remotely before don’t understand that when you’re working with a computer, you are usually concentrating intensely. Inform family members that when they see you on the computer, it’s no different from seeing you on the phone. No interruptions, please!
6. Get up and stretch or walk around the room frequently.
5. Stay connected with your colleagues. But before calling them, instant message or text them to see they are available to take your call.
4. If someone appears on “red” in your messaging system, don’t send that person an instant message. Respect the person’s request not to be disturbed. Instead, email your co-worker to find a good time to have a conversation.
3. Schedule and take breaks, including a lunch break. Try to get some exercise during your breaks.
2. End your day about the same time each day. While it may be tempting to check your email “after hours,” don’t do it except in urgent situations.
And the top tip is:
1. When you’re in a group audio or video conference, push the mute button when you are not speaking. Unforeseen background noises can be distracting to others in the group and, unfortunately, could be embarrassing to you!
Some employees typically don’t respond well to significant changes in the work environment. With some experience and patience in working remotely, however, you can transform your remote job into greater production and higher job satisfaction. These 10 tips can assist you and other workers in the transition from a traditional office setting to a new and successful remote working environment.
About the Author
Dr. Craig Bogar earned his Doctor of Education degree in sports management from the United States Sports Academy in 2010. He is also a former dean of student services and adjunct faculty member at the Academy. Dr. Bogar also worked for several years as an adjunct faculty member and project coordinator in family medicine at the University of South Alabama in Mobile. He also served as director of athletics at the University of Mobile and at Loyola University New Orleans, where he served as athletic director from 1991 to 1999. Dr. Bogar earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University and his master’s in recreation from the University of Maryland College Park. In 2019, he was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame at Loyola University New Orleans.