After nearly a decade of remote working, Wissam Amid, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Xische considers himself a fan, because it “gives you the freedom to focus, and buys you time”. However he admits there are a number of pitfalls you need to avoid, to avoid your staff feeling lonely and out on a limb. Here are his top tips.
1. The first 4 to 5 days of working from home are crucial; you need to set up a routine. When you was up in the morning, people love working in pyjamas, but you should get dressed. Make sure you wear your shoes, even if you’re working from home. It gets you in the mental headspace that you are in the office.
2. Create a dedicated workspace. Do not sit on the bed or couch to work.
3. As a CEO you need to think about your people first, and then your systems, and then finally your policies. You need to have a remote first mindset. No matter what you do, you should do it in a way that allows you to communicate with someone sitting 1000 miles away, as if they’re right next to you.
4. Enable easy collaboration and file everything centrally using apps like Dropbox or Google Docs. Use platforms like Slack and Zoom, which allow you to communicate with teams all across the world.
5. Always keep in mind that you’re talking to humans beings. For good communication, you need to have deep empathy and patience, because technology will fail every now and then.
6. Accept that things will take a little more time. You may have to over-communicate as oppose to just communicate in order to get the right message across.
7. Build trust by sharing ‘To Do Lists’ centrally, so your workload is transparent, and there's accountability.
8. Encourage your employees to feel part of a work community by creating a ‘fun topic’ chat channel, where you share memes and cat videos - anything that is not relevant to work. Recently we've started using video as well, to be able to connect better with each other during these difficult times.
9. Accept that working from home is the new world order, and the children are off school. Embrace the fact that your kids might run and jump on you during a conference call. It’s okay. Bosses should accept that it might happen and encourage openness from the top down.
10. Make a distinction between work and when you’re off duty. You need to be able to disconnect from work, so set yourself a time, and walk out of the house. Five minutes, 30 minutes, whatever it is, that’s your break point. Then return home, as if you’re coming back from work.
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