Recently, the demand for remote work has been higher than ever. While some employees thrive immediately in a remote environment, others may struggle with the self-motivation and change in structure while working from home. Therefore, it’s essential to properly plan and prepare before transitioning to a remote work environment. While the employer or manager needs to create the framework for a successful remote transition, the employee is also responsible for creating a suitable work environment.
First and foremost, to be able to work outside of the office, employees need to be able to remotely connect to all systems required to complete their job functions.
- Work with your employer and your IT department to set up remote access. Ensure that you have tested access to each connection required to perform your job functions prior to transitioning to working remotely.
- Find out from your employer which equipment and resources will be provided by the company and which will be your responsibility (e.g., computer, printer, internet fee, phone).
- Learn what the contingency plan is in the event of computer or software downtime. Have IT contact information and help desk hours readily available.
Create a designated workspace at home. Whether this is a dedicated office or a desk in your bedroom, ensure you have a specific area set up for working. The office space should be ergonomically correct with a comfortable chair. If possible, have dual monitors set up and placed at the appropriate height to avoid neck strain. Your workspace at home should have similar components as the workspace in the office with all resources and manuals easily accessible. Ensure you have security methods for handling PHI (e.g., paper shredder, locking filing cabinet, screen lock on PC).
As much as possible, limit distractions in your home office. Create a quiet environment to work and focus. Let friends and family know that you are not to be disturbed during working hours.
Self-motivation and accountability are some of the most critical factors to successfully working from home. There are many strategies for holding yourself accountable.
- Understand the goals and expectations of your employer.
- Create your own individual goals.
- Develop personal methods for self-motivation and a way to monitor your progress towards your goals.
- Use a calendar and create a plan each week to complete assigned work
- Find a balance between work and personal life. Having a designated workspace at home also means that you should be able to “leave the office” at the end of the day by walking away from that space.