Remote Working with Patrick Parker
Patrick has been with Rockwell Automation 7 years now but previously served in the US Navy. He started out as an electronics technician then moved on to dealing with nuclear systems in aircraft. He is now a reliability professional and has 13 years work experience in his field. Patrick works from home. This is not new to him since working on a ship is similar to working from home.
In this episode:
- What is the definition of remote working
- What makes remote working effective
- What Contributes to The Ineffectiveness of Remote Working
- What Changes can people make to their home office effective
… and so much more!
What is the definition of remote working? There are two things involved. There is working outside your normal environment and working away from your team mates.
So what makes remote working effective or what can be done to make it more effective? There are three Cs to answer this question.
Working from home creates an odd feeling because the rest of your personal life is integrated into your professional life. You therefore need to be consistent with a schedule. It might have a rough start depending on the kind of work you have to do. By being consistent, you will not need to react to the personal environment
You have to separate yourself if working remotely. You are working outside your normal work environment hence the need to figure out how to work efficiently. Separate yourself from the outside noise whether in a hotel room, in your house or aeroplane. Create a space where you will be free to be to work. That is what we call compartmentalization.
You need to increase your communication with your boss or your team because now you do not have that physical interactivity. Communication enhances effectiveness.
What Contributes to The Ineffectiveness of Remote Working?
The opposite of the three Cs.
For example, you want to have family time outside your work schedule. The act of balancing all these and taking out the noise can become cumbersome. You should take into account the technology you use. A laptop on the couch is not as effective as setting up space with good monitors. You should also ensure there are no distractions. Work life balance should be there especially now that we are dealing with COVID -19.
Communicate your schedule to your family. You can use a chalkboard in the kitchen especially if your day is really busy so that everyone keeps away.
What Changes can people make to their home office effective?
Have your own room that is dedicated for work purposes. Be in your own zone even if it’s your couch. Find what works for you. There are those who work from the kitchen table.
If you are going to make your home office more effective, try to get away from the distraction and noise as much as you can. Ensure that you are comfortable. Limit all the distractions available to you in your working space such as a games console.
What Tools can be used to improve Collaboration and Communication
What can beginners do?
It all leans back to the technology plus the platforms that your company has as well. Mind maps and planners are great. Another tool is Smart Sheet. It’s great for managing tasks. You can use Skype or Zoom.
Keep the relationship going while communicating. Ask your team mates how their weekend was. It shows that you care and are trying to be more connected with the people you are talking with. Take the time to share yourself. It adds impact. Using your webcam helps you get visual cues. Seeing people’s expressions can help you make the work more effective.
How do we make remote meetings more effective?
Have set agendas
This will help people understand what they are showing up to and why.
Use your camera
This enables you to see your team and if they are truly supportive of what you are undertaking. Get your team good webcams.
Know how the tools work
Understand the platform you are using before using it for meetings.
Some of these platforms automatically turn your camera on. That is why you should be well prepared and not get caught in your pajamas.
No matter where you are, make sure you have that dedicated space where you can work. Do not eat in your office. Find a place where you can make things happen.
If you are stuck in your house and feel like you are stuck at work, there is a problem.
Will this change how businesses operate long term?
Businesses are already headed there. They are going to figure out where this works and where it does not because the physical interaction piece is still important. Companies will learn and see where the efficiency applies.
There will be more of remote working going on from now. You can work a few days in the actual office and the rest of the days remotely. This will call for a lot of trust from the employers.
Find out what works for you the best and go with it. Set up reminders, figure out how you can compartmentalize. Communicate and figure out what you can do better with your team and your family so that they understand what the constraints are.
Patrick Parker Links:
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