If you are among the estimated 4.3 million Australian workers who have been working remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions, you may be struggling with focus, motivation, and how to stay engaged when working virtually.
During this time we have been on a listening tour with our clients. We are hearing that after many months of remote work, the novelty of the collective experience is now wearing off, and many are finding it hard to sustain motivation and positivity.
We are hearing that in some cases people are working longer hours to meet increased demand, in other cases their hours and responsibilities have been reduced. Some are struggling to manage home and life boundaries and others just suffering from isolation.
At Ariel we have been studying remote working for many years. Here are some ideas to stay engaged when working virtually.
Ideas to Stay Engaged When Working Virtually
Stay focused and tuned in
It’s up to you to be present in the moment and also be aware if you’re feeling disconnected or isolated. If you are struggling, take a moment to reach out, and access any health and well-being services your company offers.
Maintain a routine
One of the best ways to stay engaged and focused is to establish and maintain a regular routine. Plan out your day with a regular work start and finish time, exercise, and social time. Ensure the daily work goals you set are realistic and can be checked off so you can feel a sense of achievement.
Because you won’t always be able to rely on face-to-face interactions when you have ideas or concerns you want to get across, your ability to communicate with presence – communicate in a clear, compelling way – is more important than ever.
Be open with trusted colleagues and managers about how you’re feeling. Discuss challenges and your workload, and consider the type of support from your manager or team that can help.
Take advantage of the tools
Email is great, but don’t let it be your sole method of contact. Verbal (phone) and visual (Skype, Zoom and other web conference) communications as frequently as possible.
Set clear deliverables
Ensure that you understand what you’re expected to deliver, and that it includes work you find motivating. Discussions or clarification from your manager can help you feel valued and find meaning in day to day work. Also understanding how your contribution fits into team goals or the bigger organisational picture can help you feel valued.
Don’t let your imagination get the best of you
Without context there’s a tendency to “fill in the blanks” of what’s going on. Any time you notice that happening, it’s a warning sign that you need to reach out and get into conversation with others.
Undertake ‘Working in a Remote Environment’ Training
There are some great virtual courses for team members that provide guidance on how to conduct yourself remotely and show up with confidence and authenticity in a virtual environment.
Take Time for Yourself
Be kind to yourself both in terms of work and your personal life. Take regular breaks, maintain an exercise and health routine, and ensure you stay connected with family and friends.
Ariel Group Australia’s online Working in an Engaging Remote Environment course will help you to harness your virtual presence to connect authentically with remote audiences. From phone calls and web conferences to video chats and presentations, you’ll learn how to show up with confidence and authenticity. Contact us today to find