Remote but fully connected – how to stay productive while working from home

Remote but fully connected –advice on how to stay productive while working from home

Anil Monteiro (Monty), VP and Global Head – People and Academy, Tecnotree

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, those of us who can work from home are discovering the full potential of technology as it enables us to carry out almost all our usual responsibilities. And although many people do choose to work remotely as a more flexible and convenient alternative to travelling to the office, it has suddenly become mandatory and we must adapt quickly to maintain business as usual as far as possible. Our core management team, led by our CEO Padma, is meeting remotely every day to monitor the global situation. We have increased online collaboration facilities throughout the company, extending full support to all employees including, among other things, robust Internet connectivity and access to multiple communications platforms to ensure everyone is fully connected and capable of receiving and sharing information.

Positive trends emerging

Tecnotree employees are doing an excellent job in ensuring customer support is seamless and process and services continue uninterrupted and are coping well with the unprecedented situation. Although working remotely, our people continue to be highly responsive. Obviously, we are in regular contact with all our teams – we have had many interesting discussions and insights into the effects of working from home, and there are some positives emerging.

Despite solitary working conditions, our teams are interacting and collaborating more, not less. With no physical meetings, our people are more available via online groups and applications. Team managers are embracing the opportunity to get to know team members better and gain an insight into individual personalities and lives, something that we hope will serve to strengthen working relationships going forward. On a personal level, our employees who are no longer commuting and who have families are able to spend more time with them. This is contributing to maintaining high morale and can also have positive mental health effects.

Maintaining routines

The key to staying focused when working from home is to replicate as far as possible the same routine as if we are still office-based, so observing the same working hours, with to-do lists reviewed first thing and the working day scheduled according to calls and deliverables.

Our daily Scrum helps us stay connected to ensure clarity of priorities and deliverables, and to discuss any specific issues. Remote conferencing may be new to many, and it can be daunting to speak up, but our colleagues are still the same people, even if we are no longer all in the same office, so don’t be shy about participating and asking questions.

Think proactively about health and exercise. It’s no longer possible to walk around the office to chat with colleagues, to discuss the latest events around the watercooler. Instead, schedule a five-minute break every two hours to stretch your legs and have a coffee or glass of water, and ensure you take a proper lunch break – it’s important to step away from that screen!

Finally, no commuting means more time for ourselves, or with our families. Let’s put that time to good use. This could include discovering new fitness routines, digging out old board games, learning a new language, tackling jobs in the garden for those lucky enough to have one, or simply relaxing with some good conversation or that book waiting to be read.

I believe that positive mindset and easy adaptation to new way of working are the right recipe to successfully maintain business stability while working from home. Only by adopting this mentality we create the ground for opportunities and can be better prepared to come through this challenging period.

A senior HR professional and leader with over 25 years of experience, Anil Peter Monteiro, Vice President and Global Head of Human Resources, Tecnotree Corporation, has proven record of accomplishments in building strategic partnerships with business to make ‘People Function’ a key differentiator for fuelling business growth, profitability and increased employee engagement.