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Best Practices for Working Remotely

Set yourself up for success

As much as possible, stick to a regular schedule. This makes it easier to stay on track and helps collaboration with colleagues.

Find a spot where you can PDF fileset yourself up ergonomically. Before getting started, do a check for any hazardous interference, ensure working smoke detectors and make sure you have first aid supplies.

Try to find a specific room or surface for work and if possible try to keep it a designated work space. Consider how you might arrange your workspace to improve your productivity. If needed:

  • rearrange furniture, 
  • use adequate lighting, 
  • gather all your equipment and supplies together, 
  • declutter often, 
  • choose an area away from noise and other disturbances (if possible).

Maintain a schedule and designated space, especially when working alongside those you live with. Communicate your work hours, meetings and schedule for the day. This can help establish boundaries and expectations for your availability and need for privacy.

Wellbeing is more important than ever as we work from home. Keep these wellbeing tips in mind to ensure you are taking care of yourself mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Let your teammates know when you’ll be available. Give them a heads up on when you’re starting and finishing your day, or if you’re taking a break.

It can be easy to overwork when you aren’t physically leaving an office each day. Find something that works for you to signal the end of the work day - for example meditating, listening to music, reading a magazine or exercising.

Maintain regular communication with your colleagues 

It’s easy to take working relationships for granted! Check in with your colleagues on both work and life the same way you would if you were in the office together. Don’t stick to just email. Connect over the phone, Google Hangouts or Google Meet to connect with one another.

Emotionally proofread your messages. Always re-read your message for tone and clarity before hitting send. For example, sending “Let’s talk” when you mean “These are good suggestions, let’s discuss how to work them into the draft” may make the recipient unnecessarily anxious.

Set up successful meetings. Virtual meetings require careful preparation and attention to inclusive methods of contributing.

Leverage technology. Google Suite allows teams to collaborate easily and keep everyone up-to-date. For safety reasons, employees cannot meet with clients or coworkers at their home, or provide their home phone number or address to conduct work from home. Connect with clients or coworkers using Google Hangouts or Google Meet.

Contribute to a positive team culture

  • Give a virtual tour and context. It is helpful for team members to share a bit about their home workspace and context. Each person is managing their own unique set of possible distractions (e.g. barking dogs, noisy passing trucks, kids, etc.). This context can help colleagues have an understanding and appreciation for each person’s constraints. 
  • Practice inclusivity. Everyone has different levels of comfort working remotely and with technology. Be patient with one another as we transition and adjust to remote work. Offer help to those struggling with technology.
  • Consider these tips to foster a positive team culture:
    • To build trust: don’t micromanage teammates
    • To build transparency: provide access and updates on projects
    • To build openness: be vulnerable in meetings, and ask for help

Work with your leader to identify goals and prioritize assignments from home

Be creative and suggest tactics to your leader about how you can carry out your work in different ways.

Set goals and proactively communicate results to your leader.

Create to-do lists to stay on track and minimize distractions.

Establish check-ins with your leader. Working remotely might mean less frequent contact with your leader. Check in with them to set expectations and timelines.

Ask for support when you need it. Despite possibly having less supervision and direction from time to time, ask for support from your leader when you need it.

Learn a new skill

During this time when the majority of staff are working remotely we recognize that some staff may not have full workloads given the nature of their positions. This is a great opportunity for you and your leader to review personal development goals.

All employees have access to LinkedIn Learning, which is an on-demand learning solution designed to help learners gain new skills. LinkedIn Learning offers a customized learning experience that features instructional content relevant to the learner's professional interests and goals. Employees have unlimited access to over 11,000 courses offerings, which cover technical skills/programming, business strategies, project management, as well as soft skills.  

To access LinkedIn Learning, login to my.ryerson.ca and click on Apps on the top menu. Scroll down and select LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com), external link. The system will ask you to create your LinkedIn Learning profile at the first time you log in. You can choose to connect your own LinkedIn account with Ryerson LinkedIn Learning to access the courses from your own LinkedIn profile, though this is not required. 

If you need help with setting up your account, visit Ryerson LinkedIn Learning website or contact the Computing and Communications Help Desk at help@ryerson.ca who can assist you with questions regarding your eligibility for access and provide assistance with initial registration.