A recent survey conducted by staffing specialist Walters People revealed that 93% of Belgian employees would like to work from home at least one day a week, preferably on a day of their choice. Flexible working hours are also popular, to maintain an optimal work-life balance.
But how efficient is working from home now that we are once again chained to the kitchen table or our home office? Maud Deweer, senior manager at staffing specialist Walters People, outlines 3 important skills for efficient working from home.
Tip 1: Show discipline
Working from home is only effective if you show discipline. Maud: "Be proactive and do not wait until the work is assigned to you. Do you have a weekly call set-up with your manager? Be prepared for this online meeting and keep your objectives and planning for the week on hand. Discuss regularly with your manager what you are working on and show at the end of the day what you have done.
At the same time, make sure you are prepared to come to the office if necessary. Once we’re allowed to go to the office for several days again, be flexible in deciding when you work from home and which days you go to the office."
Tip 2: Build online relationships
As we will continue to work partly from behind our kitchen table, it is important to keep in touch with colleagues. "Try to use the phone or an online video tool like Teams or Zoom instead of email to discuss day-to-day business," says Maud. "And don't forget to have a chat occasionally. In meetings on Teams or Zoom, we tend to get straight to the point. But it's important to discuss less serious matters sometimes as well."
Do you sometimes experience that online conversations aren’t going as smoothly as you want them to be, because of a language barrier? Do not hesitate to ask your manager about language courses to improve these skills. There are numerous (free) online courses available that facilitate efficient homeworking.
Tip 3: Maintain etiquette
Take an online meeting or job interview just as seriously as you would an offline meeting. "After almost two years of working from home, our consultants still regularly interview candidates who are on the bus or in the train or they hear a dog barking or children playing around them. Working from home with children can be tricky but show your interviewer that you are prepared for the online meeting. It may sound silly, but make sure you’re seated at a table and not on the sofa or in your bed, and wear what you usually where when going to the office. Put your mobile phone on mute and close all unnecessary applications on your PC to avoid being distracted by pop-up messages or emails during your online meeting. And last but not least: turn your camera on and show the best of you,” concludes Maud.