Last year’s COVID-19 health crisis introduced remote working as the new normal in the global work landscape. Communication technologies expediated this transition and helped employees to continue working during the lockdown.
Many companies still allow employees to work remotely, at least partially. Most remote workers report increased productivity, contrary to what many think. Many surveys also show that most job seekers prefer the option of working remotely.
However, remote workers must adopt certain ethical practices to set themselves up for success. Here are some ethical guidelines to help you turn in quality work when working remotely.Set up a daily work schedule.
The only difference between working remoting and commuting should be that you are working from home. In all other ways, your work schedule should not change much. Setting up a daily work schedule and sticking to it helps you develop a sense of structure and consistency.
Do not skimp on your sense of punctuality, diligence to tasks, and teamwork. You owe it to yourself, your teammates, and your employers to not be a ‘blocker’ and to turn in your work when you ought to.Minimise distractions as much as possible.
It is harder to minimize distractions if you are actively parenting or live in a family home. However, you can help your family members understand why you must not be disturbed while working (except in cases of emergencies).
You can also minimize distractions by having a dedicated workstation at home. Make it as comfortable as possible by investing in ergonomic office equipment and tools.
While you may not be able to physically interact with your colleagues, you should not work in complete isolation. You must connect with them regularly through proper communication channels.
This helps you collaborate better on group tasks and provide necessary updates on your work progress. Also, it is good practice to let your colleagues know when you take breaks or will be unavailable for a period.Take regular short breaks from work.
It is easy to lose yourself in your tasks and sit at your desk for hours. While you may win points for hard work, it can be harmful to your health in the long term.
Instead, take regular 10 – 15 minutes breaks after every few hours to stretch your legs and get your circulation running. You can set alarms to remind you to get up and get a healthy snack or walk around for a few minutes.Follow confidentiality and cybersecurity guidelines.
Maintaining client confidentiality and cybersecurity becomes more important when you’re working from home. Take extra security measures to protect your computers, routers and other internet-enabled devices. Also, ensure that your backup files are stored in secure locations.
When making virtual work-related calls, make sure that you cannot be overheard. Also, turn off personal assistant devices that can record your calls and unwittingly break confidentiality rules. Be wary of suspicious emails and promptly report anything that feels fishy to your work IT department.Unplug at the end of each workday.
At the end of each workday, shut down all your office work tools and move away from your workstation. Develop the habit of not answering any non-emergency work-related calls, messages, and emails. This will help you maintain a good work-life balance and reduce work-induced stress.
Remote working has several benefits for both employees and employers. These include increased productivity, saved resources on overhead costs, and more flexibility with time. However, remote workers must practice sound work ethics as a testimony to their commitment to work and reliability.