Good habits for remote work

    Business Spotlight Audio 4/2020
    Illustration: Zwei Häuser schwimmen auf dem Wasser; ein Mensch sieht durch ein Fernrohr aus dem Fenster
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    Transcript: Good habits

    Hello. This is David Creedon standing in for Ken Taylor. In his latest Business Skills article, Bob Dignen proposes ten habits to help you to optimize your way of working remotely — for example, from home. In this first exercise, we’ll look at some of those habits. First, I’ll tell you the proposed habit. Then, I’ll ask you a question connected to this habit. In the following pause, you answer based on your experience. Then you will hear Bob’s ideas. You can compare your ideas with his. OK? Ready?

    1. Here’s the first habit: think positively. What advantages could working virtually offer to your organization?
      Bob suggests the following advantages: reduced commuting timeFahr-, Pendelzeitcommuting times, a lower environmental impacthier: Beeinträchtigung der Umweltenvironmental impact from road and air travel, and the ability to appeal to the preferences of young-generation talents.
    2. OK. Here’s a second habit: stay connected. What could team leaders do to reduce the feeling of isolation felt by remote workerMitarbeiter(in), der/die nicht vom Büro aus arbeitetremote workers in their team?
      Bob suggests that a team leader should communicate the organization’s goalZielgoals clearly and actively and inspire others with the help of a compellingüberzeugendcompelling vision. And they should encourage all team members to to touch base with sb. (ifml.)sich mit jmdm. in Verbindung setzentouch base regularly with other remote workers to help to maintain sth.etw. aufrechterhaltenmaintain emotional connections.
    3. Good. Now, here’s a third habit: set your own agendaTagesordnung; hier: Tagesplanagenda. How can you best structure your working day at home?
      Bob suggests you create a focused home space in which to work — without interruptions, disciplining oneself to begin and end work, taking regular breakPausebreaks and maintaining full focus on work even when there are urgentdringendurgent home duties and other distractionAblenkungdistractions.
    4. OK. Here’s a fourth habit. Take decisions on decisions. If everyone in the team is working remotely, how might this have a negative effect on your collaborativegemeinschaftlichcollaborative decision-making process?
      Bob says that it may be more difficult to get everyone involved. Decisions may suddenly need to be taken by individuals or a minority rather than the team as a whole. Those who are suddenly excluded from decision-making may be offendedbeleidigt,gekränktoffended and become demotivated. Discuss the matter openly.
    5. Right, here’s a final habit: get technical. Which technical skills do you need to improve in order to work more effectively remotely?
      Bob says that you will need the ability to manage low-tech problems — what we might call “glitchPanne, Störungglitch management”.  This includes, for example, being able to manage an important phone call which constantly disconnects, handling a conference callTelefonkonferenzconference call where one of the most important participants is hardly audiblehörbaraudible or maintaining a videoconference which has a two-second time lagVerzögerungtime lag in the voice communication.

    Many people are suddenly having to adapt to the challenges of working remotely, often in isolation from home. Bob Dignen’s latest article gives lots of helpful tips on what to think about if this happens to you.

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