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[Others] Tips for Smart Working

With the impact of the coronavirus(COVID-19) and the arrival of new employees in April, smart working (telework/remote working) is on the rise. Since SOPHOLA does a lot of business with overseas companies, there have been many situations close to remote work with video conferencing, but I would like to take this opportunity to summarize my experience with remote work.

<What we need to do>.
– Create a schedule
Set up meeting/consultation times with clients and colleagues in advance and work around/adjust to the schedule. If you don’t do this, you’ll surprisingly never finish the job.

– Confirmation of the work environment
Check where you work and around your desk. When having a teleconference, etc., it is a good idea to consider your surroundings and move to a place where you will be able to hear only yourself talking. And do not to go the place to hear noises from the outside. These days, microphones pick up external sound as well, so it may be difficult for the other person to hear your voice, even if your environment is good. It is also recommended that you put away any temptations around your desk (books, hobby tools, etc.) because it is hard to concentrate.

– Use of meeting tools
There are many tools such as Hangout, Zoom, Microsoft teams, etc. It’s a good idea to use the tools that your clients use, but it’s recommended that you first decide which tools use as your company’s main or individual tool. In addition, since some tools have characteristics such as “hard to hear” or “poor image quality of shared materials”, it is a good idea to use multiple tools depending on the situation.
*For example: Use Hangout to share documents (voice off), use other tools such as Zoom or LINE for voice.

– Utilization of gadgets
A microphone/speaker attached to a laptop computer can cause howling and other problems when multiple people are attending a meeting from the same room. In this case, it is best to provide a multi-microphone/speaker for the meeting, or have each person join the meeting from an individual room. It is also recommended to use earphones or individual microphones to make the conversation clearer and to facilitate the meeting even if you participate in the meeting individually.

<What we should be careful of>
– Indeterminate work/procedure
It’s easy to consult and report a problem when you’re working on a routine job, but when you’re working on an irregular job, it’s often difficult to consult and report when you’re working remotely. If you are working on an indeterminate task and need to confirm it, it is better to schedule short meetings frequently to reduce stress for the worker and confirmers.

– Derivation of work from small talk and chit-chat with company colleagues
In the course of talking in an office, you may be asked to discuss new business or follow up with members, but since the opportunities for talking are reduced when working remotely, it is recommended that you consciously keep in touch through chat.

– Don’t have more than one person talking at the same time during a meeting
You need to be careful in face-to-face meetings also, but in a web conference, if several people are talking at the same time, you won’t be able to understand what anyone is saying. Wait for someone else to finish speaking, or say a word, “May I have a moment?” It’s easier to go ahead with the meeting if you break it up with the following words

It’s hard to get used to working remotely, but you can use your time more efficiently if you make it well, so please take this opportunity to look for a different way of working. Also, it’s not that the traditional way of working is inferior. I think it’s important to adjust the way your work style and find a way that works for each of you.