Many tech-reliant companies have moved towards a remote work strategy. Whilst working remotely offers many advantages, there are unique core challenges teleradiologists may face. Lonileness and isolation, over-working and reduced visibility are some of them. Let’s find out how you can solve these issues to stay happy and organised while working from home.
📖 Author: Sandra Dietrich | OpenRad team
The stay-at-home policy during Covid helped promote remote work. According to a LinkedIn statistic, 62% of the people work remotely, at least occassionally. This development also affected the medical imaging and reporting world: More and more radiologists started reporting remotely and for various institutions. The number of these so-called floaters is rising daily as working from home is convenient and brings a lot of advantages. From a company perspective, flexibility, increased productivity and business costs savings are positive outcomes of the remote work style.
However, teleradiologists are also facing unique challenges: How to get organised, how to avoid loneliness and isolation and how to avoid over-working. For remote work to work for you, getting organised is the key to success. So, whether you are a newbie at teleradiology or have been working remotely for a while, check out our three handpicked tips for working from home:
- Set up an inspiring & safe remote workspace
- Set & maintain a workday schedule
- Keep in touch with co-workers & other teleradiologists
We hope our tips will help you to stay happy, productive, socially involved as well as to create a clear divide between remote work and your personal life.
1. Set up an inspiring & safe workspace
First, make sure that you have sufficient office equipment and a good monitor with a high resolution for remote diagnostics. Position the monitor properly to avoid stiff shoulders and backpain.
Second, select a designated spot for work at home where you can focus on the tasks that need to be done. Make sure you feel comfortable in this spot and motivated. A plant or a nice coffee mug can make all the difference. Since scans are best viewed in a dark and quiet place, make sure that you can adjust the lighting in your workspace.
Third, avoid or reduce distractions to stay focused. If necessary, set up rules with the other people in your household. For instance, you could negotiate quiet times for meetings. In addition, it might be a clever idea to invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones.
Fourth, data security is vital for working remotely. Make sure all your data is backed up and stored in the cloud appropriately.
Last but not least, check out the recommended teleradiology standards for the UK with regards to data transfer, reporting, communication of results, and quality insurance.
2. Set & maintain a remote work day schedule
When it comes to setting and maintaining a workday schedule, organisation and self-discipline are essential to stay focused as a teleradiologist. Plan and structure your remote workday, create a daily routine and stick to it. The aim is to maintain regular hours, avoid over-working and concentrate on your work goals.
Create a schedule
Find out what your best hours to work are. Are you more productive in the mornings, afternoons or in evenings? Make sure your work day structure covers your favourite and most productive hours. In addition, find a good balance between working blocks and breaks. When it is time for a break, go outside for a walk, move your body, and catch enough natural light.
Once you have set a remote work schedule, discipline yourself to get daily tasks completed, to meet your targets, and to stick to your schedule. It is a good idea to create a to-do list and update it regularly. Also, set deadlines and keep them. And do not forget to celebrate each point you can tick off your to-do list.
Another important aspect of remote working is to avoid being available 24/7 by really sticking to your agreed working hours. You may want to keep track of your working hours. This can simply be done with pen and paper. However, there are also many time tracking apps available (for instance Toggl Track).
Last but not least, communicate any changes in your days structure and schedule to your family and co-workers. This way they are up to date.
Make room for self-care
Just as you should create a start-the-work-day routine—this can be having a cup of tea or coffee, getting dressed into working clothes, or diving into your to-do list as soon as you turned on the computer—create a routine to end your workday. So when it’s time to log off, make room for self-care. This may cover:
- Creating a list of things to do first in the next morning: Get the tasks off your head either analogously onto a piece of paper or digitally on your smartphone or tablet.
- Doing some exercise: There are free yoga and workout classes on YouTube.
- Going for a walk or riding your bike
- Reading a book
- Preparing a healthy nutritious meal
- Calling a close friend or family member
3. Socialise: Keep in touch
Do not forget to socialise and build relationships with colleagues, both digitally and in-person. You might want to schedule video calls on a regular basis to connect on tasks, upcoming projects or simply to chat about personal things.
In our marketing team here at OpenRad, we have week openers on Monday morning, a mid-week-call on Wednesday and a Friday end-of-the-week coffee chat.
Another thing to consider is to become part of a teleradiology community, either virtually or in person. You can search LinkedIn to find a suitable community for you.
Finally, meet up with close friends on a regular basis to get out of your home and enjoy yourself.
Is there anything you would like to add? Share your tips via the comment section below.
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