For many people here in the United States and around the globe, the reality of the Coronavirus pandemic has started to hit home. Those lucky enough to still have their jobs, have had to quickly adjust to an entirely new way of doing business while “Working from Home (WFH).” This has created a lot of new challenges for team members not used to working alone or remotely and has thrown off their work/life balance in unexpected ways. If you’re having challenges with WFH, here are a few tips to help you stay focused, productive and, most importantly, healthy.
1. Try to maintain a work-like schedule. Set your alarm, get dressed in regular clothes and try to be at your desk or a designated workspace at a set time.
2. Take the time to learn all you can about your organization’s preferred group communications or conference call method. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts all have their own unique quirks. You can take advantage of youtube tutorials if you’re a newbie, and if you’re already an expert, consider offering your knowledge to your team.
3. If your company uses a group chat platform such as Slack, take a few minutes to get-up-to-speed on it before you start engaging on the platform. Bonus Tip: When using any chat platform, the #1 suggestion from HR professionals is to use a real picture of yourself in your profile, so team members can still connect a name with a face, even from home. While avatars and pictures of pets can be fun, nothing is more important in establishing and maintaining real connections than a real picture. Also remember to turn on your notifications to get an alert when you have a message!
4. The same ergonomic health and safety guidelines should be followed when working from home. Are you taking enough breaks? Are you still getting up from your desk every half hour or so? If you’re used to a standing desk at work, can you create one from materials on hand, such as empty boxes?
5. Working from home can present major distractions too, with family members, children, and even pets vying for our attention. As much as possible, try to negotiate with your cohabitants for the time and space you need to get work done. Some people will be able to create a physical workspace, but for apartment dwellers or people in crowded homes, it might just be a question of negotiating for some quiet time during work hours.
6. If some projects have been delayed or put on the back burner during this crisis, make a point of staying in touch with teammates on those projects anyway. That will save time when eventually those projects become active again.
Stay Safe everyone –6 Tips for Employees Working From Home
Finally, remember that everyone, from bosses to co-workers to interns, is facing the unknown right now. People are rightfully worried, not just for themselves but for friends and relatives near and far. If a team member is in a bad mood or isn’t responding to a work-related issue as quickly as you might like, make sure your first approach is as gentle as possible. There is no telling what kind of bad news they might be dealing with. If you remember nothing else from this post, please remember this: exercise as much patience as humanly possible at all times, because it is a good bet that you’ll need someone to be patient with you when it’s your turn to have a bad day.
Stay Safe everyone, and if any of you have thought of new ways, or learned of additional tips or good ideas, or you just want to connect, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.