In an effort to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19, people across the globe are now working from home. Thousands of companies have made the switch to “WFH”.
Fortunately our company has a comprehensive business continuity plan. We upgraded our technology over the last several years, and we have not missed a beat in serving our clients. Other than an occasional dog barking in the background during a Zoom meeting…
Here are some tips to effectively work from home.
Tip #1: Set up a Dedicated Workspace
Try to create a designated “office” - a place where you can work with minimal distraction. I set up my office on our third floor, away from my family (who are also WFH).
If it’s not possible to separate yourself from others during the workday, make sure your roommates or family members respect your work area, whether it may be a table, couch, etc. Remind others in your household of your designated working hours to maximize your time with as few distractions as possible.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to Your Time
It can be easy to work late into the night, especially since there isn’t a physical office building to leave. Unless you have a tight deadline or urgent task at hand, try to work the same hours as if you were at the office. Practice making an intentional effort to end the workday at a reasonable time. Turn off your computer, leave the room you were working in and do whatever you need to in order to physically and mentally separate yourself from work.
Make time for scheduled breaks throughout the workday where you can get up and stretch or walk around. This will help you feel better both physically and mentally throughout the day.
Tip #3: Communicate With Your Team
Our company has set up a Zoom meeting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is great to see everyone’s faces and catch up.
When you work in an office, you can just pop over to ask someone a quick question. When working from home, that isn’t the case. Make sure you are responsive to emails and messages in a timely and efficient manner. If your company didn’t already have an instant messaging system in place, now is the time to suggest implementing one.
Don’t forget you always have the option to resolve issues quickly with a phone call as well. If you manage a team of your own, make your communication expectations clear to employees.
Tip #4: Dress “Professionally”
While you don’t need to put on a suit or slacks (or whatever “business casual” is these days), it’s still important to get dressed professionally every day. Make sure your clothes are presentable since you will likely be on video meetings with coworkers or clients. While it’s tempting, try not to simply roll out of bed and start working.
If you are doing video meetings, keep your background professional and clean as well. A friend of mine said she has seen too many unmade beds on Zoom calls. At a minimum, make your bed.
Tip #5: Take Time for One-On-One Check-Ins
Even if it’s only for five minutes, it’s still important to have a quick check-in with your coworkers, employees or managers. It helps everyone feel as though they’re on the same page and still connected with one another.
It can be hard to work remotely at first, especially if it is something that you are not used to. I have been pleasantly surprised how much work our team has accomplished.
Having said all of this, I look forward to seeing everyone in person! Stay safe and healthy.