With the rapid spread of COVID-19, communities are doing all that they can to slow the spread and keep the hospitals from overflowing with the sick. Part of this effort is being carried out by businesses across the nation by implementing remote work when possible. Many companies and employees have little to no experience with remote work; however, with a set plan and the right tools in place to facilitate it, companies can continue to move forward in the face of unprecedented circumstances. Here's how you can make the most of working from home:
1. Be deliberate with your communication with your team
Be extra aware of the messages that you are sending to teammates. A written message sent to your team or coworker is different from an in-person conversation, so be extra careful with your wording and think about how the message might come across to someone reading it.
Kirsten Tanner, managing director for In Marketing We Trust says, “Quality communication matters greatly when dealing with a remote team setup. You realize how much can be lost when you are not sitting next to the people you work with. The subtlety of tone or the lack of context on both sender/receiver can really make matters worse. When the topic is of importance or likely to be misinterpreted, call your teammates, don’t send them a Slack message. This is especially important for fellow millennials. I know it feels uncomfortable at first but your voice, your tone, and emotions beat, hands down, any well-crafted message.”
2. Pick a time to start and stop work
Don’t assume that working from home is automatically going to give you a better work-life balance. Working from home can oftern blur the line between your work-life and home-life, making it harder to be 100 percent at work or 100 percent at home.
To mitigate this, make sure you set a set boundaries by setting a definitive start and stop time to your work day. It can be easy to sleep in and get out of your normal routine when there is a bit more flexibility to you start and stop time so pick a specific time in the morning to start, preferably early and soon after you wake up, similar to how it would be scheduled if you were actually going into the office. Also pick a specific end time to your day so you can have the necessary balance between your work life and your personal life.
3. Schedule your day, allowing for timed breaks
A day at the office provides scheduled changes in your day, such as meetings and other events. Schedule out your day in such a way that you are going to have more of these natural changes in your day, so you don’t get in a rut doing the same thing over and over again. Scheduling out your day will also help make you remember when you have scheduled virtual meetings or phone calls and will keep you on top of completing what you need to get done each day.
4. Choose a dedicated workspace
Do not work on your couch or your bed! At least not for the whole day. The best way to keep yourself focused is to have a set place that is your work station. This helps your brain recognize that you are beginning to work, and it helps get you into that mindset.
Stay healthy and happy while working from home
Implementing these tips into your day-to-day routine while you are working remotely will help you get more done and stay on top of things with your coworkers. Furthermore, it is also important to make sure you are staying healthy and happy during your time working from home, whether that be for a short time or on a more permanent basis. Throughout the day, get some fresh air, stretch, drink plenty of water, and call a friend every once in a while.