As businesses and employees make the unprecedented move to go remote amidst the threat of the coronavirus, many people are facing a work situation they’ve never encountered before: working full-time from home.
Whether you are a company taking your workforce remote for the first time or you’re an individual employee looking for a better way to construct your new workday, this a round-up of work-from-home tips and best practices to be successful during quarantine.
- Get plugged in. There are countless forms of technology to connect teams working remotely – from Skype for Business and Microsoft Teams to Jabber, Slack and Google Chat. Messenger and video platforms act as a stand-in for in-person meetings or the need to walk over to someone’s desk. Ensure everyone is plugged in and able to collaborate effectively while working from home.
- Time block. Keeping a schedule while working from home is paramount. Have a clear start and end to the workday, take a lunch or breaks as you need them and avoid the mistake of trying to do it all – don’t casually start doing laundry or washing the dishes during time you’ve designated for work.
- Set up your workstation. If at all possible, designate a specific room to do your work from. Or, at the very least, have an area that you can maintain as just for work. Keep in mind, you may have to take video conference calls, so while having a bookshelf or paintings in the background is a good thing, having a bed or other overly personal items in the frame is not.
- Communicate your work schedule. One of the keys to success while working remotely is to communicate. Share with your team the hours you will be working and when you will be available for things like meetings and team huddles. It’s also a good idea to communicate your work schedule with your family. Most partners and children are also at home right now, so getting into a new routine and sharing what your work-from-home schedule will be will provide the necessary guardrails for everyone to be productive while in quarantine.
- Get ready. One of the pitfalls most career work-from-homers have had to overcome is not getting ready for their day. If you showered and ate breakfast every day before heading into the office, do the same thing while you work from home. Getting ready will put you in the right frame of mind. Plus, it is likely you will be summoned to participate in video meetings, and you will want to look the part anyways.
- Clear your head. These are unprecedented times, and everyone has a lot on their minds. Try to stay focused and eliminate distractions, but also give yourself a break. Stay positive. Take a walk if you can. And remember, we’re all in this together.