In the coming weeks, employees working remotely across the nation are going to learn that most face-to-face meetings could’ve been an email. But seriously, as more organizations are having to temporarily halt their operations to avoid large gatherings of people to contain the spread of coronavirus, the need for employees to telecommute is becoming crucial.
Fortunately for us introverts, we’ve been training for social-distancing our whole lives. But for those of you who are in the process of shifting to working from home, we’ve created a helpful list of pro-tips that will allow you to remain on task and productive throughout your day!
Put Some Pants On.
While it is incredibly tempting to roll out of bed, open your laptop and begin answering emails, we strongly recommend that you get dressed because it helps in creating a separation of your work and personal lives. You don’t need to put on a three-piece suit or walk around the house in heels, but you might consider putting some effort into your appearance such as wearing a nice shirt, jeans, and brushing your hair.
Get Your Tech In Order.
Try to replicate the technology you use at work. For our team, that looks like ensuring we all have access to our Google Drive, design programs and other necessary files, bringing our laptops and chargers home, and having a reliable internet connection. Other items that we love include noise-canceling headphones to tune out loud roommates/spouses/offsprings, electric tea kettles for soothing tea in these tumultuous times, wireless chargers, and additional computer screens.
Carve Out Space To Work From.
If you have the extra space at home, prepare a separate workspace for yourself. You should not, and we cannot stress this enough, work from your couch or bed. Ideally, you should work from a place where you don’t go to unwind, or in an area where other members of your household are spending time. If you do not have a home office, set up shop at the dining room table!
Set Expectations With Your Team.
During these uncertain times, it is important for you to set clear expectations of your team in order for them to remain focused while working remotely, but also be understanding of your team’s needs. Each employee’s situation varies. For example, you may have an employee dealing with school closings or the loss of childcare, who will have to split time between work and family. Come to an understanding with those employees, such as alternate work hours or specific times to be online and produce work.
Don’t let social-distancing isolate you from your colleagues! Emails can sometimes feel cold and impersonal, so fill the gap with messaging apps such as Slack for quick questions, comments or sharing something lighthearted, or video calls. Programs such as Zoom and Skype will provide face-to-face communication, which allows for picking up on conversational tone and for remote employees to feel less isolated. Internet giants, such as Google, are doing their part in assisting remote employees in video conferencing by rolling out Hangouts Meet to all G Suite customers globally until July 1, 2020.
Take A Break.
Don’t get so caught up in your tasks that you lose track of time. Maintain regular work hours for yourself, such as taking a 30-minute to an hour-long lunch break. Just like when you’re at the office, stepping away from your work can boost productivity, attention, and performance. Avoid worsening your claustrophobia by stretching, going for a walk around the neighborhood with your dog, clearing your head by reading a book, or mastering the kendama.