As employers, big and small, adopt social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, working from home (WFH) has become a reality for large swaths of Corporate America. For employees who have never worked from home before, this can be quite a learning experience.
Here are a few simple tips to make this transition easier and more productive for all involved.
Set up your space
If you’re going to be WFH for a while, find a dedicated space to use. Even if you don’t have a home office, set up somewhere that you don’t have to pack up at the end of each day. Focus on your posture when selecting a chair. Having a permanent space for work can help give you a sense of stability.
Find your WFH-life balance
The boundaries between home and work may seem to blur when you’re WFH. Waking up at the same time you usually do when going to the office and getting dressed—as if you are actually going in—can help get you in a work mindset. Make sure you have a schedule with a “start” and “end” time each day and share this with your family. If you have a spouse or partner and/or children at home during the day, let them know when you have meetings or calls and will be unavailable to them.
Keep in touch with the people you work with, even just to say hello. Make sure you update your manager and team on big projects you’re working on, any issues you may be having and time you need to spend away from your computer. Having phone calls, in addition to email and instant messaging, can also help your team feel connected.
Keep your calendar updated
Regularly update your calendar to show meetings, time out of the office and possibly even time dedicated to working on certain projects. This can help keep you on schedule and let your colleagues know your availability.
Take a break
You may feel that you need to be available at all times during the work day to prove you’re getting things done. Let your work speak for itself. Make sure you step away from your desk for short breaks to stretch, walk around or check in with your family. Get fresh air when you can and take deep breaths to keep your mind clear. Stock up on healthy food and enjoy your meals. Giving yourself a mental break can help you be more productive when you get back to your desk.
Make the most of the tech available
Connect with your technology team on tools you can use to make WFH easier. Video conferencing can help fill in the gaps when face to face meetings with clients and your team are not an option. Digital assistants that can help keep track of your meetings or help you dial into conference calls may be available to you.
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