The global spread of COVID-19 has altered the work environment
for many of us. In an effort to offset the spread of the virus, health and
government officials are urging people to stay at home and many companies have
implemented a work from home policy. Whether you’ve been working remote for
years or just making the switch, here are some helpful tips to help ease the
- Create a schedule: One of the benefits of working from home is the flexibility. You no longer have to devote time to your daily commute or waste time sitting in rush hour traffic. It may be tempting to use the extra time to answer emails or book additional meetings, but you’ll want to establish a schedule and stick to it. This will help you maintain work-life balance.
- Repurpose your commute: Take advantage of the extra time to spend time with family, listen to a podcast, go for a walk, make breakfast, and set your intentions for the day. While it may be tempting to lay in bed and work from the comfort of your pajamas, make a conscious effort to get up a prepare for the day.
- Make a workspace: Many of us are having to share our remote workspaces with loved ones, so be sure to create different workstations for everyone in your house. Create a space where you can remain focused and distractions are limited.
- Set expectations: If you have other family members at home, be sure to set your expectations so they know when you’re available and when you’re busy with a video conference or phone call. If you have a door to your workspace, consider putting a note on the door to let your family members know when you cannot be disturbed.
- Take a break: Know your company’s policy on breaks and allow yourself time to take an appropriate break. You can lock yourself out of your computer for 60 minutes with apps like TimeOut for Mac and Smart Break for Windows. If you only need 30 mins to eat your lunch, use the remaining 30 mins to get outside and stretch your legs on a walk around the block.
- Stay in touch: Video chats and conference calls are a great way to stay in touch with coworkers and clients.
- Setup regular check-ins: Stay in touch with your team members by scheduling a weekly 1:1 check-in and use the time to see how your team members are feeling and adapting to their new work environments.
- Setup a VPN: VPN stands for “virtual private network” – a service that encrypts your Internet traffic and protects your online identity. You should use a VPN whenever you are connected to an open network that you don’t control. Some organizations have their own VPNs that off-site employees need to access certain servers or websites that store information meant only for internal use.
- Stay alert: Fraudsters are increasingly clever and using the shift in the workplace to take advantage. Be sure your team is on their guard. It is important that they verify any email attachments or links before opening or clicking.
- Stay positive: We are dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global community, if you are feeling anxious, remember you’re not alone. We’re all navigating uncharted territory, remember to be kind to yourself. Try to focus on the positives like extra time to connect with family, the opportunity to unplug, time to explore hobbies.