COVID-19 is quickly forcing organizations to send their employees home. Some of you may not have ever worked from home, so this can be a difficult transition. Have no fear, Taylor is here! About a year ago I transitioned from an office worker to a home worker and here are a few tips and tricks that can help you transition from the daily office life to successful remote worker life.
- Maintain your Schedule
This is vital! If you do not maintain your schedule, you will become more and more unproductive. Wake up at the same time, eat lunch at the same time, and take your breaks at the same time. This is hands-down the key to being a successful remote worker. Whatever happens, keep to your schedule!
- Get Dressed
This has to be a separate point. It’s mundane, but it’s true. We go back to the basics of having a routine. You always get dressed before you go to work, so do the same thing even if you’re at home. It’s a mental game that you have to play to win.
- Set Expectations with Your Work and Family
Talk to your boss about what is expected from you while you work at home. Some responsibilities and tasks may be impacted by remote work, but ensure you’re all on the same page. This will help limit any miscommunications or future problems while working at home. If you’re unable to do part of your job, notify them.
As for your family, if your significant other or your kids are at home, sit them down and tell them that you have to work between X & Y. Be stern and be clear that you can’t be bothered unless it is a true emergency. If you have kids, it may take a few talks in order for them to understand. Be patient, they're probably not used to you being home.
- Find a Place with ZERO Distractions
This place, that has zero distractions, can be anywhere in your house. From personal experience and talking to other remote workers, rooms that have doors are the best places to be. This will help separate your home from your office space. Closing that door will help you focus on the work that’s ahead of you.
P.S. Close the laundry room door, close the bedroom door – folding clothes and doing the dishes can wait! When you’re at work, they wait for you to come home. Remember, the world isn’t going to crumble under you if you wait to wash your undies!
- Use Video Conferencing Tools
If your organization’s tools allow you to go on video, put it on! This is the best face-to-face experience that you can have while at home. This also helps with accountability. By participating in a video conference, this will ensure that you’re not being distracted and you’re doing what you need to do!
P.S. for those who are social butterflies, turning on your video will help keep your sanity. Trust me…
- Video Conference Lunches
Do you miss hanging out with your coworkers during lunch and talking around the water cooler? Here’s a simple solution! Invite your coworkers to a virtual lunch. Catch up with each other and talk about how things are going. It’s okay to still be social even when you’re stuck within the four walls of your home.
- No Video? No Problem!
Maybe your organization doesn’t have to resources and tools to support video conferencing. No problem! Another way to keep yourself focused and active is to take your meetings on your phone and walk around the house. Sometimes staying stationary in the same place can make you lose your mind. I for one can focus more if I’m able to get up and walk around the house while taking a call. This doesn't work for everyone, but it's worth a shot if you're starting to get restless.
- Collaboration & Communication is Key!
While you’re working from home it is OKAY to over communicate to your team and boss. Don’t be afraid to shoot them an instant message or ask to jump on a quick call/video chat to help you. Having collaboration tools to continue working on your projects will help keep you on top of completing your projects and day-to-day tasks.
- No Network? No Problem
Did the VPN fail? Are you not able to access your files to do your job? It happens. First, you want to contact your support team and notify them of the situation, but while you’re waiting for the problem to be resolved there are plenty of productive things you could be doing. You can be preparing your to-do list for the rest of the day, you can organize your desktop, clean your email, or prepare for your upcoming meetings. Don't just sit on the couch and wait for the problem to be solved.
- Decompress After a Long Day!
Keeping a positive mindset, being able to relax, and decompress after a long key is crucial when it comes to remote work. Ensuring that your mind, body, and soul are healthy will continue your remote work success day in and day out. With COVID-19 prominent in our world and not being able to go outside into the world to decompress, here are some suggestions on how you can decompress at home:
- Play a fun game with your family like HeadsUp or MarioKart
- Go for a walk and don’t forget your furry friend
- Color in an adult coloring book
- Build a fort with your kids (they deserve the attention after following your work rules!)
Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you adjust to becoming a successful remote worker. Have any feedback? Connect with me on LinkedIn and share your top tips and tricks!
If your organization needs assistance with supporting remote workers, please reach out to C3 Technology Advisors and learn how technologies such as UCaaS, SDWAN, and DaaS can make enhance the remote worker's experience! For more information about working from home, check out our Work From Home page.