Tips For Working
COVID-19 has led many companies to enforce that their employees work from home. Although for many, it isn’t all that easy.
The following information does not solely apply to employees who are working remote because of Coronavirus; these tips are also applicable for when you are working remote due to an illness, traveling out of town, or caring for your child at home.Begin by asking yourself these questions:
Do you have a functional workspace?
Not everyone has the luxury of having their own office space at home. Regardless of whether you have a designated workspace, it is essential that you try and eliminate background noise and distractions in order to properly focus. If possible, try and separate your work and personal spaces. This will allow you to get in the “zone” when it’s time to start the day. In addition, if you regularly meet with clients via Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, you’ll need a professional, clean, quiet area.
Do you have proper technology/equipment?
Depending on your occupation, this will determine the necessary equipment you will need at home to ensure you are able to do your job just as you would in the office. It’s important to ask yourself before transitioning to a remote employee, do I have a :
- Computer/Laptop (with webcam)
- High-Speed Internet Connection
If you do not have your needed items at home because you do not have access to the materials, don’t hesitate to ask your employer. Many companies may loan you the equipment for the time being.
Are you staying energized?
When working from home, it’s easy to fall into a “slump” due to surrounding temptations. Despite comfortability, it’s recommended that you don’t do work from your bed or couch – as stated earlier, it’s necessary that you separate your work and personal spaces. According to an article written by Buffer, it can also can effect your quality of sleep.
“Working in bed right before going to sleep, and looking at a bright screen, reduces the melatonin you need to fall asleep. This means it will be more challenging to get a better quality of sleep, which will affect your productivity the next day. Not only does this not sound relaxing at all, but it seems like something that affects both your work and your relaxation, a lose-lose situation.”
Here are some things you should try to stay energized throughout the (home) workday to stay mentally and physically active:
- Exercise (before you begin working or on your lunch break)
- Get some sun (or any type of light) when you wake up
- Eat a light breakfast (avoid coffee to prevent crashing later)
- Drink plenty of water/snack lightly
- Take a shower after you wake up
- Get a good night’s sleep
Are you taking care of your mental health?
Many employees may experience mental health consequences from transitioning to remote work, and it is important to be aware of this unforeseen reality. Two main factors include: isolation and burnout.
Employees may experience a decline in mental health due to lack of face-to-face interactions (that they are used to experiencing in the office). INC. suggest that:
“Social isolation has been scientifically shown to be as bad for your health as smoking. So if you’re working from home and you live by yourself, you need to keep yourself from feeling isolated. It’s an essential part of your self-care, as important as making sure you get exercise and proper nutrition.”
New technology like Zoom is a great way to virtually communicate with your colleagues. This Skype-like software can host up to 100 attendees and is super user-friendly. It also allows screen sharing, a handy tool for webinars and demos. Physically visualizing your teammates and clients through these video calls is a great way to make-shift the missing social interaction. Many find that face-to-face communication (even if it’s virtual) is far more effective for conflict resolution and keeping each other up to date with important information. For tips on making your virtual meetings more professional, click here.
You may also find yourself often working off the clock. Working from home means that you might have trouble mentally and physically separating work-life and home-life. You also might find that it’s hard to just “turn-off” work mode. DO NOT EXHAUST YOURSELF. Be sure to take breaks and set boundaries for yourself – just as you would in the office.