The spread of coronavirus is affecting everything from travel plans to the supply of toilet paper, and the workplace is no different. As we try to mitigate the spread of the virus, many employees have found themselves suddenly working from home. It can be challenging and stressful to figure out how to make working from home work for you. Here are some tips to make your transition from the office to home a little easier.
- Set the Stage for Work
Create a space that looks and feels like your office. It doesn’t have to be a separate room, but a designated spot in your house that is dedicated to work. Bring home your desk chair, decorations, second monitor, office supplies…whatever you need to help you be productive, comfortable, motivated to work.
- Avoid Distractions
Distraction is one of the biggest challenges when working at home. A lot of people who dreamed about working from home are now finding out how hard it is to actually focus on work when you are at home. It’s easy to get caught up doing household chores, entertaining the kids, binge watching the latest Netflix series or scrolling social media. Staying productive at home takes a lot more effort than it does in the office. “Think outside of the box while you work ‘outside of the box’,” Erin Bakker, principle at The Hive Creative Consulting, said. “Use your new setting as an opportunity to see things from a different angle and come up with creative solutions and innovative ideas.”
- Use Technology to Stay Connected
Use technology to replicate the personal interactions and collaboration you have in the office. This is a new work experience, so we need to create new processes. Regular communication is important to maintain relationships with colleagues, supervisors and direct reports.. “It’s important to touch base regularly,” Ali Wiel, principle at The Hive Creative Consulting, said. “It’s hard to know who is working at what times as we all try to balance work and home life, so it is helpful to update everyone with your schedule and what you’re working on.”
- Be Flexible
Have grace for your team members and yourself as we all navigate through this new work landscape. Everyone is going to be less productive during this time. This is uncharted territory for many companies and employees, and it doesn’t help that we have a global pandemic going on at the same time.
“We all need to have more patience and flexibility right now,” Sarah White, director of public relations at The Hive Creative Consulting, said. “It’s going to take time for all of us to adjust and develop new routines.”
Parents, go easy on yourself; you’re essentially performing two full-time jobs. More screen time is inevitable and it’s ok. If possible, adjust work hours to fit in with your children’s schedules and/or schooling. “If you’re homeschooling while working at home, try homeschooling first and then starting your work a little later than you normally might,” Bakker said. “Doing both simultaneously is sometimes more stressful than productive.”
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