Whether working remotely is new for you or you’ve been doing this for quite some time, our team at Advance Ohio is sharing tips on best practices on working from home as social distancing becomes the temporary norm.
- Do your best to set up a distinct workspace where you can physically and mentally separate work from home life. If you don’t have a dedicated home office, create a makeshift area, ideally in a space where you can be free from distractions. It’s ideal to work from a desk and chair that promotes good ergonomics – working from your couch is not a great long-term solution.
- There can be a multitude of distractions when working from home. Let others know when you are “off limits”, so you’re not interrupted.
- Reduce background noise as best as you can while on calls – be sure to mute your microphone when not speaking.
- Use the time you have saved by not commuting to prep for your workday. Start building a rhythm to your “normal” workday routine of answering emails, participating in meetings, and completing assignments.
- Be sure to take time away from your screen. A brief walk outside during lunch is a great opportunity to refresh.
- As the Coronavirus peaks, you may have young children at home due to school closings. Plan activities and meals throughout the day with check-in times.
- Be sure to set boundaries. Turn work off at the end of the day, based on your typical work schedule and when all of your assignments are complete.
While working remotely, communication via email and phone will likely increase. Here are some quick tips to manage email traffic and communication.
- Set and understand clear expectations with your managers and co-workers about deliverables and availability – whether this be via phone or email.
- Continue to be transparent with tasks, timelines, and deadlines.
- Prioritize and organize emails to help manage your workday.
- Pick up the phone when emails or threads begin getting long and complex, or when a tone is misunderstood.
- Schedule a meeting for topics that seem to be escalating or need immediate attention.
- Include a clear and direct subject line in every email you send. For example, “Meeting date changed.” People prioritize reading emails based on subject lines.
Whether you are practicing social distancing or working remotely, let’s continue to stay connected!