Working from home amid the Coronavirus Pandemic
As companies and governments move to implement stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures associated with the COVID-19, the number of individuals teleworking from home will increase dramatically.
Working from home can present many challenges. Home is where we seek refuge and solace. It is where we enjoy dedicated time with our loved ones, pets and friends. Even in the age when some are responding to work emails well into the evening, others have successfully put in place clear boundaries between teleworking and homelife.
Once you’ve established a home office space you will need to get your technology in order. Here are some tips:
- Make sure to take your laptop and charger home. Or if you already have a great PC and can install the proper software you may want to work on your own computer.
- Make sure to install the software that you employer recommends. Remote workers are leaning heavily on Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom or GoToMeeting.
- Determine if you need to enhance your security. You can do this by ensuring you Wi-Fi is password protected. And additional level of security is provided by a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Contact your IT department to determine your and your company’s security needs.
- Ensure you have enough bandwidth. With today’s internet cable plans, many already due. Your IT department should be able to tell you how much you need.
Once your technology is properly set up you will want to manage your expectations with the team.
How does your team plan to track projects they’re working on? How will they meet to discuss this? Will they connect on Slack or email? Will there be standing meetings at a certain time to get everyone coordinated?
Remember this process is new for most. Any hiccups along the way can be ironed out with proper communication. Communicating about communication should be an ongoing part of the conversation as you transition to teleworking. Be open about what isn’t working or can’t get done under the current circumstances.
Remember to socialize with colleagues. It’s important to stay connected, especially if you are used to the daily office routine where “office chats” make you feel connected to the outside world. If this is your first time working remotely, the lack of person to person contact may feel isolating.
To help ease isolation, some co-workers are scheduling online social time to have conversations with no agenda. Use a phone call, Slack chats, video calling, Facetime, and webcams if you find yourself missing real-time interaction. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a co-worker or colleague. Chances are they are feeling isolated also.
Do your best to set regular hours and stick to them. Don’t let working from home become all that you do at home. Create a routine so that you have a beginning and an end to each day.
Make sure that your home is still where you seek solace because at the end of the day, we are all in this together, and our mental health will be invaluable to see us through.
Written by Wendy Van Den Boogerd, Content Writer / Blogger