In these unprecedented times, more employees than ever are working remotely and feeling their way through staying engaged, staying sane, and staying productive. At True Office Learning, our mission is to help employees learn through technology, so we pulled together thoughts from our learning experts on how to stay engaged as well as some advice from our veteran remote workers to help you adjust to today’s new normal.
Communication is imperative, and when done correctly, it helps drives a team mentality and keeps us all feeling human. It is easy to become disconnected when you are not in a physical workspace. Do a quick video call with a coworker instead of just sending an email or instant message, schedule watercooler time with coworkers, use this time to connect with your peers on items outside of work-related projects.
If your company utilizes a form of office messenger, stay present. Engage in workplace conversations; these can range from product and projects to interesting news or celebrations. Isolation does not take away from identifying work anniversaries, birthdays, and wins.
Here are a few more ideas that we loved:
- Schedule a virtual coffee break or happy hour with one or more coworkers at least once a week
- Use instant messenger channels to share your daily lunch from fabulous to cheese and crackers with a side of carrots; it’s a fun way to keep things human
- Let people into your space…give a coworker on video chat a tour of your office or home show them, something that works for you in your office set up!
- Start a steps contest on your team…see who can make the most steps in a month, a great way to keep yourself and your organization moving.
DesignateD Office Space
A designated area to work is crucial and will help forge the separation of work and home. Many are balancing working at home with both their partner and children, so this separate space is necessary for success.
It’s often easier said than done (we see you apartment dwellers!) but try not to set up a working space where you rest or relax, and keep your workspace clean and organized, so you are not distracted while working.
Evaluate the space to see if you can readily take calls, primarily virtual, is there anything potentially offensive on the wall that will show in your webcam? Can you make calls without too much foot traffic behind you from roommates? It is ok if your four-legged friends and/or children make an appearance! This is a time to embrace the unexpected and go with the flow.
If you have any company or client information, be sure to lock it away when you are not in your designated space...privacy and confidentiality policies are still at play!
It is easy to fall into a different schedule when working from home try to keep to the same hours and routine you would if you were working in your office. This means setting a start and end time and sticking to these boundaries.
Get dressed, including shoes! It is common to start working in pajamas. It sounds bizarre, but a routine that involves some semblance of work clothes helps. Yes, athleisurewear is comfortable and functional.
Schedule a time to eat lunch, away from your computer. Maybe tie it into humanizing communication and call a coworker or friend while you eat? If you are juggling working from home with your partner, roommates, children, this is an excellent time of day to touch base with them too!
You may find that eliminating the commute to work changes your habits in a multitude of ways. One of the common areas of change is movement. Take time to get up from your work area and walk around, if possible, go outside. This movement and micro-break can help with brain fatigue and eye strain from looking at a computer all day.
If inclement weather, or unable to leave your home. Look up desk-based workouts. Challenge yourself or your peers to a step goal.
Stay hydrated. Water is one of the critical elements of the human body. Make sure you are getting plenty of water while you work, and similarly to a step challenge, set up a hydration goal. A common hydration goal is half your weight in ounces (ex. 150lbs = 75oz of water daily).
A worldwide pandemic may also be weighing on your mental state. There are several ways to practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga online. A few places like Yale are offering courses like this one, “The Science of Well-Being.”
We hope the above helps establish a work from home routine that leads to success. We are all in this together!