Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are implementing voluntary or mandatory work from home policies. That means a lot of us are dealing with the unexpected challenge of working from home for the first time, full-time.
If you work in an industry where teamwork is critical, a sudden order to work from home doesn’t have to be a strain on the bonds your team has fought to form or the schedule you feel comfortable with. These tips will help you make sure that you’re successful, both at getting your work done as a part of a team and at maintaining your own mental well-being:
Manage Your Media Diet
- Check trusted sources periodically throughout the day to stay informed without feeling overwhelmed.
Identify and Focus on Your Purpose
- Set clear, quantifiable and realistic daily goals that keep you productive and leave you feeling accomplished.
- If it helps to “get ready for work” every day, do that too. Maintaining your normal professional attire can help you stay focused on your purpose.
Stick to a Routine
Now that you’ve identified your goals, map out your day:
- Identify tasks that serve as benchmarks toward achieving your goal so that you can be chipping away at the larger task or project.
- Tackle your biggest and most urgent to-dos FIRST.
- Schedule in small breaks – go for a walk, call a friend or family member, check in with trusted media sources, grab a snack, etc.
- Avoid distractions – establish a “work zone,” even if it’s unconventional (i.e. at the dinner table, on your patio, etc.). Having an identified physical work space will help you to maintain boundaries.
Collaborate/Communicate with Team Members and Clients
- Pick up the phone! – making a call can be far more effective than an e-mail or text, most notably because it signals to clients that you are ready to provide prime service and availability.
- Communicate regularly with co-workers during. Collaboration is crucial in combatting loneliness and making sure that projects move forward effectively.
- Develop team rules about the boundaries of work and personal time. More importantly, establish your own rules. Give yourself permission to be guilt-free during your personal time at home. When will you not be reachable? When will you start and stop work?
- Embrace your hobbies and other interests!
Here is an “in practice” daily checklist that our team has benefited from as an example:
o Remain highly responsive and service oriented
o Call clients more than is typical to check in and/or follow up on important projects and emails
o Be available to team and clients during regular business hours
o Keep your team updated if you will be offline for an hour or more within that timeframe
o Meet M/W/F at 9 a.m. via Videoconference
o Helps maintain benefits of what we typically receive from in-person collaboration and support
o Call leadership to check in daily or every other day
o Call one other team member daily
o Share something interesting, fun or smile worthy with the entire team
o Send leadership an update at the end of the day including:
-What you accomplished today/big rocks moved
-What you are waiting on
-What is big for the next day
-Any support you might need