In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, many Americans are staying away from the office. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels.
Working from home has its perks—there is no commuting, you can wear comfy sweats and there are unlimited snack breaks. Working remotely also presents its own disadvantages and inconveniences. Here are some tips on how to combat them:
- Communications problems. While working remotely, you want to make sure you aren’t over or under-communicating with your co-workers. Many newbies to working remotely will want to overshare information that isn’t necessary. But you also want to be sure that expectations and responsibilities are clear. If you are questioning whether or not a colleague will want to know something, share it. Because written communication such as email, IM and texting are prone to misunderstanding, use the phone to resolve communication quickly and effortlessly.
- Distractions. Working from home presents you with a myriad of distractions including—but not limited to—children, spouses, pets, chores and social media. First, communicate to your co-inhabitants what your work hours are and the rules and courtesies you expect to be observed during this time. Secondly, if social media is too tempting during the workday, add an extension to your browser that will block these sites during restricted hours. Check out StayFocusd or LeechBlock. Lastly, be sure to take scheduled breaks so that you can stay focused and recharged.
- Morale. Working from home, especially with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, might feel lonely and depressing at times. There are many things you can do to brighten your mood such as virtually chit-chatting with your coworkers. Spend a few minutes texting about the weather or share stories and other topics you would normally converse about in the office. If the weather is nice, take that conference call outside to get some fresh air.
If you aren’t used to working from home, don’t despair. Using the above tips and creating a routine will help you when making this transition. Above all, focus on the reason you are working remotely and the crucial role it plays in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.