With the concept of social distancing at the top of everyone’s minds right now, many workplaces are opting for a remote work format. If working from home is a new experience for you, you’re not alone! Here are a few tips to consider:
Even if you can skip the commute and wear more comfortable attire, set aside some time to lay the groundwork for a successful day. Brew a cup of coffee, check the headlines (or not), or prep your lunch.
Try to stay consistent with your typical day in the office. While your employer will likely expect a full day of work, this transition to working from home does not mean that you must work nonstop. Set a time at which you will come to a “hard stop” if at all possible. Establishing this boundary will enable you to disconnect from work and pick back up on the next day’s tasks feeling recharged.
Take a brief walk, go to a different room, or listen to a podcast. You may not be able to catch up with a coworker at your favorite lunch spot, but a change of scenery will help you refocus for the second half of the workday.
Videoconferencing is surging in popularity these days. You may also want to explore communication or task management platforms, such as Slack or Asana, for a group or a project. In today’s climate, morale is just as important as accountability. Remember that a brief check-in (or some work-appropriate humor) can mean a lot to a colleague during this shift from in-person to remote communication.
Whether you’re managing yourself or an entire team, identify the top goals for the workday and prioritize those first.
Designate a workspace with comfortable seating and minimal distractions as well as an area for videoconferencing, if needed.
Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself during this transitional time. As we all adjust to a temporary “new normal,” you may encounter distractions or difficulties. You may not settle into a routine on the first day or even the first week of remote work. Be patient, celebrate the successes, and don’t forget to press “mute” on your next conference call!
Brooks Hearn is a two-time graduate of the University of South Carolina. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communications in 2007 and her Master of Public Administration in 2009. Brooks now resides in Summerville, SC and currently serves on the Young Alumni Council.