For anyone new to working remotely or
looking to learn best practices, we’ve put together some tips and tricks to set
you up for success.
Optimize your physical work environment
The environment you set up for
yourself can have a huge impact on your happiness and productivity when you’re
- Desk setup: Set up an environment that is as ergonomically friendly as you can. This might mean bringing your mouse and/or keyboard from the office or clearing off a table at your house to work. Also ensure that you have easy access to power outlets near your designed work area to keep your devices charged.
- Web & Video conferencing setup: Review any articles or help videos from your provider for best practices for working remotely to make sure you’re optimally set up.
When you work from home it can be
hard to “switch off” because your physical space doesn’t change. For this
reason, many remote workers need to identify work/life balance. One of the number
one issues for a remote work is that their “work space” is the same as their
“life space.” As a result, a remote worker might feel pressured, internally or
externally, to stay online beyond normal working hours, which can lead to
burnout. Here are a few tips to help you set boundaries:
- Try not to Work From Bed. It’s tempting to work from the most comfortable spot in your house but try to avoid it if you can. Make sure you’re able to relax and unwind at the end of the workday. Having dedicated “work-free” spaces like couches and beds can be instrumental in helping you differentiate working from resting and recharging.
- Set expectations with your family/roommates. You might be able to help out more around the house if you’re working from home, but your family/roommates may have unrealistic expectations of what “working from home” means. Make sure you’re both aligned on what this new arrangement will look like. Share your working hours with them and make sure they know when they shouldn’t interrupt.
- Create a work routine. A strong work routine can help you stay on track and set work boundaries that prevent burnout. Think about creating a new routine that works for you that includes start and end times for work every day. Match your “Do Not Disturb” schedule to this. Build in time to cook/eat. Take breaks and walk around your home or neighborhood to stretch and give your eyes a break. You already do these things at an office, so just make sure you do them at home as well.
Time to Over-Communicate
When communicating with co-workers, don’t make assumptions about things that may seem obvious to you; instead, spell out the obvious. Describe exactly what you mean, even if you think you’re repeating yourself. Do not assume that everyone has the same information you do. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Edit: Read over your messages a couple of times before sending them to ensure they are accurately driving the point you want to make. Be clear and concise.
- Check for understanding: Ask an explicit question at the end of your messages, whether it is via email, slack, or even on a video conferencing platform. For example, “is my request clear?” or “Is there anything I’m not adding here that you think is relevant?” or “Does anyone else have further context to add?” These will help ensure everyone’s on the same page.
Be Careful with How You Access Data
There has been an increase in
phishing attempts and scams related to the Covid-19 outbreak. Stay vigilant and
maintain open communications with your company and co-workers, and trust only
official new outlets for updates. Do not open emails from unknown sources, and
if you accidentally open those emails, do not click on any links.
If your company has provided you with
a laptop or desktop, do your best to only access data through the
company-approved device. That includes emails and sharing of files.
If you’re unsure of how to set yourself
or your company up to work from home securely, let us help. Fill out the form
below and a member from our team will be in touch within 1 business day.