REMOTE WORK: NAVIGATING THE NEW NORMAL PART 1
By Ken Schmitt & Victoria Willenberg
Employees were working from home in unprecedented numbers long before the outbreak of COVID-19. In recent weeks, that number is skyrocketed as employees from all industries have been forced to work from home where possible. In spite of the stressful environment this “new normal” was launched, many embraced it and were looking forward to working from home… the flexible schedule, no more long commute, working in their pajamas… But it doesn’t take long to realize, telecommuting brings with it a new set of challenges many are not prepared to manage.
TurningPoint has been a virtual model since its inception. Everyone from the CEO/Founder to our recruiters to our admin and operations staff have spent the last decade perfecting the balance between work/life when your work/life literally overlap. Below are some excellent tips for employers as they navigate this new normal…
You are in the unique situation of managing yourself, as well as, your team. Here are a few tips to help things run a little more smoothly.
CREATE A DESIGNATED WORKSPACE
Don’t fall into the trap of working from the kitchen table or living room couch. You’re asking for interruptions and confusion.
SET “OFFICE HOURS”
These hours are for your benefit, your team’s, as well as, your family’s. It’s tempting to sleep in or work late into the evening because you have so much flexibility. Don’t do it! Creating designated office hours allows you to make the most of your day and “clock out” and maintain your work/life balance. Additionally, your team and your family will know when they can reach you. Something to remember: You may now be sharing your technology with your kids! Designated work hours means you will not be competing for laptops and, most importantly, bandwidth!
KEEP YOUR NORMAL MORNING ROUTINE
You should definitely celebrate the end of your morning commute, but the rest of your morning routine should stay intact. Get up at the same time, hit the gym, enjoy your cup of coffee, walk the dog… whatever it is you normally do on a workday, keep that up! Most importantly… Get Dressed! It’s tempting to work in your jammies or workout clothes but that definitely impedes productivity.
GET UP & MOVE AROUND
You might not be aware of how much you move when you’re in the office- bathroom breaks, popping by someone’s office, heading to the kitchen. At home, it’s easy to sequester yourself in your designated workspace and not look up for hours on end. Keep in mind, your home office most likely does not have the ergonomic chair, keyboard, or desk you are used to. Working on a laptop puts your neck and wrists in unnatural positions. Set an alarm to remind you to get up and move every 60-90 minutes. Your body and your brain need it!
USE THIS TIME TO RECONNECT MORE INTIMATELY
The odds are pretty good your clients and customers are working from home just like you. This is the perfect opportunity for you to reconnect. Instead of sending an email or text, pick up the phone and make a call! Take advantage of the quieter workspace with fewer interruptions and personally reach out to old, new, and potential clients.
Here are a few more great ideas for employers working from home.