Updated: Jun 7, 2020
Working remotely has grown tremendously over the past few years, as companies shift to cut overhead expenses as well as provide more flexible options for their employees. While many workers across various industries have had the option to work from home, the COVID-19 outbreak has drastically changed the work environment. Some workers were used to working remotely maybe once or twice a week, while others did not have the capability to work from home at all. With the COVID-19 outbreak, a lot of employers were forced to implement a work from home environment for their employees.
As you begin to transition to full-time work from home, you may have noticed some new challenges. After all, we are creatures of habit, we’re used to getting to work, parking in our unassigned assigned parking spot, taking awkward elevator rides to our floor, and many other things that we’ve grown accustomed to.
You may find yourself missing the interactions of your colleagues, being less productive, or online shopping and browsing social media way more than you’d like. First things first, we have to accept reality. This is the nature of how we will have to work until we can safely get back to our normal day-to-day.
Set Your Schedule
Use this work from home time to set your own schedule! You have more flexibility now that you aren’t tied to your office. This means using your lunch break to run errands or accomplish any household chores. Schedule breaks between meetings to call your friends or even going for a walk. I have been using my lunch breaks to try out new tasty recipes that I usually wouldn’t have time to do. Utilize your outlook calendars to block out hours of work and times when you are unavailable. Find your groove and set a schedule that works for you while maintaining productivity!
Create Your Work-space
Now, you may not be able to 100% re-create your office environment at home, but it’s important to create a space that will allow you to be focused and away from any distractions. If you live with roommates or your family, have a discussion about creating a comfortable safe space with some sort of quiet hours so you can focus. Be sure to set boundaries for yourself, try to keep your “office” space strictly for work, and keep your living/non-office space for leisure.
Communicate With Your Team
Everyone is still adjusting to this new environment, so be cognizant of how this will affect your colleagues. Make sure to tailor expectations until everyone gets into their groove. Communication is key here, you should be updating your manager more frequently to address any challenges or successes. When communicating with your colleagues, be sure to set deadlines but set up check-ins along the way to ensure they have everything they need to be successful. If you have external clients, check-in with them to see how they are doing in this new environment and address any issues that may arise. Overall, the people you are working with will 100% appreciate the extra communication on your end!
It’s so easy to get stuck at your desk and feel overwhelmed with what’s on your plate. It is going to be okay! I can’t stress how important it is to stop what you are doing, leaving your work-space and circling back to it later. Take advantage of the fact that you are a few steps from being at your front door. Go outside, take in that fresh air, recharge and reset!
As COVID-19 numbers start to decline across the nation, many companies are still hesitant to bring back their workers into the office. They want to make sure that their employees return safely. Whether that means a vaccine is completed, there is adequate contact tracing or some other safeguard to protect employers. Another thing that companies are considering is child care. Daycares and summer camps are unlikely to open with full capacity, leaving kids at home for the next few months.
Even if the COVID-19 problem is solved, many companies have already invested millions in transitioning their workforce from home, and they may very well allow them to continue to do so. The work from home landscape is forever changing due to COVID-19. I urge workers to remain flexible over the next few months as the country tries to return to a new normal!
The Hiring Hub recognizes that COVID-19 has impacted many industries across the world and changed the way we work and accomplish our daily tasks. We recognize that some of us are fortunate enough to have the means and capability to work from home. We encourage you all to maintain a safe, healthy, and productive environment during these trying times.