How to Work from Home (Without Going Crazy)
Fortunately, most people have never had to deal with a massive virus outbreak such as the one we’re experiencing now. Unfortunately, that makes managing the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic an entirely new realm for both businesses and employees. Along with diligent handwashing, social distancing is key to preventing the spread of the disease.
In response, many employers are adopting risk reduction strategies and encouraging employees to work from home (WFH) for at least two weeks. For companies that are largely made up of offsite workers, this approach generally won’t pose a challenge; however, many companies have never worked that way and, as a result, either have no formal policy or they’re frantically creating one.
If your duties can be conducted remotely and you’re asked to work from home, here are a few tips to make the time away from the office productive and successful.
- Communication is key.It’s easy for managers and teammates to become isolated in their WFH bubbles when everyone is scattered and not in a central location. You can’t just pop in your boss’s office to ask a question. Schedule a daily call to help everyone stay on track. Twice daily calls, at the beginning and end of the workday, are even better. Create a team Slack or Discord group to help manage quick questions that don’t require an email or conference call.
- Take advantage of remote meeting technology. Whether you use just audio conference calls or video meetings, it’s important to ensure your software or app is up-to-date and functional. Always test your headphones and microphone before a call. To help keep up morale and stay connected, schedule a video pizza lunch or an after-work happy hour.
- Shower and get dressed.It might be tempting to slack off and wear your PJs or sweats all day when you work from home. But it’s important to stick to your typical schedule. Get up at the same time you normally would and do everything you’d typically do if you were getting ready for the office. If you’re on a video conference, wear office-appropriate clothing (Pro-tip: At least on the top; you can wear sweatpants and no one will be the wiser).
- Don’t get distracted.Easier said than done, right? When you work from home, the temptation to throw in a load of laundry, vacuum the living room, or start making dinner can be great. Try to resist. If you really must do stuff around the house, schedule it for your lunch break. Be sure to read our guide on how to work from home with kids.
- Leave work at “work.” Conversely to #4, it’s very easy to let work life bleed over into home life. Be sure to unplug after work by using some type of ritual or segue such as working out or doing yoga to end your day.
- Create boundaries.If you live with other people who might be at home during the day (such as kids home from school), it’s important that you have a dedicated work space. Remind them if the door is closed or you’re sitting at the kitchen counter with your laptop that you are working.
Working from home isn’t for everybody, especially if you’re an extrovert who thrives in an office environment. Just like the other epidemics and pandemics (H1N1, Bird Flu, etc.) this virus won’t be around forever. In the meantime, try to stick to business as usual.
Paycor Can Help Facilitate Remote Work:
Employees can punch in and out on our mobile app from home.
Employees can receive emails and push notifications on shift updates and changes while working from home.
Fully customizable group chat allows you to attach documents and to communicate with pre-selected teams (e.g., all employees or all managers, etc.).