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10 Tips for Working Remotely During COVID

By August 18, 2020No Comments

Need to stay productive during quarantine?COVID has caused many organizations to work from home, that can be a challenge if you have never done it before.

 

As someone who has worked remotely for 20+ years, here are a few strategies that we share with clients to help keep you productive … and sane!

 

Design Your Workplace

  • Find a space you can work and learn.
  • Set up your computer, lighting, wi-fi, and stationery you need on a daily basis.
  • Consider your chair and if you want a sitting or standing space (or both) for long days.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated room in your home (or you are working from a heavy traffic area in your space), consider a basket that you can pack up your items each day to separate work and home.

 

Leverage Technology

  • Use the Out of Office function on email.
  • Consider web blocking software to allow you to focus on task completion (I like Freedom).
  • Use instant messages for quick conversations with colleagues.
  • Find a YouTube Video or fitness platform for stretching, Yoga, or a strength workout.
  • Learn a new skill with a masterclass
  • Watch a TED talk on a topic you are interested in

 

Establish a Daily Routine

  • Create a system to start each day that includes moving your body, mindfulness, and fueling your body with healthy food.
  • Invest 15 minutes in a strategic appointment with yourself, identify your top three non-negotiable activities for today.
  • Review meetings and schedule breaks through the day to eat, move and get fresh air.
  • Schedule breaks for lunch and snacks.
  • Consider getting ‘dressed’ for work each day in a way that makes you feel productive.

 

Create Boundaries

  • Establish a start and end time each day.
  • Avoid being online outside of work hours when possible.
  • Fight the urge to be on email all day, every day.

 

Educate your Co-workers

  • If you share your home with others, let them know what time they can expect you to start and finish each day.
  • Create agreements and boundaries to manage noise levels, break times, video, and phone.
  • Place a post-it note on your door or create a do-not-disturb signal with your family.
  • Be warned you will be more interrupted at home with deliveries, lawn services, dogs barking – all of it!

 

Stay Connected

  • Know it is normal to feel isolated, sad, lonely when you are in a new situation and you are missing your team. It’s ok.
  • Continue to build relationships with colleagues and friends and family you miss by leveraging Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and instant messaging applications.
  • Talk about how you are feeling, and what you are doing.
  • Discover things that bring you joy that might include virtual happy hours, Yoga, journaling, learning something new online, cooking.
  • Schedule 1:1 meetings with your boss.
  • Attend team meetings to understand other’s priorities.
  • Share your best tips for working remotely with your colleagues.
  • Turn on your video when you can feel more connected.

 

Communicate Often

  • Virtual environments don’t allow spontaneous connection opportunities so reach out to team members and leadership more regularly than you normally would if you were located in the same building.
  • Don’t assume everyone has read the email or seen the instant message.
  • Share with people the BEST way to get your attention, i.e it email, text, instant message, or a phone call.
  • Pick up the phone if you need to have a challenging conversation, don’t do that on email or text.

 

Take Breaks

  • Step away from your computer.
  • Set the alarm on your phone to get up and stretch every hour.
  • Schedule lunch breaks.
  • Get fresh air.

 

Move Your Body

  • Sitting at your computer for an extended time is not good for your physical or mental health.
  • Walk around your home during phone calls, if you can.
  • Regularly get up and move around your home
  • Walkthrough your neighborhood (weather permitting) to help you recharge.
  • Plan your workout time as a priority each day.

 

Hydrate Regularly

  • Fill water bottles and leave them on your desk to encourage hydration each day.
  • Set a target for how much water you want to drink and play a game of completion.

 

 

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