Taking it Remote: Ramping up Quickly When Working from Home

Remote work has grown increasingly common in recent years. And why not? With improved technology making it seamless, many employees can work from home, or even traveling the world as digital nomads. But most remote workers have a choice. They’ve had training, the opportunity to set up a home office and created systems that allow them to be effective without going into the office. With the spread of the Coronavirus, many people must shift to working from home with little to no notice.

Here’s how to set yourself up for success.

Designate a workspace. If you already have a home office, that’s great. If not, you can still get the job done from your kitchen table, family room or a corner of the bedroom. Consider what you need to get your job done whether that is printer paper or a quiet place for client calls.

Practice good ergonomics.

If you’ve ever worked a day or two from home when you were under the weather or getting ready for vacation, you may have grabbed your laptop and lounged on the couch. That might be fine for a few hours or occasional use, but on long term basis, pay attention to any new aches and pains in wrists, neck, back or shoulder and adjust accordingly.

Establish work hours.

Discuss with your manager when you are expected to work. Do they want you to keep the same hours you did in the office; do you have some wiggle room, or does it not matter when you work as long as the job gets done? When it’s time to end your day, close your laptop or your office door. It’s easy for your workday to bleed into your leisure time, especially when it’s all taking place at home.

Overcommunicate.

Keep in touch with your manager and coworkers. There are multiple channels to choose from including email, video, messaging platforms like Slack and of course phone calls. Collaborate on projects, enjoy some casual conversation with work friends and be honest with your manager. If you are struggling because you are stressed, having trouble managing your workload or are having a hard time balancing caring for children or loved with job tasks, let your manager know as early as possible. They may be able to redistribute the work; adjust your hours or even suggest you take a few days off. Don’t wait until you’re behind.

Stay healthy.

Efforts to work from home to avoid spreading COVID-19 are wasted if you put yourself at risk by going out where you might be exposed to people who are infected. Stay home and take care of yourself and your family. Eat well, get outside (while keeping social distance), make time for exercise and get plenty of rest.

Your manager wants you happy, healthy and productive. We can weather this storm together.

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