With the current state of the country, many employers are switching to remote work arrangements for their employees. While this is prudent for the safety of our communities, without much notice or preparation many people must now adjust to a new way of working. For many employees, their home environments may not be set up for full-time work. Even in the best of times, working remotely can be challenging and make you feel isolated. Below are a few tips that can help make the transition easier to make.
- Maintain regular work hours – It is easy to let the hours between work and home blur together. As much as possible stick to the schedule you had when you were working outside the home. Start work at the same time, and end at the same time.
- Keep your normal morning routine – Get up at the same time, do your regular morning hygiene and exercise routines, put on clean clothes every day, eat a healthy breakfast.
- Set ground rules with others – Let both your employer and your household members know the hours that you will be working and keep to that schedule.
- Take breaks – Take a lunch break, take your morning and afternoon breaks. Get up and walk around every hour or so. Schedule your breaks and take them in their entirety.
- Set up your workspace – As much as possible set up a designated home office workspace. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown office but try to designate a space solely for working. Set up a small desk, peripherals, office chair, etc.
- Ergonomics – Be conscious of ergonomic conditions as you set up your workspace. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, keep good posture, with your arms at roughly right angles, and place your screen at eye level.
- Stay connected to colleagues – Set up MS (Microsoft) Teams or Zoom meetings for regularly scheduled meetings; it helps to be able to see your coworkers. Utilize MS Yammer or other social media to facilitate socialization among colleagues.
- Communication is key – It can help to overcommunicate, especially about schedules and tasks. When you are working on an important task and may be slower to respond, say so. When you finish that task, say that too. Remember to always be positive, but professional, in your communications. It is more difficult to interpret tone in written communication so it is important to stay cognizant of how your message may be perceived.
- Take advantage of the small perks of being at home – Use the breaks you scheduled to do something enjoyable, or even useful – sit outside and get some fresh air for your morning coffee break, maybe start that load of laundry during your lunch break.
- Cut yourself some slack – There are going to be distractions while working at home. Accept that and don’t beat yourself up about them. Remember, distractions happened in the office too.
Remember, your Employee Assistance Program is here to help you and your household members manage the stress that can come with a major transition. You can also access up-to-date information by logging into your PersonalAdvantage account here. Look for the news alert banner on the top of the page for resources including more tips and news sources with live updates. If you need additional information, please call MINES and Associates at 1-800-873-7138.