4 tips for working from home during the coronavirus pandemic
Last Wednesday, the WHO officially declared the coronavirus a pandemic. From office closures, school cancellations and full on fights over toilet paper, it’s safe to say we're living in unprecedented times.
Companies of all sizes and industries have closed shop temporarily, reduced employee work hours, and issued mandates for employees to work from home. The economic and personal impact is impossible to ignore.
Yet, working from home—or remotely—is the norm for many small business owners, freelancers, and gig-economy workers, myself included. Feelings of isolation, lack of community, and perceived notions of low productivity can certainly take its toll.
For those who are now faced with the task of working from home—something that just a few weeks ago you may have only dreamed of doing—I wanted to offer 4 quick tips to help ease the transition, even if temporarily.
Treat remote work like work, but leave room for flexibility
While working from home, it's important to treat your job like your job. Things like having a dedicated work space, working during set hours, and prioritizing your work projects can go a long way. But in unprecedented times like these, it's probably unrealistic to think that employees can accomplish the same objectives in the same time frames as before. So, the key is to stay productive, but leave room for flexibility.
Get your tech in order
For remote work to work, you need to have good technology. This includes anything from having the right infrastructure in place—such as a high-speed internet and a strong WiFi connection—to productivity and scheduling apps like Trello, Dropbox, Evernote, G Suite, and Basecamp, basically anything that will help you to do your job better.
Proactively check in with your team
During times of limited in person interactions, it's important that you check in periodically with your colleagues, business partners, and managers to stay abreast of current work flows and communicate the needed information to continue business as usual. Tools such as Zoom, Slack, GoToMeeting, and Microsoft Teams can aid in hosting anything from an all-hands team meeting to a one-to-one 'coffee chat' with your boss.
Take care of your mental health
Last, but not least, it's imperative that you take care of your mental health. Working from home can feel isolating at times. You generally don't have the interaction and face-to-face human contact with others as you would in a typical office environment. Add to that the distraction of children, pets and other things, and you've just raised your stress level up several notches.
As an anecdote, take breaks throughout the day, just as you would in a traditional work setting, and be kind to yourself. Now is probably the time to tap into all the things that you've learned during your own self-care journey—exercise, eating healthy, taking naps, praying, meditating—do whatever you feel you have to do throughout the day to maintain your sanity.
The most important thing is to take care of yourself and your family. And remember, we're all in this together!
Founder and owner of NicJohn Media
Do you have additional work from home tips? Feel free to drop a comment below. For more information, visit nicjohnmedia.com.