Things That Don’t Need to Change When You Work Remote
By Dylan Lamb
Your regular happy hour with your coworkers transformed into a virtual happy hour. Your water cooler chats are now replaced with Slack messages. Your lunch time hour that once consisted of a walk and grabbing takeout with a coworker now involves you walking three feet to your fridge to slap together another PB&J.
Working remotely has definitely changed things. But, there are some things that shouldn’t change when you work remotely:
Your Company’s Culture
Thanks to modern technology, company culture doesn’t need to suffer while the team is apart. Find time for the things your company does in real life, like virtual coffee chats, pizza parties and happy hours. Make sure that you schedule these more than often. If you can, make time for each of your employees to check in with you every day. You can’t tap anyone on the shoulder right now to ask for their movie recommendations, so it’s a good idea to find a way for those fun conversations to happen anyways.
Your Personal Work-Ethic
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your personal work-ethic will suffer because you’re at home. As you settle into your “working from home” routine, you might find that you’re a little less productive at first. As long as you keep putting in your usual effort, day-in and day-out, you’ll quickly catch up to your productivity levels in the office. Be patient with yourself, but don’t compromise your usual work-ethic.
Your Creative Problem-Solving
At home, it’s harder to complete your more mindless tasks (everyone has those Excel Sheets they are procrastinating on) due to your more appealing distractions (your adorable dog who is personally benefiting from a lot more attention). However, a 2012 study that suggests working from home might help you with your more creative tasks. In fact, there is an argument that too much structure might kill creativity. So while you’re at home, embrace the chaos and the creative projects that cross your desk.
Your Communication with Clients
Client communication requires a different approach than your communication with your employees. Focus your communication with clients on these key talking points: information that’s important to them, your tasks to help them, and empathetic messages. Your efficient and empathetic communication will earn your client’s trust and confidence.
Your Drive to Improve
Did you just start a diet, pick up a new skill, or start a business right before social distancing when into action? You might feel like the quarantine is sabotaging your self-improvement projects, but as you’re at home there’s no reason your drive to improve should suffer. It’s hard to feel motivated right now, especially when your quarantine snacks look so tasty, but take this time to practice discipline and stay sharp. When quarantine is over you’ll be glad you stayed the course.
Your Pursuit of Work-Life Balance
Yes, it’s harder to turn ‘work-mode’ off when your laptop is right there on your kitchen table. Try to maintain your office schedule: if you worked nine-to-five in the office, work nine-to-five at home. While parents homeschooling their kids may not have this luxury, they can try “focus hours” where everyone in the house has to work or play separately for an allotted time. Instead of using your extra time to work more, focus on your hobby, read to your kids, or do some DIY projects. This will help keep you sane, stay the course, and prepare you to embrace your new/old routines as things clear up.