Updated: Mar 23, 2020
With the outbreak of COVID-19, many companies are allowing their employees to work remotely in order to curb the spread of infection. This shift away from the workplace is new for many, but you can boost your productivity and stay healthy by following the tips below.
First and foremost, take the necessary precautions to ensure that you will remain healthy and avoid spreading any infections.
Wash your hands: Do this frequently with soap and water for a duration of 20 seconds. If you cannot wash your hands, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing: If you need to sneeze or cough, use your elbow or a tissue to cover your mouth.
Refrain from physical contact with others: This includes handshakes. Also, keep a distance of at least 6 feet apart.
Tips for Working Remotely
Dress professionally: When you are working remotely, dress as if you are planning on physically attending work. This will help you get into the mindset of working. Avoid wearing pajamas, sweats, or workout gear.
Set consistent work hours: Come up with a schedule and a set of hours that you plan to work on a daily basis. Be consistent. This will help you get into a routine that can positively impact your work and create work-life balance.
Schedule your breaks: It can be easy to lose track of time when you are in a different environment, away from your coworkers, and away from the usual cues that signal you to take a break or eat lunch. Schedule breaks ahead of time and set an alarm to remind you to take them.
Write down your accomplishments: Write them down on a daily or weekly basis and share this with your team or your manager. This will keep your team informed of what you are working on so they can provide support or show appreciation for your accomplishments.
Hold virtual meetings: Set up video conferencing calls with your team. These enable you to see your coworkers, share your screen during a presentation, and record your meetings so they can be referenced at a later time. Some video conferencing software has breakout rooms that are useful if you want to break into smaller groups for discussion. Throughout your call, be sure to keep your video on and avoid multitasking. You will find yourself more engaged in the ongoing conversation.
Work in a single location: Find a quiet and comfortable location and set up your workspace with all the resources you may need including your laptop charger, notebooks, pens/pencils, headphones, and more. It will be easier to “get in the zone” and focus on accomplishing your tasks.
Have daily standups: Check in with your team on a daily basis to give an update about your progress for your tasks. This daily interaction can motivate you, especially in times where isolation is encouraged. Also, your team can guide or support you if you are stuck or need feedback.
Be on time for meetings: Punctuality demonstrates that you take your work and your team seriously. Don’t keep your team waiting for you or miss out on important information.
Socialize: Take some time to chat with your friends or coworkers during breaks. Have a video conferencing call or post light content to group chats. If you have an app such as Slack, you can create channels based on interests which are a great way to share and engage in conversations.
Be Grateful: Many of us are fortunate to have jobs that allow us to work from home, but not everyone has that option. Be grateful for the opportunity and make the most of your time at home with your family or the people closest to you.
COVID-19 is bringing significant changes to the workplace, but you still have the ability to be productive at home. If you are feeling unmotivated or unsure about your current situation, reach out to your company or your local county for resources and support. Also, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization web pages for the latest update on the coronavirus.