Telecommuting Tips for the Office Worker
In less than a week, many companies in Seattle have made a notable change in how they are handling the COVID-19 outbreak. Rather than continuing to ask their employees to simply follow proper handwashing techniques and remain home if they have any symptoms of illness, many companies have started telling their employees to work from home altogether. As Seattle companies implement “social distancing” within their organizations, telecommuting has never been more prevalent in the Pacific Northwest.
The rising number of telecommuters in the PNW is apparent on many Seattle area residents’ social media feeds. Visuals of makeshift workspaces, sweatpants as work attire, and morning coffee midday are flooding social media. These posts further the narrative that Seattle area employees are facing many unknowns; one of which being how we can successfully work from home while we wait to return to our normal work routines.
Once the novelty of staying home to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus has worn off, you will need to refocus your attention on your productivity while working remotely. The following are a few ways to do just that:
Keep your schedule the same. It is easy to let your schedule slide while working from home. Although it is tempting to hit the snooze button a few extra times or take extended midday breaks, you should maintain your typical daily work schedule (minus the commute).
Create a workspace. Even if your square footage is already limited, it is important that you have a designated workspace as you navigate telecommuting. The area that you decide to transform into your “home office” doesn’t necessarily need to be an entire room solely dedicated to your work; however, the location that you choose to set up in should have a strong internet connection, have accessible outlets to charge phones and computers, and be an area that is free from distractions.
Stay in touch. Working from home does not mean that you have to go into complete isolation. Without the daily socialization that working in an office setting provides, working from home can start to feel downright lonely. In addition, your clients and customers will want to hear from you and be reassured that you are still conducting business. Make sure that you utilize technology to stay in touch with the rest of your team, your clients and your customers during this uncertain time.
Get out. Yes, many of us are currently doing our best to prevent the spread of illness through following the government’s recommended social distancing; however, this distancing does not require healthy Seattleites to quarantine themselves inside of their houses or apartments. Throughout the day, schedule time to go outside for some much needed fresh air. Simply getting outside and going for a walk around the block can help relieve stress, improve your health, and help you concentrate for the remainder of the day.
Don’t multitask. While at home, keep your work tasks and personal tasks separate (just like you would during a typical work day at the office). While folding laundry and taking phone calls may seem like a great idea, your focus should be solely on your work- not your chores.