Safe and Secure at Home
If you are not an employee of an essential business, chances are you are working from home these days to help flatten the curve of COVID-19. While many of us were already set up to work remotely, for some the switch to working from home was sudden, and they had no time to prepare. Many managers and staff are dealing with the challenges arising from working separately from each other for the first time. As a result, companies are now recognizing the need to establish a work-from-home protocol as a vital part of their business going forward. Those who can adapt to the current circumstances have a better chance of surviving the crisis, whereas those who do not may find their companies facing an uncertain future.
Those who have not supervised remote workers before are often concerned about declines in productivity due to the lack of physical supervision. Much research, however, indicates productivity will typically increase in a remote work scenario. Because this change was unplanned and there was no lead-time for a transition, remote workers may find themselves facing a less-than-ideal work set-up at home and may also have childcare and/or educational challenges to work around during the day. To help improve productivity, supervisors may need to exercise more patience and provide more support for the time being.
Your Remote Office Set-Up
Being set-up properly for working from home can help displaced workers feel more comfortable in their new circumstances. You may have been working from home for a couple of weeks at this point, but if you’re not set up for work properly yet, there’s no reason to wait any longer. Your circumstances may not be ideal and getting adjusted should be viewed as a work in progress.
While it may be tempting to work in pajamas from your bed, it’s not great for your back! It’s also difficult to find a tray of the appropriate height to prevent neck strain when working on a laptop from a reclining position on a bed or couch. A chair and desk or chair and table scenario is better. You can also stand at your kitchen countertop for short stints of 10 to 15 minutes.
Have Your Tools Handy
Having easy access to an electrical outlet is important for both your laptop and your cell phone. Placing your printer nearby will also make your work process smoother. What do you keep in your desk at the office? A stapler, tape, pens, pencils, paper, notepads? Make sure you also have these items within easy reach at home, too.
Clear the Clutter
Avoid making stacks of paperwork. These could continue to grow while you are working from home. Create file folders for your tasks, projects, and accounts. Organize them in a way which can be easily transitioned to your office file system when you return. If you deal with confidential records, it’s important to keep these sensitive documents secure just as you would in the office. Sierra Shred offers service on-site at your home with a no-touch process. Gather this information in whatever container works best for you and contact us for a free quote.
No, not in person! Take advantage of any opportunities to socialize virtually with co-workers and friends. Video conference calls, IM platforms like Skype or Slack, as well as web meetings via GotoMeeting, WebX, or Google Hangouts can help ease feelings of isolation. Virtual lunch plans with colleagues may not feel very different from your usual lunch in the break room!
It’s important to remember millions of people are now working remotely for the first time. It will be a learning experience. It will sometimes be awkward and require patience to navigate. Technology may not work as expected or at all on occasion. Remain positive. We will get through this, and we may pick up some valuable skills from the experience. Stay well!