Like so many Texans in light of COVID-19, we’ve been working remotely the last few weeks. It’s been a relatively smooth transition, though with anything new there are both pros and cons.
Increased job satisfaction, performance and commitment to your employer are a few of the positives that come from working remotely, according to some researchers. But working from home can also lead to a sense of isolation, less opportunities for communication with coworkers and a blurring of the lines between work and home.
Let’s look at a at a few tips to make working remotely a little easier.
Set Up Your Space
When you’re working from home, a designated workspace is a must. If you’ve got others in your home, consider a workspace that has a door. That way you can even hang a “Do not disturb sign” on the outside. This’ll help you get into a regular workday routine where you can better focus on work. And it can also help prevent embarrassing intrusions during meetings with coworkers.
Get Into a Routine
Don’t let working from home break some of your normal routines. You’ll have an easier time adjusting if you continue to practice at least some of the same daily rituals you had before. So eat breakfast, take a shower, comb your hair and put on something other than your pajamas. This will help with your sense of professionalism—and coworkers you might see in video conferences will appreciate it, too.
And don’t forget to take breaks. Try to plan them for the same time every day—breakfast, lunch and quick 15-minute breaks every few hours. It doesn’t hurt to get outside for a little fresh air and sunshine, as long as your practicing good social distancing.
Know Your Limits
Don’t forget to call it quits at the end of the day. In general, remote employees tend to log more hours that regular officegoers, but that can actually work against you. We know these are unprecedented times, so you may be asked to work outside of your regular schedule as things pop up. But do your best to adhere to a normal schedule as much as possible. This will help maintain the lines between work and home that are so important to mental wellbeing and health.
Talk it Out
Working from home means we miss out on some of the usual means of communication. We’re not passing each other in the halls or meeting at the water cooler, after all. So, we have to be a little more aware of the other opportunities that are there.
If you’re using some sort of communication platform such as Microsoft Teams, collaborating and keeping in contact will be a lot easier. These pl for calls, chats, storing and sharing documents and participating in video chats and meetings. Be sure to be extra responsive and keep your workmates posted on your status, even if it’s just to let them know you’re stepping away from your computer for a few minutes to stretch your legs.
If you’re not on such a platform, be sure to stay diligent about checking email, voicemail and texts frequently. And talk with coworkers about the best ways you can all be reached.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your company’s IT department, either. If you’re having tech issues, give them plenty of heads up as soon as possible. Little problems can develop into big problems, and you want to be sure to give them enough time to stay ahead of the issue. Even if the trouble you’re having is on your end, ask them for help. Chances are, they’ll be able to walk you through a solution to the problem.
From all of us here at Veteran Energy, we hope you find these tips helpful and that you and your friends and family are safe and well.