The global spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, is keeping people at home and social distancing. Working from home is possible for most jobs if you’re doing it right. Some employers are encouraging or requiring people to work from home for a good amount of time. We all face unique challenges, not only because we have different personalities, but also due to our various lifestyles and the type of work we’ve got. Still, many of the core issues we face as remote employees are the same. Everyone who works remotely has to figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work and personal life.
Here are the top 5 tips.
1. Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule, and stick to it…most of the time. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to call it a day helps many remote workers maintain a work-life balance. That said, one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility, and sometimes you need to extend your day or start early to accommodate someone else’s time zone. When you do, be sure to wrap up earlier than usual or sleep in a bit the next morning to make up for it.
2. Keep a Dedicated Office Space
In an ideal world, remote employees would have not only a dedicated office but also two computers, one for work and one for personal use. While you are working, no Facebook, no online shopping on Amazon and no YouTube.
3. Use a VPN
Use a VPN whenever you’re connected to a network that you don’t control. That includes Wi-Fi at co-working spaces, cafes, libraries, and airports. Some organizations have their own VPNs that off-site employees need to access certain servers or websites that store information meant only for internal use. In those cases, you’ll also need to use a VPN at home. In any case, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of leaving your VPN connected as often as possible because it’s always safer to have it on than not.
4. Communicate With Colleagues
It’s important to figure out how much interaction you need to feel connected and included. Just you’re working from home doesn’t mean you can’t socialize with your co-workers via email and other proper communication channels.
5. Virtual Meetings
Certainly, you’ll take part in video conferences and conference calls, like Zoom Video and Microsoft Teams. You want to let people know that you’re here and able to attend meetings. A simple, “Thanks, everyone. Bye!” at the close of a meeting will go a long way toward making your presence known.