We are aware that working from home for an uncertain period of time can be challenging but we are here to support you! We've outlined below some tools and tips to help ensure that your Working From Home (WFH) experience is successful.
Ongoing communication is key – working fully remote may be a new concept for both you and your employer. It’s important to communicate not only success, but also roadblocks.
While email is a helpful way to send updates and end of day recaps, these tools can be resourceful for quick check-ins and reviews:
Slack - slack is an application that organizes communication and tools in one place, remote teams will stay productive no matter where they're working from.
Google Hangouts - a Google plug in that brings conversations to life with photos, messenger, and most importantly group video calls for free. Conference lines and video chats can be confirmed and scheduled through Google Calendar.
Whatsapp - allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media internationally.
Staying organized should be a top priority always, but it is essential when working from home! When you're at your office desk, it's easy to quickly jot something on a sticky note. But working from home, whether it be in a home office, your bedroom or the kitchen table, likely increases the possibility of those notes being lost.
We recommend these applications, websites and methods for top organization:
Evernote - is an app designed for note taking, organizing, task management, and archiving.
Desktop Sticky Notes - these are a great application/plug-in to have on your desktop or laptop for making to-do lists or taking quick notes while on a call in the same format you would by hand
ToDoist - is a note-taking application that helps get all of those tasks out of your head and onto your to-do list (no matter where you are or what device you use).
Microsoft OneNote - is a program for free-form information gathering and multi-user collaboration. It gathers users' notes, drawings, screen clippings and audio commentaries.
Trello - is a web-based list-making application that is organized to keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details
STARTING YOUR WORK DAY
It's important to start your work day with a clear and engaged mind. Even though WFH makes it easy to roll out of bed and open your laptop, you should try avoiding this at all costs. You need to have a ready to work mindset when you begin working.
Start your day by implementing these tips:
Wake up at the time you would if you were commuting to work and take advantage of the time that would be spent on your commute.
Make breakfast and drink coffee leisurely. Try listening to a podcast or music, or even reading a book.
Getting ready and dressed as if you were going into the office. This helps to prepare and shift your mindset into working mode.
CREATING A PRODUCTIVE SPACE
It's important to create an office-like environment: separate and distinct from your “home space” and conducive to working effectively without interruptions.
Tips & Tricks:
Keep all of the hard documents and materials, as well as a pen and notepad next to you. Maximize efficiency by accessing these quickly when needed.
Have a healthy workspace with good light, controlled temperature and a comfortable chair. Sit by a window, use a space heater or fan if needed, and consider putting a pillow behind you or underneath you in your chair.
Set boundaries with your roommates and friends – consider closing your door and putting your phone in a drawer or in 'do not disturb' mode
Establish ground rules for work hours and check in with your supervisor if you're taking a break or lunch.
HOW TO SET UP BOUNDARIES
It is important to find ways to “disengage” from work and have quality personal time when you're WFH. In order to set reasonable limits to your work hours, you must determine how to meet work requirements and still preserve personal time.
Integrate short breaks into your work day. Figure out what times your experience lower motivation and take a break to stretch, get a drink or snack, and refocus your mindset.
Take your full lunch break. Even though you're at home, it's key to disengage during your lunch and take time to make/eat lunch, check your phone, and even get some fresh air.
Try to maintain normal work hours, and shut things down when you would normally leave the “office.” Log out of your email and turn your computer off as you would when you would leave work.
Remove yourself from the space you are typically working in. For instance, if you're working in your bedroom try to hang out in your living room or common-space until it's time for bed.
WFH: IN PRACTICE
Check out this short video to see some more tips and tricks for how I manage working from home!
If you are feeling sick, or think you may have symptoms of COVID-19, please do the following:
Contact your HR manager or the appropriate point person – inform them. This is confidential information and should not be shared with anyone besides your direct manager or supervisor.
Refer to the CDC COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and follow the appropriate medical steps or contact a helpline.
- Alexa Scull, ArtBound Initiative Team
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