Public health officials have been warning Canadians to practice social distancing. In an attempt to slow down the coronavirus, companies are allowing more and more employees to work remotely.
Working from home during the pandemic can leave you feeling isolated from your team. For many, it's a first-time experience. If you aren't used to relying on technology to stay connected and productive, this could be a learning opportunity.
Here are some tips to make the mental shift from a collaborative workplace to interacting electronically.
- Be responsive. When you respond quickly, you're team members and leaders perceive you as an engaged and committed team player ready to get the job done.
- Use a collaboration tool. Most companies use a collaboration tool with message boards and chats where colleagues can connect on projects and work-related conversations.
- Attend meetings. It's important to dial-in to important videoconferences or teleconferences. However, while working from home, you should attend as many relevant meetings as you can. Virtual participation provides a rare opportunity to interact with colleagues with some sense of normalcy. Not attending could transmit a negative message, especially if you are a corporate leader.
- Connect via Skype or Zoom. Connecting via teleconferencing apps helps you maintain working relationships. Download the app on your phone and take the meeting while you get out of the house for a walk. Face-to-face meetings (even virtual ones) can leave you feeling energized and focused.
- Suggest a Monthly Newsletter. A monthly newsletter highlighting team accomplishments can help build cohesion. You can even have a section for coworkers to share easy recipes and tips to stay productive with the kids at home.
Look for office supplies and gadgets to make remote work easier. A stand-sit desk can help you work more comfortably from your home office. Stocking up on printing paper, ink and toner make it easier to print out important documents without straining your eyes. Consider a large monitor to make videoconferencing more meaningful rather than squinting at your 13-inch laptop screen.
From social media to project management software, embrace technology to stay connected while working at home. Additionally, you may want to purchase a set of noise-canceling earphones to reduce the distraction of home life.