Career Advice

What You Need to Know About Working at Home During the Pandemic

Valued Careers March 18, 2020

Post-Coronavirus, working from home is the new normal for many people. With social distancing measures firmly in place, that often means juggling work with childcare and other family obligations. What can you do to reduce the enormous pressure this puts on you?

Here are key issues to consider while working at home...

Keep Communication Open with Colleagues

There's more pressure to produce work when you work from home. Since leaders can't walk the floor and see everyone sitting in their seats, you have to make an extra effort to contribute.

Frequent communication shows engagement. To make remote work productive, employees and supervisors need to communicate and verify instructions more often. This includes letting everyone know when you step away from your workstation.

If your company doesn't use teleconferencing regularly, this is a great time to introduce the practice. Visual cues and body language help convey meaning and emphasis that emails and text just can't convey.

Be Aware of Isolation

Working remotely during a pandemic differs from working from home under normal circumstances. Shops, restaurants, and stores provide convenient locations when you need a break from the computer...except when your town or city is under a self-imposed quarantine. Take time to call friends and family to maintain social interaction. If you have the kids home, working becomes more difficult.

Block off specific times that you will work and share that with your family. This is harder to do with some kids at home, but even very young children understand the concept of time. Negotiate with them for a solution that works for everyone.

Stick to a Routine

Set aside a space to work, whether it's the countertop, dining room table or a corner of your apartment. Remove yourself from distractions as much as possible, especially if you're on a conference call for work.

Some people have boundary issues. They either have a hard time disconnecting from work or getting any work done at home. Give yourself frequent breaks and accept that working from home won't be the same as going to the office. Including physical activity in your schedule keeps the circulation flowing and clears your mind. Finally, set a timer at the beginning and end of the workday and remember to disconnect when it's time to "leave the office."