Work From Home 101
With the global spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) companies are embracing work from home policies like never seen before. As the country bands together to enforce social distancing in an effort to lower the spread of Coronavirus, we are now in the position to come up with innovative ways to remain connected to clients, co-workers and family/friends alike. Below are a few tips and tricks our Los Angeles PR agency came up with to keep yourself motivated and connected during this time of uncertainty.
- Video Conference is your new best friend: Replace your weekly calls with video calls to get that extra face time with your peers. As isolation can sometimes feel lonely, we now more than ever want clients/colleagues to feel our presence daily. As communication is key during this time a video call can go a long way to ensuring that your message is being communicated clearly.
- Check your background: Ensure that your un-made bed, dirty laundry or dishes aren’t visible on the screen. These can be distractions for those you are video conferencing with. Additionally, it is unprofessional and may look bad on both you and your company.
- Manage Up: Not being in office face-to-face with your team can leave you feeling in the dark regarding knowing what each other is working on. Overcommunicate with your team on a regular basis to ensure everyone is in the loop and feels well informed of your daily workload.
- This will help you to maintain your reputation with colleagues and clients by ensuring that you are equally reliable and communicative in the office and while working from home. Reassure people that they can count on you to get the job done. This is especially relevant as PR professionals and digital strategists as we charter this new territory and have to navigate the changing landscape on digital and traditional media during this time of crisis.
- Suggestion: Set daily morning 10-minute meetings with your managers to let them know what you are working on for the day and where they might be of assistance to you. Overcommunicating your goals and finding ways to be of extra value at this time for both your teams and clients.
- Create a daily to-do list: Set goals for each day to ensure a productive and meaningful workday. Chunk your day accordingly with your priority assignments and adjust as needed based on any time-sensitive assignments that arise.
- Tip: Let your teams know if you are working on a time-sensitive project that may take you away from your email and/or phone for a few hours.
- Get dressed and maintain a professional appearance: Keep as much of your regular morning routine going as you can. Take a shower, get dressed, do your hair, etc.. This will help keep you motivated throughout your day. Additionally, now that you are on video calls with colleagues and clients you want to ensure that you look appropriate for the screen time.
- No need to dress as if you were going to a new business meeting, but ensure your clothes are work-appropriate should a colleague or client want to hop on a last-minute video call.
- Set up a designated “Work from Home” station: The more you feel like you are in the office the more productive you will be. Ensuring that you have everything you need in proximity that helps you efficiently do your job. For example, laptop, laptop charger, phone, notebook, pens, etc.
- Take a lunch break: Breaks are an important way for us to reset and stay productive. As you would in the office, ensure to take a lunch or coffee break during the day. This will help you refocus and will provide you with the additional energy to get through the remainder of the day.
- Take a walk or sit in your backyard. Get outdoors at least once a day. This will help you feel less isolated and will provide you with the necessary fresh air to keep your mind in tip-top shape. This is especially true as we all navigate social distancing and quarantining. With gym’s and public fitness centers closed, for the time being, we need to find alternative ways to keep both our minds and bodies active.
- Set boundaries: When working from home long-term it can be easy to blur the lines between home life and work life. You may feel the urge to work longer hours and/or hop back on your laptop for just a few more emails at the end of the night. In the long-term, this can be detrimental to your mental health. Especially during times of uncertainty like these. We all need to prioritize our mental health and wellbeing.
- Work a full day, but at the end of the day give yourself a break. Call or Facetime a family member or friend, watch your favorite Netflix show or cook up some new recipes for dinner. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance will help all of us mentally and physically get through these challenging times.
With news on this virus changing by the minute, it is important that we all learn flexibility with our careers and personal lives. The more quickly we are willing to pivot and join together as a community the easier we will all get through this. There is no guidebook or map on how this will pan out but I am confident that we will come out on the other side. Until then, we hope these work from home tips are of use to you as they are for our PR agency!