Home work work.
Email The coronavirus pandemic has many APQC members departing the office and embarking on a full-time, work-from-home journey. In this blog post, I am sharing practices that have worked for me over many years of full-time telecommuting. Because every personality, home situation, and job is different and because we are in unprecedented circumstances for example, many will be working from home while kids are also at homeI invite you to share your work from home tips and ideas by responding to this post.
I look forward to compiling and sharing your suggestions in a follow-up post. When I started working from home it was a novel thing. The truth is, I worked for a progressive, human resources consulting company that had a formal telecommuting program.
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To get approval to work from home, I had to make and present a plan to my manager and HR for how I would be able to work seamlessly from home: technology to be used, home office set up, set work hours, and how I would be accessible to my coworkers—these were some of the things I had to work through.
As a researcher focused on HR and human capital management, I also did my fair share of research into telecommuting best practices. So, here are some tips which I try to heed to this day. Designate a consistent workspace. Pick a place that will be your primary home office. It may be a spare bedroom, it might be a desk in your bedroom, perhaps it will be the kitchen counter.
Set ground rules with the people around you. This may be the best advice that I found when conducting research before I began telecommuting.
Communicate with those who are in your home, and with those who visit your home, about when you will and will not be available. If you have kids at home, it can help to talk over what will be considered an emergency.
You may also want to discuss expectations in terms of background noise.
2. Homeworking could give you an extra day per week
Maybe its ok for the kids to be loud as long as you are not on a call or in a meeting. Given the current circumstances, the ground rules you set may not be perfect but having an agreed upon plan even if it needs to be adjusted over time can help reduce household stress and make it easier for you to focus on work. Set ground rules for yourself. Leaving your office means leaving the routines that get you through the workday—the routines that guide when you work, when you take a break, and when you refuel.
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As you begin working from home, decide what your new routine will home work work. When will you start work each day? When will you take breaks and what will you do on your breaks socialize virtually with your coworkers, go for a walk outside, make a cup of coffee?
When will you have lunch?
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When will you stop working each day? If your job allows, consider building into your routine, times when you will check email, voicemail, and internal social networks. Putting limits around checking email and social networks is a home work work that many use when working in the office, but it can be especially valuable when working from home.
Working from home can home work work a lonely experience, especially if you are not used to it. It can be tempting and disruptive to check email and social every time you hear a ping. Set ground rules with your team.
Working from home changes the dynamics of teamwork. Teams that are effective in an office environment, may not automatically translate into teams that work well when all parties are remote.
Things to discuss and decide on as a team include: work schedules, preferred methods of communication, expectations for responsiveness, standards for dress and appearance if you will use video chathow meetings will be led so that everyone has a chance to talk, etc. It is also helpful to revisit the frequency with which team meetings should be held.
More frequent meetings, especially at the start of virtual work, may be beneficial. You can set aside time on the agenda to discuss and work through any challenges that remote working is posing for the team. There will likely be unforeseen challenges, that if addressed in a timely way, will be much less disruptive overall. Communicate your schedule. So, it is especially important to keep your calendar up-to-date, reflecting when you are starting work, taking a break, and ending work.
If you use an internal social network that allows you to signal your availability, keep your status here current too. Many coworkers will find it harder to interrupt you when you are working at home. Reassurances go a long way in making sure valuable coworker interactions still take place.
Get ready for work each day.
But, when working from home for an extended period, having a consistent morning routine and appearance standards can be helpful. I tried following the advice and have found that getting ready for work each day helps me distinguish between work and home. Work a to-do-list. Just like routines, to-do-lists help you move through the workday without having to stop and think about what you should do next.
They narrow the opportunity for distraction and thus help you stay on track with your goals. When home work work from home, where you lack the backdrop of busy coworkers and watchful managers—a to-do list can help you stay motivated. Over the years, I have found it helpful to have both a weekly and daily to-do list. Not only does home work work feel good and motivating to check things off as I accomplish them, but I also find having these lists helps me keep distractions and procrastination at bay.
Working a to-do-list, moving from one task to the next, can be a small substitute for the office, coworkers, and your manager in terms of building a climate of focus and accountability.
Check-in with your manager regularly.
This makes it important to schedule regularly occurring check-in meetings with your manager. The number of people your manager is responsible for and the pace at which your work changes will determine the frequency of these meetings. For most of my years as a telecommuter, I had a standing, cum se fac bani pe împrumuturi meeting with my manger.
For my work, this proved to be enough time between meetings that there were new things to talk about but not so much time that my work could have veered far off track.