Over the last few weeks, we saw a steady increase in the number of companies shifting to a remote-work policy to help combat the spread of the coronavirus. In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all non-essential businesses and organizations to close their physical workplaces until Monday, May 4th. However, these businesses are strongly encouraged to continue operations remotely.
As we adapt to a new normal for the foreseeable future, many employees are now working from home for the first time, which means trying to navigate how to maintain productivity in a new environment. For those adjusting to this new remote-lifestyle, we have a few tips to help you stay on track.
Create a workspace
As tempting as it may be to work from the couch one day and the kitchen table the next, designating a specific area of your home to get work done can help eliminate distractions and keep you focused on the task at hand. Having one place to keep your work-related files, computer, and other resources you need throughout the day can help you mimic the idea of going to a physical office in your own home.
Plan your day
Each morning, try to schedule a list of tasks and create a plan for accomplishing them. Take into account breaks for meals, walks around the house or the neighborhood, and also any other responsibilities you have throughout the day. For example, if you have kids who will need your help with a project during the day, set aside time for that and try to stick to your schedule as much as you can. During these times, it’s also important to remember that plans may change and distractions will happen, but having an overall plan will help you from day to day.
Tip: let your family members know what your plan for the day is so they know when you might be on a call to help alleviate interruptions.
Set working hours
During this time, you may not be able to accommodate the normal working hours you would have in the office. If you have small children, you likely will have to create your schedule around theirs. Figure out a plan that works for you to be the most productive and let coworkers know when you’ll be available. Once you commit to these working hours, avoid taking care of personal tasks during this time. When working remotely, it can be tempting to throw in a load of laundry or take the dog for a walk, but working hours should be non-negotiable.
Get acquainted with video-chat and conference calls
For many, meetings may have often meant being face-to-face in a room with several of your coworkers. Now, it means several voices on one conference line or faces on a screen through a video-chat. Adjusting to this new technology can be challenging at first, but there are many resources available to help you successfully collaborate with coworkers.
Keep open lines of communication with coworkers
When working remotely, it can be easy to miscommunicate with others when chatting via email or a messaging app like Gchat or Slack. Oftentimes, you may miss out on the verbal and visual cues that typically help add value to a conversation. Take the time to connect with coworkers and communicate as much as you can to ensure everyone is on the same page and schedule a call or video conference if you need to discuss important matters.
Keep wellness a priority
Working remotely and practicing social distancing can be an isolating time. When you make your daily schedule, plan times to break to chat with friends or family, take a walk outside, read your favorite book, or cook something new. Setting aside time to do the things you really enjoy will help keep your spirits high, which in turn will help boost productivity.
Under the guidelines of the Executive Order, Insurance Companies and independent agents are an essential business. More than 90% of our staff are already working remotely and we are ready and able to serve your needs. Should you have questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply promptly. Thank you for your business and the trust you have put in us.