Just a few weeks ago, when it looked like many more of my colleagues would be joining me in my long-time work-from-home (WFH) status, I couldn’t help but feel a sudden sense of expanded community and it made my heart swell just like when “the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.”
There was an unexpected sense of thrill attached to no longer being an outlier - we ALL would be videoconferencing! I kind of felt like that second grader who gets to show the “new kid” around the classroom, the gym, the art room, and the recess area (complete with monkey bars). Sure, the new kid knows what it means to be a second grader, but there were probably nuances between how things ran at their old school versus the new one.
The same holds true for making the transition from being an office-based colleague to a WFH colleague. Everyone fundamentally knows what their “job” is, how to be a team player and how to work autonomously. But, there are nuances in how to accomplish these when we can only rely on tools versus physical proximity to stay connected, maximize collaboration and be star performers as individuals, teams and organizations.
Here are 3 critical tips for working remotely that I use everyday:
#1 Dress the part – Dress as if you are in the office. At the very least meet “Casual Friday” guidelines, and up the ante from there, especially if you have client or executive meetings that day. Turn on your video camera during video conferences – it’s the new normal.
#2 Keep a dedicated work space – if you’re lucky enough to have an actual room in your home that you can call “my office,” use it. However, you can create a dedicated “pop up” workspace on a kitchen island, in a breakfast nook or even on a garden café table and chair. It’s important to create physical boundaries that allow you to mentally compartmentalize your work and personal activities each day and to have a space with all your essentials – laptop, mouse, coffee cup and water bottle – within arm’s reach, enabling you to work like you would in a “traditional” office. At the end of the work day, shut down your computer and shut off the lights in that room or area. Otherwise you risk blurring the lines and boundaries between your home-life and your work-life. I don’t recommend working on the couch, on your bed, on the floor, etc. – as these all add to “the blur.”
#3 Unplug – Once you do shut down for the day (or weekend), commit to yourself that checking and responding to email is for emergencies only. Do this for yourself and for your family, including your pets! In a 24/7 world, it takes training and discipline. Even after years of working from home, I sometimes struggle with this. But it’s worth keeping at it. You’ll thank yourself later and so will your loved ones.
Now that my entire team is WFH, I asked them to send me their top remote working tips and recommendations. Check them out!
Hear from various Tech Data associates sharing remote working tips.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your tips and questions in the comments section below.
About the Author
Sophie Lheritier is a brand engagement strategist at Tech Data. She has been working in the channel for 18+ years and is passionate about helping channel partners seize and maximize opportunities to create and enable new business models.
Find me on LinkedIn: Sophie Lheritier