Maximizing the Opportunity to Work from Home

If you normally work in an office, these last couple of months have likely been a huge adjustment for you, your team, and your entire company. It’s probably been a culture shift for everyone involved. You may like some aspects of it, but not others.

At PeopleResults, we embraced a virtual office years ago, so we’ve been at this a long time. However, I’m seeing and hearing from clients and friends that some people are embracing these changes and others are really struggling with it.

When I seek to understand what’s behind those reactions, I’ve learned that in many cases, people are spending 8-10 hours a day on conference calls. In person meetings and face to face interactions have been replaced by emails, instant messages, and phone calls. Work from home-based burnout is real.

My colleague, Charlotte Ntreh offered Working Remotely: 10 Tips to Making it Work. In addition to Charlotte’s sage advice, this list is much shorter on how to sustain it and make the most of it over the long run.

  1. Turn ON your video camera to have face to face interaction. It is truly priceless.

There are plenty of options: Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. If your company hasn’t embraced one, then you pick one and set up a weekly virtual happy hour for your team. Find a way and engage!

It’s not the same as being in the office together, but the connection you have with your co-workers is far more personal than over the phone. Seeing one another, and even seeing each other’s backgrounds goes a really long way! The background might be your office, or your kitchen or it might be virtual, but it still gives some insight into YOU.

NOTE: Ladies, I realize you may feel like you have to have your make up on and be “fixed up” to do this. It is worth it if the alternative is going weeks (or months) only interacting over the phone with co-workers / customers / clients.

2.  Get an idea of what future interactions are going to be like, digitally and/or in small groups, so you’re ready when the time comes.

Here is an infographic based on recent research from industry leaders in the business of event planning. Their conclusions make a world of sense about starting with small gatherings and broadcasting out to other locations. People will be needing ways to interact both in person and online in the months to come. Prepare yourself for when and how, both personally and within your company.

3.  Get outside.

Get sunshine. Get exercise. If you have pets, spend time with them. Interact offline so you’re away from the screen(s). Breathe deeply. Listen to music you enjoy. Focus on what you’re grateful for, instead of what you’re missing. It will remind you of what’s working instead of what’s not working.

Betsy Winkler