Making the Switch

In our previous article, Sarah Dobek advised how leaders should respond and lead through disruption. Consultant Katie Renelt recently made the switch from remote to home, so she is intimately aware of the struggles you’re facing. Here are her do’s and don’ts for remote work.

Making the Switch

The stigma of the home-based worker is very real, and now is our chance to crush it! It would certainly be ideal to have a well thought out plan and slowly ease into the remote workforce, however as the novel coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S., many of us will find ourselves working remotely. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean your productivity, professionalism, or quality of work will be compromised. Having recently made the switch from office building to home-office, here are do’s and don’ts to help make the transition seamless and successful.

DO have a dedicated space.

It doesn’t have to be an entire room, something semi-private works just fine. The most important consideration when choosing your workspace is to find a dedicated surface where you can sit down and focus. The couch and kitchen table may not be your first choice as these areas will be high traffic if other members of your household are home, but desperate times call for drastic measures. Parents who suddenly find themselves balancing attention between laptop and liquids management may elect to “work together” or isolate to a quiet corner of the house. Carving out a dedicated space will signal to your psyche and family members that it’s time to work.

DO be intentional when you set up your space.

Think about the tools that make you more productive. While they may seem minor, they can make big differences in your day-to-day. For example, will you be more productive with an external monitor or laptop stand? Would you benefit from a wireless keyboard and mouse? Do you have a comfortable chair that promotes good posture? How is the lighting? How will you make phone calls? Do you need headphones? If you plan to video conference, think about what others will see when they chat with you.

DON’T clutter your workspace.

It can be tempting to load your desk up with pictures, plants, and fun accessories. In the beginning, these items might be comforting, but in the long run, they may just get in your way. Try to keep it simple and just have the things you truly need nearby – like coffee!

DON’T be deterred by one bad day.

You are bound to have a non-productive day, don’t let it deter you. Try to learn why your day was unproductive and make adjustments so that your next day is better. For me, some of the adjustments I’ve made that helped include setting up a gate to keep my dog out of my office and making sure I routinely de-clutter my space each evening of any miscellaneous papers or coffee mugs that built up.

For me, working from home is a permanent setting. The majority of remote workers, however, will re-enter their brick and mortar (hopefully) sooner, rather than later. This experience is a testament to what you are capable of, what your business is capable of, and how resilient we are as a workforce. Many of the consultants in our office have been working from home for almost 10 years, so we know a thing or two about creating the right environment for productivity.  As you navigate the coming weeks, we can help you stay on track with client communications amid disruption (or give you pointers on how to keep your pets from interrupting your conference calls). We have created a list of resources to help you stay in motion. Check out our FFCRA+ Toolkit, COVID-19 Resources, Communications Checklist, and relevant blogs to ensure you are giving your clients the very best service.


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