As we are all adjusting to our “new normal” of remote working, and in some instances, shelter-in-place, Crawford Group held a virtual meeting this morning to share some ideas of how to be successful while working from home. I thought we came up with a really great list and wanted to share:
(1) Gratitude. With so much uncertainty, Gratitude will help put us in the right mindset. We are grateful we are all healthy, that our kids have access to online education and that we work at a company and in an industry that allows the ability to work full-time from home. What are you Grateful for?
(2) Hold a household meeting. Although we all work from home on occasion, we have never worked from home with the rest of the family/roommates also in the house. Discuss guidelines and plans for everyone in the home. Have everyone select a place to work. You may need to get creative: an attic, a garage, the corner of a bedroom. Ensure you can have uninterrupted calls from your selected location. One suggestion was to put a “call in progress” sign on the door when needed.
(3) Set regular hours. This is not vacation. We are still working and going to school. Get up and get ready as you typically would. One team member’s son was still putting on his school uniform, so he knew it was time to work.
(4) Set a schedule. This “new normal” schedule may look different. You may need 30 minutes in the morning to ensure the kids get into their online learning portal, you may need a couple breaks in the day to help family members. Just set your schedule as needed. Schedule those breaks on your calendar, don’t “disappear”. One team member mentioned her family schedules a family walk every day. This gets them out of the house, makes the dog happy and gets some P.E. in for the kids.
(5) Video always on for scheduled meetings. Turn your video on, even if the other attendees do not. This visual connection builds relationships, and defuses isolation. One of our team members said she feels relationships are getting even stronger, as talking to someone in their home, you may hear a dog bark or a baby laugh and can chat a bit about personal things. If its a quick call, try FaceTime and keep instant messaging apps on with current status.
(6) Learn the tech. With video conferencing, each tool is a bit different and you don’t want to hold up a meeting figuring out how to mute your computer because you also dialed in on your phone, how to get your video up and running, or how to share you screen. Also, log-in a bit early as you may need to download a plug-in.
(7) Earbuds/headsets. Most everyone found it more successful to join a call with earbuds/headsets. There is less background noise, you can hear more clearly, your audio is more clear and there is not as much delay as with a speaker phone. Some headsets are noise-cancelling, which also helps with any background noise.
(8) Make sure to take breaks. On a busy day, you can easily sit down first thing in the morning and realize at 7pm that you’ve been working non-stop. Place breaks in your schedule and make sure to stand up, take a walk, and shut down at a consistent time in the evening.
(9) Self Care. With everything going on, this is one of the hardest, but the most important. We all want to remain healthy, productive and sane. You are working from home, take advantages of some of the perks. I save 2 hours not driving into the office. I’ve swapped that time for a walk with the dog, to get a bit of laundry done, or to do some baking. Whatever fills your soul, make time for that.
(10) Ask for help if needed, and reach out to friends and neighbors to make sure they are okay. If you have a regular services or lessons (i.e. gardener, house cleaner, tennis coach), please continue to pay those folks during this time. We need to support our community and we are extremely fortunate to have the ability to make our full salary. These industries have come to a screeching halt with no income potential. We cannot let the services in our communities fail.
Lets all practice compassion, patience and forgiveness during this time, we are all learning a new way. We are smart, creative and resilient and we will continue to support our clients and our employees with the upmost care and service. We got this!