During this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, where physical distancing is essential, many professionals are discovering teleworking and attempting to tame this new way of accomplishing their tasks. However, this comes with challenges, especially if it lacks structure… and fun. Here are five tips for getting your work done well at home.
Create a routine
Above all, it is essential to establish a routine similar to what you normally work to. Working hours must be planned with well-deserved break times. “Establish a routine, and try to preserve a sense of normalcy with everyone,” says the Canadian Psychological Society. It suggests setting limits so that work times do not interfere with times set aside for family. In the same vein, setting up a well-defined space in the house is recommended, which will be reserved for work tasks.
Adjust your work station
To make sure you are comfortable while teleworking, it is essential to properly adjust your work station. The Association des chiropraticiens du Québec (ACQ) advises that the ideal position is to have the elbows bent 90 degrees, close to the body, and the shoulders relaxed. The screen should be at eye level. For those working with a laptop, it is advisable to raise it and use a mouse and external keyboard. The ACQ also suggests not crossing your legs and using a hands-free telephone.
“For teleworking to be a success, communication is essential,” emphasizes TECHNOcompétences in its Guide d’implantation du télétravail en entreprise. It is therefore necessary to agree with colleagues on the preferred communication platform for discussions, as well as the schedule of virtual meetings, the frequency of discussions and acceptable response times. Also make sure with your employer that you have all the essential technological equipment (computer, headset, software, etc.) to communicate and carry out your work.
Encourage one another
For people who tend to procrastinate, teleworking can be a challenge. The appeal of Facebook, children who need a hand or a load of laundry can be stronger than the need to
fine-tune the document requested by the boss. It can be helpful to list the tasks to be done and to celebrate your small successes to encourage yourself to keep going. “Take a moment at the end of the day to highlight the things you have done rather than those you haven’t done,” advises psychologist and author of the book The Progress Principle, Steven Kramer, in the Harvard Business Review.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, teleworkers have used their imagination to have fun. They have a toast with their colleagues during virtual cocktails and take part in online training sessions. “Water cooler” discussions have also been added to the collaborative platforms. To brighten the lives of teleworkers, illustrator Jeremy Nguyen offered, in the New Yorker some fun images to highlight their accomplishments, such as talking to another human, putting on pants, being nice during the day’s virtual meeting and finishing the day’s work before 1am.