This pandemic has impacted all of us. Many companies, including ours, implemented a “work from home” policy to ensure the health and safety of, both, their employees and their business. For us, since we always had an open floor environment and advocate a collegial collaborative work place being able to easily collaborate on projects and ask each other questions directly was particularly important.
Our office is often full of laughter, the smell of fresh brewed coffee, and light conversations about weekend plans, or the latest Rangers game. Though we have some team members who already work remotely, we have always found ways to include them in office activities. The challenge we face now that EVERYONE is remote, is how to continue maintaining culture, and keep team members connected while observing “social distancing” as well as keep up the productivity of the team that is not used to working remotely all of the time.
Jessica Aviles, VP of Talent Management, has been diligently working to resolve this dilemma and has put together some helpful tips to aid The ALS Team find that work at home comfort which will be our new normal for the upcoming weeks. After a week of successfully testing these tips out, we decided to share them with you.
As always, if you want to discuss something in greater detail you can contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get up each morning and do your normal routine to get ready for the day, e.g., take a shower, get dressed, and put your shoes on (I swear it helps!).
- Have a separate work area set up. It is okay to temporarily sit at your kitchen table or keep a laptop in a community area BUT that becomes troublesome quickly. Your employer should provide resources if you need help getting a work-from-home station set up to be as productive as possible. Create a healthy spot to enter and exit daily! See below image for office ergonomics information that provides wellness.
- Think about your typical workday ask yourself a few question. What time do you get in? What time do you normally eat lunch? What time do you typically leave for the day? Try to stick to that routine, it is very easy to burn out quickly getting to our at home office space at 6:00 a.m. and not leaving until late in the evening. So be sure to take breaks to interact with others. Have lunch with a spouse or child, FaceTime or video chat with a co-worker to keep culture strong!
- Be sure to keep tabs on your daily work load. Do you have enough work on your plate to meet your productivity goals? These should stay the same as you work remotely. If you’re experiencing any challenges while accessing your technological tools, reach out to your direct report OR HR. They are all there to help you be productive, one team member at a time!
- Download apps to help you send documents to your peers (Our CEO, Albert Sica, uses TurboScan and Jessica, recommends CamScanner).
- Jon Edwards, IT Manager and Cyber Risk Advisor, recommends the Notability App. Paired with an iPad/Apple Pencil or even your finger, it’s a great way to red-line PDFs and send them to recipients without having to print or scan.
- Heidi Much, Consultant, and permanent remote worker, provided an at home workout. Something like this can create a “break” at lunch to re-energize yourself!
- Tony, hybrid remote worker, recommended setting a time on your watch to remember to get up, stretch, or walk around as well as some background noise helps him with concentration (apps that provided rain noise or tide noises can help keep you calm and your space not strangely quiet).
- Conducting virtual meetings can be stressful – test your technology before getting on an external call especially video based meetings. If you having difficulty with technology, testing them can help get you set up effectively so we can remain professional with our external partners. Good internal communication keeps everyone working efficiently and keeps your direct report in the loop on what is being accomplished throughout the day! Feel free to shoot over an email or pick up the phone.
- We made communication instant by creating a Skype group chat for our team. Keep this communication short and sweet but effective in getting what you need from your peers. A simple “Good Morning” and “Good night” message is encouraged to stay connected!
- We created a folder on our shared drive, called “Working Remotely but Staying Connected”, which acts as a virtual “bulletin board”, similar to the one that would normally be in an office. Team Members use this folder to share fun photos of their workspace and work day with each other!
- Answer your phone - remember that you may have had your office calls forwarded to your cell phones! Our peers and our clients need you!
We would like to thank The ALS Team for their continued dedication, as remote work productivity patterns have started off strong! Our people are our #1 priority, without the Team, working with our clients wouldn’t be possible.
We hope these helpful tips make things that much easier for you to operate in your “new normal”.
If you have any questions relating to structuring of an appropriate Workers’ Compensation insurance for remote workers, optimizing your Business Continuity Plan, or need help with any risk related issues please contact Albert Sica, our Managing Principal, at 732-395-4251 or email@example.com.