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  • The New Normal: Tips for Working Remotely

    Working remotely may be new to a lot of people. While it’s going to be different for everyone, here are a few tips to help you navigate this new remote working environment.

    1. Create a new norm 
    Try to follow your normal work routine to stay productive. If you normally shower every morning or listen to a podcast on your commute, you should still do those things. It sets the right tone for the day (whatever that may be). Also, it’s important to stay flexible, but also maintain boundaries for your working hours. Set expectations with your manager on when you plan to be online, and whether you need to be available outside your 9-5.

    2. Establish a work zone 
    If you don’t already have one, try to create a dedicated office area, even if it’s just in a corner of your bedroom. Almost one-third of professionals report that they work from their couch or bed at home, which -- in addition to being hard on your back -- blurs the boundary between work and home. 

    If you have a spouse or roommate also working from home, and if possible, try to maintain separate working spaces so you don’t distract one another. If you have an especially important conference call, give your kids a special project in another room to keep them busy while you take the meeting.

    3. Keep connected to your team
    If you’re not used to working remotely on a regular basis, you may start to feel disconnected from your colleagues and even lonely. Video conferencing can help bridge the gap. If you’re leading a virtual meeting, be aware of all participants and give each a moment to chime in so they feel connected. If you are the one dialing in, announce yourself to let everyone know you’re on the line. 

    Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about work. Consider hosting a fun icebreaker or play your favorite song before the start of each video conference.

    4. Prioritize your wellbeing 
    Investing in your health and wellness is crucial to happiness and a surefire way to avoid “cabin fever.” Make time to stretch between meetings. Ditch the soda and chips and reach for water and fruit, instead. Take a 30 minute break to recharge. Be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new environment.

    5. Channel harmony
    It's easy to misinterpret sentiment when so much communication happens electronically. So, be mindful of your tone on channels like email and instant message, and ask lots of questions to seek a better understanding. FInally, keep an eye on your energy. When it’s time for bed, leave your phone and laptop outside of your bedroom so you can get those Z’s and be refreshed for the next day.

    Article courtesy of Blair Heitmann, written for LinkedIn (https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/march/13/six-tips-for-working-remotely)