Has COVID affected your work routine? Certainly…lives have been impacted, priorities have changed, life is definitely different now, but that doesn’t mean your work life/routine needs to come to a full halt. Your colleagues, work environment, and company traditions are an essential part of your work experience. How can you, as an employee, help maintain your company work culture at home?
Despite not being in the office environment and face-to-face with your co-workers, there are so many ways to connect virtually.
Maintaining your work culture from home
1. Keep the conversations flowing
Non-work related banter can be the thing that keeps you sane under a mountain of work. Working from home can cause you to feel disconnected and depressed; especially for extroverted people that rely on social interaction to succeed.
Although you cannot turn to your co-worker and share a joke in person, it does not mean there are no alternative methods of communication for that joke. Send a message, pick up the phone, or video chat to keep in touch with your colleagues. Slack, Zoom, and Skype are great ways of staying connected.
2. Motivating yourself
It is a huge adjustment to go from working in an office fulltime to working from home. COVID has blurred the lines of your work/personal life by merging both aspects into one physical space. Although this is a change, it is important that you don’t let your mission and goals deteriorate. Try changing your workspace – work from the living room, kitchen table or even your bedroom to change the scenery. Changing the scenery can sometimes bring new motivation and inspiration to your work. On the contrary, if your home is full of distractions, it can be helpful to have a designated workspace to help you separate your work and personal life.
One of the major adjustments of remote work is seeing weekly in-office traditions come to an end. However if your company is working to maintain its culture during this time, it’s time to bring them back! For example, if you and your coworker had a weekly tradition of having a coffee chat every Friday, dial into a video chat and keep the tradition alive. You may not be able to be physically with someone, but you can certainly continue to connect and interact online.
4. Ask for what you need
There can be mental barriers when working from home, and it can feel more difficult to ask your leader for help. Let go of this hesitation. To do your best work, it is important that you feel comfortable asking for the support and assistance you need. If there is something that could improve your home office situation, don’t wait to ask for it. It will ultimately be better for the company and yourself, as you will be able to work more productively and efficiently.
5. Over communicate
When working remotely, sometimes a message can be misinterpreted, leading to altered results. It is important to keep yourself accountable by telling your team what you are doing and how you are doing it constantly. Yes, this can get a little repetitive, however, it also will produce better, more unified results. Messages may have no tone, meaning that every word can be interpreted the same, with the same urgency, even if that is not the case. By over communicating, you can be sure that you are clear on your expectations which will allow you to be more confident in the work you are doing.
6. Create a routine
Begin and end your work day in the same way. By starting your work day the same way, you get yourself out of your “home life” mindset and into your “work life” mindset. Practice makes perfect. The same applies for finishing your work day. When working from home, there can be a blurred line of when it is time to finish work. Ending your day in the same way allows you the ability to decompress and relax when it is time to step away from work. It is very detrimental to merge your work and personal life, with no barrier between. This leaves you with very little time for yourself and in the long run can negatively impact your mental health and productivity. In addition, it can be helpful to plan what you are going to do and accomplish ahead of time. This will allow you to have a schedule that you can follow to hold yourself accountable. When there are large amounts of work to be done, it can be hard to know where to start, causing you to jump from project to project, without finishing them in a timely manner.
Working from home is a difficult task, and although it has become the new normal for people around the world it still takes trial and adjustment to succeed in. Be aware that just like any week at the office there will be both bad and good days. Stay in tune with yourself and your company to get through the good and bad days together.
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