Working from home: 6 tips for employees
1.Take control of the flexibility
Embrace the opportunities of an unstructured day but make sure to stick to a schedule that will keep you accountable and successful.
2. Schedule your breaks and make them count
If you are taking a break make sure it gives you the refresh that you need. Get outside, connect with someone or find whatever it is that gets you re-energized!
3. Create a dedicated workspace
Make a clear transition from home life to work time to help reduce distractions and create boundaries.
4. Turn your computer on & off at the same time every day
It’s very easy to work outside of a normal 8 hour day when working from home. Make sure to sign in and out at the same time each day to help build work/life balance. If you are logged into your work email on your phone, set a ‘do not disturb’ cycle to limit notifications outside of work hours.
5. Avoid the 24-hour news cycle
Constant news updates can be overwhelming and stressful, and make it hard to focus on the work in front of you. If you like working with background noise, replace the news channels with music or podcasts instead.
6. Create a bright workspace
If you are able to, try and work near a window or another natural light source. Other options include investing in new office lighting, a light therapy lamp, or adding candles or plants to your space. This is especially important as we move into the winter months and can help you stay focused on and engaged in your work.
*Don’t forget to be easy on yourself, this transition takes time!
Working from home: 6 tips for employers
1. TRUST each other
As an employer, it helps if you have trust and that works both ways.
2. Share positive occurrences
Establish an internal communication network where positive occurrences can be shared across the team.
3. Encourage interaction and collaboration
Find what works best for your team to make communication easy and consistent. There are endless options out there (Skype, HangOuts, Go To Meetings, email, phone calls, etc…) and using more than one can be helpful.
4. Schedule in morning ‘commute time’
Avoid planning any meetings for the first hour of a workday to give employees the chance to get settled in and take care of any pressing tasks.
5. Check in with employees individually to see how they are doing
Have supervisors and managers check in with employees individually to see how they are coping with the impacts of the pandemic and adjusting to their new normal. This can also be an opportunity to explore what employees may need to continue to work efficiently and effectively.
6. Encourage employees to use a VPN
A virtual private network, or a VPN, is a safety measure that extends a private network across a public network to help improve the safety and security of data being shared. If your organization does not have a VPN set up, there are several free or paid options online to explore.
Working from home during the winter months can mean a lot of time inside. This Mini-Guide to Help Employees’ Mental Health Throughout the Winter from the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Workplace Mental Health Program can help employers provide their employees with tools and resources specific to the winter months.