There’s no question that we’re living in unprecedented times. With COVID-19 shutting down entire sectors and industries, employees across Ontario have been forced to work from home indefinitely.
This had led to a ton of challenges; from a lack of childcare to newfound communication barriers and including maintaining a personal life while your home doubles as your office. Furthermore, the current situation has shifted our traditional approach to productivity and could evolve how companies operate in a post-pandemic world.
Focus on Security
Even if you don’t manage highly sensitive information, working from outside a secure network can be risky. You can fall prey to hackers or experience a data breach. We recommend working with your IT department to safeguard all pertinent data and files in addition to making sure you only use employer approved devices.
Communication is more important than ever before. It is key to staying connected to colleagues or to ensuring those you manage are informed and have the direction they need.
Even strong communicators need to be mindful to increase their communication frequency right now. This is the perfect time to review best practices, to cement ideal methods and to tailor approaches toward individual styles and situations.
Rolling out of bed only to immediately start working can be a real boon. You don’t have to spend hours stuck in traffic or in a packed subway car. This means more time to ease into your morning or to enjoy extra quality time.
Working from home can give you a chance to adopt technologies that could increase your productivity and streamline your work. Zoom has entered most people’s business vernacular, quickly becoming the go-to for video and web conferencing. Slack is a communication platform that is ideal for remote working. There’s also Microsoft Teams, a collaboration platform that helps bring teams together.
A Lack of Culture and Community
To many, an office is a social environment where you develop strong relationships. Video chats, regular phone calls and email conversations might never replace happy hours but it can help you feel like you are still part of something bigger.
With little separating your work and home lives, you should find ways to make sure one doesn’t leak into the other. It’s understandable if you need extra time to grocery shop or if your kid barges in on a zoom meeting but—for your own productivity—do your best to compartmentalize.
Speak to your managers about your situation. Let them know if you require flexible hours or if you don’t have an extra room that you can outfit into an office.
Stay Focused and Safe
These are challenging times for organizations, employees, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Try focusing on the positives of working from home and how it has the potential to help you grow professionally while you do your part to slow the spread of a global pandemic.
Rob Shapiro | Contributing Writer