On any given day, more than 2 million Canadians are working from home. In an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a lot more people have been sent home and advised to work from there.
Working remotely is very different from being in the office. You are relying on yourself for accountability. If you aren’t focused, committed, or performing up to standard, there is no one else to blame.
If you’ve never worked from home before, it can be challenging. One might say, be grateful there’s still a paycheck coming in when, for a lot of Canadians, they don’t have one at the moment. That doesn’t help you in any sort of substantial way, though.
When you start, be realistic. Transitioning to working remotely can take time. Next, be honest communicating to your employer. If they aren’t giving you something you feel like you need to perform to the best of your abilities, vocalize it. Even if they turn down your request, at least you have expressed it.
Next, set yourself up for success. Set up an ergonomic home office for yourself that’s private, isolated, and focused. Have your desk and chair. Ensure you are comfortable. Have the tools required to get your job done without you having to get up and go find them.
Thirdly, don’t cut out the social aspect. From a business perspective, work-from-home during COVID-19 will be challenging to manage if they are unprepared. It doesn’t hurt to keep in communication with supervisors or managers, if they request it. Update them on how work is progressing. Any work done remotely relies on trust between employer and employer.
Under ‘communication’, you also don’t want to shut yourself in permanently. Talk with work colleagues. Start a group chat. Take time during the day to have breaks to chat with others. Mental health can suffer when we aren’t being social. Even introverts may need some social activity during a time like this.
Fourthly, if you have other people in your household, set expectations for your work time. You shouldn’t be interrupted by kids, romantic partners, somebody at the door, or roommates. Let them know when you are in ‘work mode’ and ensure they are aware of the level of privacy or quiet you need to do your job.
Some will love working from home during coronavirus, others very much won’t. For a lot of us, working from home is not exactly a choice. Set up a home office for yourself. Zero in on work. Commit to it. After a few days of adaptation, you may find a lot of joy in being able to stay at home, continue working, and still earn an income.