Although Sweeney has always maintained a flexible work schedule, including WFH options, it officially initiated a new work from home program for all employees at the start of 2020. The program was launched as a test, allowing each employee to take one WFH day per week; this is a policy that I have really enjoyed. I am still learning as I go, but as many people transition to work from home this week, I wanted to offer a few tips I have picked up along the way.
- Create a dedicated workspace. No, you don’t need a home office, but you do need a space where your brain is in focus mode. Whether it’s a kitchen table or makeshift desk, it’s important to create a space for work, especially when you’ll be working from home for an extended period of time. It might sound glorious to work in your bed or on your couch, but I promise it makes it harder to focus and doesn’t allow your brain to transition between work mode and relax mode.
- Get fresh air. Working at home, it’s easy to not leave the house for days on end. Fresh air can refresh you and clear your mind, so I highly recommend at some point each day you walk the dog down the street, sit on your front porch for a call, stretch in your driveway or do something…anything to get outside.
- Set a schedule/to-do list each day. At home, it’s easy to get distracted or want to do household chores, but by setting a schedule and/or to-do list you force yourself to stay on task. If you know what you have to get done by the end of the day, you’re more likely to stay motivated to get it done so you can relax with family in the evening.
- Stay connected. It is also easier than you think to get comfortable being alone, but you are not alone… you are just at home. Your teammates are also at home or at the office or at some remote location, and they are still available to support you with work and even non-work issues. Isolation is great for a period of time, but all things in moderation. Stay connected, stay networked and keep growing.
As a marketing and communications agency, we are constantly interacting, especially since we have multiple offices and now people working from home. For years, we used the free version of Skype to message back and forth and call/video call each other throughout the day. Currently, we use Microsoft Teams so that is another option if your company already has Microsoft Office set up. Both include the ability to group chat and have group video calls. These tools are crucial to our success and help employees feel less isolated working at home.
Remember we are all in this together and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions on any of these tips or software options!