As an insurance company, we understand that life can be unpredictable. As a result of COVID-19, many workers have been instructed to work from home. That reality presents new ways of working, as a result your normal way of working may seem to have been turned upside down. Just like kids are now e-learning, most of us are on a learning curve, too. We are learning how to communicate efficiently and effectively through various channels such as phone calls, video conferencing, emails and instant messaging. Prioritizing our time is key while working in the comfort of our own homes and realizing that humanity is together in this unprecedented experience.
It is time to hold yourself accountable for your day and make the most of this unique situation. Although everyone has a unique family dynamic, everyone is experiencing the same thing…uncertainty. So, challenge yourself to have an optimistic spirit and focus on what you can control by becoming the best “remote” employee you can be! Here are some top tips for productively working from home and staying well-balanced.
- Treat your workweek like a normal workweek. Wake up and go through your morning routine as you would on any other day. If the routine begins with a cup of coffee, a workout, a quick phone call to mom or dad or watching the news, do it! Keeping a routine can help prioritize your time and keep you on the path of success.
- During the workweek develop a schedule for you and your family. Set an alarm for the morning and implement a mandatory bed time. Choose a time to have a family lunch to talk about how everyone’s day is going and take small breaks throughout the day to make sure your kids are staying on task with their school work. Once your workday is complete, carve out 20-30 minutes to do something that makes you happy. Structuring your day is important so that time doesn’t get away from you.
- Establish a designated workspace for you and those who will be working or learning next to you. Having an area to call your own can help you feel more productive and create a successful working environment. Once your day is done, leave your stuff there for the evening and walk away. This can help you feel like you are “getting away” from work rather than living in your office on a day-to-day basis.
- After doing research and testing the hypothesis out for myself, I have noticed that the times I wear shoes during my remote workday I have been more productive. With your favorite team’s season cancelled, you may be looking to hop on another bandwagon. So put some shoes on and see if this tip works for you.
- Try something new for lunch. I am guessing that most of you have been to your local grocery store once, twice or maybe three times recently, so chances are you have a decent amount of food stocked up. Take time during your lunch break to make a quick meal that you were hesitant to try or didn’t have enough time for in the past.
During my time at Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, I have talked to quite a few of my colleagues. Most conversations always revert back to one specific question, which part of Indianapolis do you live in? From this question, I found that many individuals had commutes that ranged from a few minutes to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Although working from home hasn’t been a major convenience, it has given back extra time during the day for those of us who commute. With that extra time you could try exercising, reading a book, playing a game with your family or trying something new to mix things up
Most of us continue to be in constant contact with our teams throughout the day discussing work, projects and miscellaneous tasks. But, it is important to continue to build and strengthen the relationships we have made with one another. So call up your co-workers, send them messages to boost morale, say hi and tell them something funny that happened throughout your day, or maybe send a selfie of you still in your pajamas!
This is a time of uncertainty, but it is also a time to reflect on your own remote experience so far. This too shall pass, but until it does take advantage of your time at home and work hard for yourself, your family, your team and your company.
Moving forward, if anyone has any fun, outrageous “remote” work day stories or good tips for working from home we would love to hear them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your experiences and stories and you may just see them pop-up on our blog, Inside Story!