Goal: Like many companies, my employer responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by abruptly ordering all office workers to work from home. Along with the technological challenges, the change required people to make swift changes to their mindsets and household situations. I wrote this email, which the CIO sent out under his own name:
Good Morning & welcome to Tuesday. It sure has been an eventful couple of days.
Today many of you are settling into your new Work-From-Home routine. Below are some tips from our home-office veterans for making the home office safe and productive.
If it’s at all possible, set aside a dedicated room or desk for your work. If you have a room, close the door completely or partially to signal to other household members that you are at work.
Pay attention to your posture! Working on the sofa or floor can be a recipe for back pain. Make sure your desk and chair are appropriate for your body.
Keep peripherals (printer, router, phone charger) close by so that you don’t risk distraction by leaving your work area.
If you live with others, set up house rules about not being interrupted. Get your household used to the idea that you are not to be disturbed at work except in a real emergency.
Limit the use of your company laptop for personal activities like shopping, personal email, or social media. Keep your desk neat and organized.
If you work with paper files, set up a dedicated area for work documents so they don’t get mixed up with personal files. (If your files include restricted or confidential information, make sure they can be locked away or at least stored out of sight.)
Establish a professional mindset
Yes, you can work in your bathrobe, but many home-office workers find they focus better if they follow a routine of showering and dressing as if they were going in to the office. Some people swear they’re more productive if they wear shoes!
- Start working at the same time every day. Set up a routine so that you’ve got breakfast, caffeine, and whatever else you need by then.
- No TV! Music is OK when you’re not in meetings, and may even help you focus.
- Schedule regular breaks to get up and move around.
- Avoid multitasking during meetings. Focus on your colleagues and the work at hand.
Use JLL’s collaboration tools – Teams, OneDrive, and good old email – to stay in touch with your colleagues. Check in regularly, especially with those who may be feeling isolated or need Ome to adjust to new ways of doing things.
Use a headset to minimize audio distractions in calls and meetings.
Video connections in Webex and Teams meetings can help you relate to your colleagues. Remember that if you are using video in online meetings, your colleagues can see your home office. Take reasonable steps to make it look professional, and try to discourage kids, pets and housemates from making unscheduled appearances.
Keep learning! More resources are available at our Central Resource Site.
Finally, set boundaries around your personal as well as your work time. Make time for exercise, recreation and connecting with the people you value. Your work will be better, and so will you!
Stay Safe & Healthy!