Now that “shelter in place” has swept the nation to curve the spread of the Covid-19 virus, most companies are adapting the Work from Home (WFH) model, allowing their employees to continue to work during the shutdown.
Working from home is nothing new for Crestwood employees. This model was adapted almost a decade ago. I started out with 1-2 days per week, and gradually worked my way up to be given the opportunity to work full-time at home and I absolutely love it.
WFH allows for flexibility and work/life balance. This is a wonderful option especially when you have children. There’s no spending an hour or more in traffic to get to and from work. If there’s an emergency with your child or the school, you won’t have to rush home frantically to take care of the situation.
When you WFH you are truly independent. It is much more than just the benefit of rolling out of bed and working in your pajamas. WFH means you’ll learn to rely on self-motivation, self-discipline, focus, and concentration. You’ll eventually become a communications expert, learning to use tools such as Microsoft Teams, GotoMeetings and so much more.
There’s a lot of perks to working from home, but there are some things you need to keep in mind:
- Avoid working in areas of the home that are prone to loud noises
Location: The kitchen or living room is a great location so long as you don’t have children. I say this because the amount of foot traffic can be a distraction.
- TV or Radio: It’s ok to listen to the tv or radio but keep the volume minimal and make sure you have quick access to the remote in case a client or the boss calls, you can quickly mute the sound.
- Outdoor noise: You can’t control what happens outside, however you can keep your windows closed in warmer months to block noise. I live by a train station, which makes it difficult to eliminate this distraction, shutting the window helps by reducing what your clients/co-workers will hear while on the phone.
- Learn to Unplug – this is very important. As you become more comfortable with WFH, the separation of going to and from the office blur together into your home life. Time escapes rather quickly so make sure you:
- Take a lunch break! Whether you make a meal at home or go out for a quick bite, lunch is an essential meal that will keep you going for the rest of your workday.
- Get up, walk around the house, stretch! Sitting at a desk all day, (either at the office or at home) can take a toll on your posture. It is important to get up, walk around and stretch throughout the day. Believe me; you’ll thank me for this. ?
- Get in the habit of replying to emails promptly – Even if you reply “got it” or “I’ll get back to you soon” it is important to be available for calls or other collaborations, even if you don’t have strict work hours.
Collaboration: At Crestwood, we collaborate using Microsoft Teams. Phone apps are available to download so that you can stay on top of what is going on with your organization/team making you available anytime anywhere.
- Keep it professional
- Smile when you talk: Whether you believe it or not, clients can sense the day you are having in your voice, as stated in #1 above, make sure your home office is set up in an area that is not prone to distractions of the doorbell ringing or the dog barking.
- Look professional: Yes, you can roll out of your bed and get to work in your pajama’s, but it may be a good idea to keep a blazer nearby, especially if you work one on one with clients daily. You don’t want to get on a last-minute video conference call with your hair a mess or present yourself in a ripped Metallica t-shirt.
I hope this blog has given you a little more insight on the benefits and what to keep in mind when working from home.