Five Tips on Working Efficiently from Home
We're all doing our part to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At Fujifilm, many members of our community are working from home to limit the number of employees in the office and help maintain healthy social distancing. As this is unfamiliar for many of us, we pulled together five tips from our own experts to help in making the transition:
Create a Designated Work Area
It can be difficult to get yourself into your work mindset when at home, which is why setting aside an area free of distractions can be very helpful. This can include a separate room, a corner on your table, or anything related where you will be able to work. Once you have found the correct option, try and stick to that area because if you work in a different spot each day, it may be increasingly difficult to differentiate work from home. This helps at the end of the day as well, because “all of your work materials stay in the same place and you can then go somewhere else to get away from work once it is time to relax”, says Fujifilm consultant Marianne Matthews. She also gave an extremely important tip that will definitely make you feel more at work than at home: treat your work area as if it was your desk at work. This means no excess of food and other distractions on your desk. Your designated work area should only include your work materials and anything else you might have with you when in the office.
Socialize to Not Feel the Effects of Social Distancing
We all know that when in the office, we might get up and chat to our desk neighbors for a few minutes in order to break up our daily tasks. When working remotely, this might be challenging. In order to not feel the effects of social distancing as much, Fujifilm consultant Lauren Geloso states, “It is nice to make a quick phone or video call with colleagues instead of just emailing, because this allows us to still have the interactions we would have in the workplace”. We see our coworkers every day, so it can feel lonely working at home. Marianne offers another tip that helps us not feel the effects of social distancing. “If you’re going to schedule a virtual meeting, depending on who is on the call, schedule a few minutes before or after the meeting just for personal talks”. Scheduling other activities like a virtual fitness session with a colleague may be fun, too. This can help us stay connected and not make us feel like strangers once we return to the office.
Get in the Right Mood For Work
Even the clothes we wear can affect our attitude. When working at home, it’s still important to be groomed and look presentable. You never know when a video call might occur, so you should feel relatively content with your appearance. Try to maintain your normal routine even when working remotely. This includes setting alarms, having your coffee, taking out the trash, and any other routines you might complete before heading to the office. Use the morning time you normally spent commuting to complete tasks around the house to feel more productive for the day ahead. Better yet, you might choose to read a book, catch up on a show, or do anything else to relax in order to begin work with a clear mind.
Dealing With Client Matters Virtually
It may be difficult to communicate with clients when we’re not face-to-face with them, but there are a few things we can do to keep them engaged. When talking to clients, it can be better to use the phone or a video call instead of email or text. This allows us to read between the lines and take note of their tone. When clients are not available to talk, it may be beneficial to leave them a note letting them know that you are available if they need anything.
Effects When Coming Back to the Office
Most of these tips will help us feel like we have never stopped working, even if we were working at home. Lauren Geloso adds, “These tips will definitely help in maintaining your schedule and staying organized,” which is very true. We will not feel a huge change if we’ve kept our hours and breaks the same as they would be in the office, and this will lead to continued organization. This experience will definitely help us appreciate our in-person connections more as well.
In the end, take comfort in knowing you're not alone. "We're all in this together and learning as we go along," says Melissa Zumbo, HLUS Director of Human Resources. "In the end, we'll all gain new skills from the experience and return as a stronger and more nimble team. Until then, take every day as a learning experience and an opportunity to grow."