The impact of coronavirus is far reaching and has impacted most aspects of our lives, including our work. Some of us may now find ourselves working from home—a change which can be a big adjustment. If this is you, we’ve come up with seven tips to stay efficient and effective on the job, even when you’re not in your normal environment.
Top tips for effective work, even when you’re not at work:
1 Set up or adjust your setup, as needed:
- Do you have all the IT and equipment you need? If not, can you source those items, or find alternatives?
- Ensure you’re set up at a comfortable location that can be designated as your workstation.
- Perhaps you need to put a phone book (what’s that?!) under your monitor to bring it up to eye level.
- If you’ve been working on the couch, consider moving to a desk—your back will thank you.
2. Set up or adjust your setup, as needed:
- If you have the ability, make sure you’re set up in a space separate from pets and kids (and perhaps partners too).
- Make sure others know you’re working so you’re interrupted as infrequently as possible. If you have are in a separate room, you could make a sign letting people know when you will be free.
- Silence personal notifications on your cell phone during work hours so you’re not fighting to maintain focus. Show up ready for the day:
3. PJs can be a perk of the job, but you may find you’re more productive if you get out of your comfies and into more ‘normal’ clothing.
- Just because you don’t have to commute doesn’t mean you should roll out of bed and straight into your office chair. Continue to give yourself some time to wake up in the morning before expecting your brain to be ready to switch on.
4. Maintain some of your regular routines:
- Find ways to translate some of your normal ‘in office’ work routines to your home workspace. This may help to get your brain in work mode, even when you’re not in your regular environment (i.e. if you normally start your day with a morning coffee in the office, continue that at home).
- Take your breaks. Sometimes working from home can blur lines between work and leisure time—avoid burnout by respecting the moments you have reserved to step away.
- Get in some movement. Go for a physical distancing respecting walk on a break or incorporate some at-home movement.
6. Stay connected:
- Pick up the phone—sometimes these richer forms of communication are worth the extra effort.
- Leverage work platforms designed for connection—IM platforms, email, video chatting, etc. to check in with your colleagues and maintain a sense of community.
The tip to trump all others:
7. Have an adapting attitude
Understand that working from home will come with obstacles, and no matter what you do, your set-up won’t be 100% perfect. Technology may throw you a curve ball, or maybe you’ll discover you left something at the office that would have made your life easier. Perhaps (like me) your new work space includes a cat who threatens to knock over your coffee at any given moment.
Acknowledge and accept that this is a transition that will come with hurdles and know that there are countless others grappling with similar challenges. Assuming that everyone is doing their best—a likely reality—may help you treat others, and yourself, with kindness. All we can do is roll with the punches and try to re-frame problems as exciting new challenges as we inevitably encounter them.
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Look through all of our COVID-19 related information on our website.
This is an evolving situation and information is changing all the time, so please go to the source for the most up-to-date information.
Where do we fit in?
Yes, we are a provincial regulator. We are responsible for some very specific transactions in BC. We aren’t experts on COVID-19. We won’t – and shouldn’t – ever give medical or legal advice. But we are in a unique circumstance right now and we want to help people navigate the current reality. We don’t have all the answers, but we will do our best to share information from reliable sources, put it in ways that are easy to digest and understand, provide referrals and help you navigate this situation. This is an evolving situation and information is changing all the time, so go to the source for updated information.
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.