While mobilizing a fully remote workforce is new to us, working remote has been part of our work for as long as we can remember. It’s resulted in some tried and tested remote work policies, as well as some excellent advice for balancing work and household needs.
Over the last week, we’ve enjoyed following and polling the team on creative coping techniques, advice, and best practices for remote workers. From sharing glimpses into home life to virtual and team-wide lunches, we gathered some of the most helpful tips and tricks to help you and your coworkers from your home offices.
It can be difficult to separate work and home, but having a dedicated workspace can promote better delineation between the two as well as increase productivity and inspire creativity. Having the right equipment and environment can make a big difference in the sustainability of work.
C2’s Support Services Director, Katie Herrick, shared:
“With our remote situation likely going to stretch over the next few weeks, creating a space where I know I can be productive and find focus has become a relief for me and allows me to maintain a positive outlook on working remote.”
Check out some of our team’s remote workstations:
The closing of schools and daycares paired with remote work can flip routine on its head not only parents, but for children, too. Work schedules may need to flex to accommodate employees who have more to balance at home. Meanwhile, some C2 employees find moments throughout the day to “feed the meter” to ensure the right presence for both work and home.
Tori Boone, C2 business analyst, shared:
"Feed the meter" with the kids. Depending on how young or needy your kids are, go and give them 5-10 minutes of your time every hour or so. This will help reduce instances of them interrupting your flow and allow you to be more present throughout the day.”
Don’t forget to feed your own meter! Taking set occasional breaks allows you to limit your distractions and be more productive. Plus, it will help relieve some of the anxiety that comes with social distancing or not being physically in the office. Give yourself breaks from the screen and get some fresh air, eat a healthy snack or meal, call and check-in with friends and family, stretch, or whatever else gives your mind a break. This will also help relieve any type of burnout or isolation you may be feeling.
We swapped our regular in-office kitchen and after work get-togethers for e-lunches and virtual happy hours so the whole team can connect and enjoy seeing some familiar faces throughout the week.
Holli, C2 Quality Lead, shared:
“One of the hardest things about leaving the office when we learned we’d be transitioning to remote was not knowing when we’d all see each other next. By offering times to connect throughout the week, team members who don’t work closely with one another get a chance to see each other and catch up.”
Try to keep structure in place and do as much as you can of what you normally do. And if that’s not possible, be flexible and take some time to find what works for you and your family. Seek clarity in your organization’s expectations if they haven’t been set already. Your team is likely adjusting policies and procedures, such as core hours and meeting schedules, to accommodate the stresses we’re all feeling and dealing with at the moment.
C2’s Chief of Staff and longest full-time remote worker, Katie Wilkes, shared:
“Be patient with your progress and creative with when you are able to get work done. I used to find post-bedtime worked best but now I find getting up earlier than my kids and working early and during breakfast works best. Give yourself some grace with finding a schedule that works.”
Communicate your priorities daily with your team. It’s always safe to assume people don’t know what you’re thinking. Plus, the more you communicate with others, the more they will reciprocate. Take advantage of communication tools like Microsoft Teams and Zoom to keep in touch with others. One way we’ve established more communication is by scheduling personal check-ins, regular company-wide updates from leadership, and weekly staff meetings (we like our version of the Brady Brunch better).
One of C2’s developers shared:
“Ask them questions, tell them what you’re doing, be responsive, and get over thinking you’re bugging them too much. One quick touchpoint, like a short messaging conversation or Zoom call, can reassure both parties have clear expectations of each other.”
As we all adjust to our “new normal”, we’ll come against new challenges and meet them with creative ideas. And if all else fails, our Teams channel full of pet photos is a pretty good go-to. To keep up with our team or get some much-needed levity, follow C2’s social channels and subscribe to our newsletter below.