COVID-19 Resources

Top 5 Tips for Working from Home

Adjusting to New Styles of Work During the Coronavirus

March 16, 2020

We want to let you know we are thinking about you. The health, safety, and well-being of our community is our top priority. In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, we have put together a list of Tips & Tricks to help you activate smarter ways to work when working outside the office. As we all adjust to new ways of working, with no definitive date on when things will return to "normal," it's vital for all of us to stay positive, connected, and empowered with accurate information.

Regardless of where you are working, whether remotely, onsite or on the road, the Coronavirus has affected the ways we are used to conducting business. As change agents for your smarter workplace, Catalyst is here to help. Enjoy!


1. Stick to Your Routine

Review what's on your work schedule the day before to stay prepared. Then, first and foremost, work to get a good night's sleep, do your best to reduce the amount of light at night (sleep mask, blackout curtains, etc.) to ensure deep sleep, and limit blue light two hours before bed. As for the start of the day, be sure to stick to your regular morning routine— get dressed for the day, take a shower, work out, or make that pot of coffee (like we could skip that). We're creatures of habit, and sticking to these routines will help you to stay more focused and engaged from the start. Take breaks just as you would at work, if you can, get outside and get some fresh air, and, most importantly, log off at the end of the day.

2. Create a Dedicated Workspace

Dedicate room in your space where you can do focused work. If you don't have an extra room or office (many of us don't), try finding a place that can accommodate moving things around to create a workspace. Working in an area with plenty of natural light is a great way to keep you in good spirits. A window that looks out at nature is even better! #biophilia If you don't have the luxury of ample natural light in your space (or it's a rainy/overcast day), add desktop lighting to reduce eye strain.

Evaluate and adjust your space to be ergonomic as possible. Adding an extra monitor, propping up your laptop to eye level, and using an external keyboard and mouse is a good start. Keep an eye out for our next email with more ergo tips! Many companies offer wellness subsidies to help with these work tools, check with your company to see what may be covered.

3. Minimize Distractions

Simple things like no TV, maintaining boundaries if other family members are at home, or working with headphones to cancel out unwanted noise are all good ways to stay focused. If you're on a conference call, remember to mute your mic when you're not speaking, so home background noise doesn't cut into your work conversation.

4. Communication Matters!

We are social creatures, and sustaining relationships is critical. It's essential to keep in touch with your coworkers, friends, and family during this time, whether it's calling, video conferencing, email, or utilizing messaging software, ensure you're having the casual, water cooler conversations you'll miss being outside the office. Make sure your focus is maintaining relationships with your colleagues, so everyone feels seen and heard, and no one feels isolated.

5. Be Compassionate

Working during such uncertain/unusual times, whether remotely or not, can be tough on anyone. It's important to remember to be compassionate to ourselves and others. We don't always have a complete picture of our coworkers' health backgrounds, or others might not know ours. Acknowledge the stress others feel, as anyone could have prior conditions to consider in this situation that make them feel alone. Offering support and kindness wherever possible will help us all to get through this. Nobody should feel isolated. The range of feelings that come about during a time like this is universal to every one of us.

Don't forget laughter is the best medicine, so do what you can to find time to laugh, have fun, and joke around. If these five tips don't help us through this, humor definitely will.

White Papers

Herman Miller - Improving Collaboration for Remote Teams

To read the full Herman Miller White Paper click here >

Herman Miller - How to Practice Self-Care While Working From Home

To read the full Herman Miller White Paper click here >


Articles

Misinformation & Coronavirus - UW Researcher Carl Bergstrom

Strategies for CEOs to set up your employees for success while remote working
Click here to read the recently published FastCompany article: "The CEO of HackerOne, which features a community of over 600,000 people working remotely, offers tips for the best ways to set up remote workers to succeed."

If You Suddenly Work Remotely, Communication Matters More Than Anything Else
To read the Huff Post article about the importance of communication for remote workers, click here >

Herman Miller posts Five Important Tips for Managing Remote Teams
Click here to get the tips >

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