Coronavirus concerns mean you now working from home. Are you wondering to make sure you can make the most of the time? While it sounded great when you were making the trek into work on a cold or rainy day, now you get to live the reality. Sure, the commute is great and all your favorite snacks are stocked in the kitchen, but how do you overcome the downsides of working from home.

Don’t miss out. You may find that you are used to getting a lot of great information, insight, and even brainstorming with other coworkers on way to the break room or in the elevator. The casual conversation, either had or overheard is much more valuable than we realize until we don’t have them. So how can you stay in touch?

Call co-workers who you see regularly but may not be on your team. You don’t have to have specific work to discuss. Just ask them what they are up to and what you are working on. You may find you get some helpful information. It also helps you feel more connected. You will notice I said call. I know email or text seems easier but calling truly makes a difference.

Set office hours. It is so easy to get distracted at home. The dog wants a walk. There is laundry to do. The list goes on and on. It helps to set yourself office hours. When do you start? Schedule your breaks. Set a time for when you ‘leave’ the office. Then go one step further and tell people. Schedule an OOO message or let your core team when you are ‘in’.  This will help you maintain your boundaries and keep you focused when you’re working.

Zoom is your friend. If you were already planning to have a face to face meeting, don’t cancel and don’t downgrade it to a call. Zoom is my favorite video conferencing tool, but you can use whatever works for you and your team. It allows for eye contact, ensures we a fully focused on the conversation, and makes the other person feel that we are truly listening. Never underestimate the difference that can make to your business.

As for myself, I am stocking up on healthy snacks and setting up a professional looking background for my video sessions.

Let us know about your plans for working from home. How are you and your team preparing? Share your tips with me!