Working remotely may be new to a lot of people and there are a number of helpful tips from professionals all over the world posting about it on LinkedIn (check out hashtags #WFH and #RemoteWork). If you’re not already, make sure you connect with your coworkers on LinkedIn to keep each other updated, share ideas and advice or to simply check-in. Staying connected is more important than ever as we navigate changes in our daily routine, and serves as a reminder that we’re not alone.
While it’s going to be different for everyone, here are a few tips to help you navigate this new remote working environment.
1. Create a new norm
Try to follow your normal work routine to stay productive. If you normally shower every morning or listen to a podcast on your commute, you should still do those things. It sets the right tone for the day (whatever that may be). Also, it’s important to stay flexible, but also maintain boundaries for your working hours. I find it incredibly easy to lose track of time working and, before I know it, it’s 9 p.m.! Set expectations with your manager on when you plan to be online, and whether you need to be available outside your 9-5.
2. Establish a work zone
If you don’t already have one, try to create a dedicated office area, even if it’s just in a corner of your bedroom. Almost one-third of professionals report that they work from their couch or bed at home, which — in addition to being hard on your back — blurs the boundary between work and home. If you have a spouse or roommate also working from home, and if possible, try to maintain separate working spaces so you don’t distract one another. If you have an especially important conference call, give your kids a special project in another room to keep them busy while you take the meeting.
3. Keep connected to your team
If you’re not used to working remotely on a regular basis, you may start to feel disconnected from your colleagues and even lonely. Video conferencing can help bridge the gap. Based on a recent survey*, we found that more than half of professionals are now changing their in-person meetings to phone or video as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, and no doubt this will continue to increase with recent developments such as school closures. If you’re leading a virtual meeting, be aware of all participants and give each a moment to chime in so they feel connected. If you are the one dialing in, announce yourself to let everyone know you’re on the line. Remember, it doesn’t always have to be about work. Consider hosting a fun icebreaker or play your favorite song before the start of each video conference. Virtual coffee date, anyone?
4. Prioritize your wellbeing
Investing in your health and wellness is crucial to happiness and a surefire way to avoid “cabin fever.” Make time to stretch between meetings. Ditch the soda and chips and reach for water and fruit, instead. Take a 30 minute break to recharge. Be kind to yourself as you adjust to your new environment.
5. Channel harmony
It’s easy to misinterpret sentiment when so much communication happens electronically. So, be mindful of your tone on channels like email and instant message, and ask lots of questions to seek a better understanding. FInally, keep an eye on your energy. When it’s time for bed, leave your phone and laptop outside of your bedroom so you can get those Z’s and be refreshed for the next day.
6. Stay informed and engage with your community
LinkedIn’s team of 60-plus editors have launched storylines in 96 countries in nine languages that offer reliable updates from experts such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more. And, don’t be shy about sharing your own stories and perspectives on LinkedIn using relevant hashtags.
For more tips and expert advice on how to get used to your new routine, we’re introducing 16 free LinkedIn Learning courses on ways to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, and the importance of balancing family and work dynamics in a healthy way.
Survey methodology: LinkedIn conducted a survey to 1500+ active LinkedIn members in the U.S., all of whom were recruited to LinkedIn’s Advisor Community to participate in surveys on a regular basis. Results to be collected between March 11-16, 2020. Sampling is controlled by job function.