• Jay Hicks

Calm in the time of Coronavirus!


With the current environment, it is highly likely that you’re going to find yourself teleworking some of the time. In addition to dealing with the policies of your office when starting telework, there are a few personal essentials that you should keep in mind.


First, find a quiet environment that enables your thought processes so that you can perform the analysis and writing required for you to successfully assist your organization.  Some of you are saying, “I have kids at home”. With children at home, especially little ones, this can be a difficult task. You may have to get inventive or shift your work schedule or find them lots of activities. Check out this site from a mother of twins who works from home: https://twinsmommy.com/keep-kids-busy/.


The second essential is that you have good, redundant means of communication. Having a good Wi-Fi connection along with a cellular back up is crucial. With everyone home this past week in my neighborhood, I have had a difficult time with band width and the cell phone has been functioning as a back up brilliantly. The good news is many cellular options allow for unlimited voice and many have unlimited data.  Conversely, I am sure most of you already know how to use the VOIP capability over your Wi-Fi on your cell phone, should the cellular network become a problem. This can be a lifesaver.

 

Third, make sure you have a good collaborative tool set to work with your peers. If the office has not established one of these, then jump out front and select one. There are many free to use for video teleconferencing, phone bridge and whiteboard capabilities. Check out capabilities like www.FreeConferenceCall.com, or www.lifesize.com. Even if the office does not have a meeting requirement, establish one with your coworkers.  You need to stay in touch with these folks and virtually meeting with them will positively affect your personal productivity through collaborative interaction.


Fourth, establish a good work and personal balance. Many folks who start doing teleworking for the first time cannot unplug. First timers often answer emails or text anytime day or night and provide much more than a day’s work. Others have different challenges. They see all the housework around and believe because they are there, it needs to get done.  

The solution is to figure out how to balance your work and all the other things you need to get done. You don’t need to sit at your desk for eight hours straight, which does happen with many folks. It’s not only unhealthy, it is essential that you get up and move around. One of the ways to do this is to set an alarm on her computer and get up for 10 minutes every hour. Perform a quick chore, like rotating the laundry or vacuuming a room and then get back at it. Bottom line is that you need to work through this issue and establish discipline as quickly as possible.


Finally, build a daily and weekly battle rhythm. Clearly document your meetings, writing and when your reports are due. Using time slicing, establish when you will do certain types of work. This will enable your ability to get your tasks accomplished, every day. With lots of chores children, your time slices may include times of day or night that you might ordinarily not be working. Regardless, building the battle rhythm will help establish discipline for your new Telework environment.


Wishing you the best during this challenging time.

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