How to Embrace Working From Home During COVID-19
By: Sydney Goldberger
In May of 2019, I moved from Las Vegas to Denver and started working remotely for MassMedia. I had never worked remotely before, and I had a large learning curve and adjustment period. Now that many of us are working from home, I’d like to share my findings and advice to help ease that curve for you.
#1 HONE YOUR COMMUNICATION SKILLS
A major part of the adjustment is understanding the best ways to communicate with your team while away from an office environment. Here are some best uses for communication platforms:
• Email – Use for non-urgent requests and respond within 24 hours
• Chat – Use for non-urgent conversation and respond within hours
• Text – Use for urgent needs and respond within one hour
• Phone – Use for emergencies and respond immediately
And just because you are not physically with your peers, doesn’t mean the collaboration has to stop. Use a video conference to have brainstorms and conversations that require real-time collaboration so you can see your group and get closer to the feeling of being in the office. I also like using video for one-on-ones with my supervisor as it makes the conversations easier and more personable.
#2 APPRECIATE THE AUTONOMY
One of our core values at MassMedia is “Stop, Collaborate and Listen.” This is my personal favorite value, and I truly enjoy collaborating with my team. But when you’re working remotely, this isn’t always the easiest thing to do. As a result, I’ve learned to embrace my autonomy and trust myself and my instincts. It is a great feeling to work independently sometimes while knowing that your supervisor is never more than a message away when you need her.
#3 BRING SOLUTIONS, NOT PROBLEMS
When you can’t pop up from your desk and ask your co-worker a quick question, it means that you’re forced to take your time to see if you can find a solution on your own. This allows you to slow your reaction time and think through the problem from all angles. Sometimes I’ll even go through the motions of writing out a message or email, and by reading it through a few times I can put together the pieces of an answer. I still like to confirm with my team when needed, but it is much easier to find a solution when you’ve thought through the problem on your own first.
#4 GET OUTSIDE!
I’m sure every “work from home” article is telling you this, but it cannot be said enough. Don’t stay inside your home all day! Get outside for a walk or a run to lift your spirits and step away from your inbox for a while. You’ll come back to your computer feeling refreshed and ready to work!