#LifeGoesOnline transition may seem easily navigable, not all of
53 percent of new home-based workers will adjust easily. Without
a physical office presence, workers can easily fade into the
background, become demotivated, and lose status at work.
So rather than turning your home office into an oubliette of
obscurity, turn it into a springboard of success with these tips:
Tip #1: Become MORE Visible, Not Less
Like a tree falling in the forest, your activity can only be assumed
to exist if someone observes it. Remember: managers are flying blind
during this period, relying mostly on good faith to make sure workers
are being productive.
As such, establishing trust is crucial, and this entails A LOT of
communication. Create transparency by emailing or messaging project
leaders more often to let them know what you’re doing and when you’re
finished. Also, during video conferences, make a greater effort to
chime in, even if it’s just with simple affirmative “uh-huhs.”
Also, now’s the time to step up your social networking game on
platforms like LinkedIn. Social media activity has spiked since the
COVID-19 outbreak and it’s easier than ever to start new
conversations, share content, or chime in on existing threads.
Tip #2: Do A Quick Home-Tech Audit
Likely, your home office isn’t built for business. While it’s
generally the employer’s responsibility to handle the IT stuff, there
are a few measures you can take to avoid any embarrassing tech-related
SNAFUs and show your company that you’re competent at working remotely.
Mind Your Bandwidth Limitations
Video conferencing can be a bandwidth bottleneck, especially when the
whole family is at home streaming. If you’ve got a low connection of
30 Mbps or less and multiple people home, your might experience some
many telecoms are lifting their data caps, in part due to
pressure from the FCC. Hopefully, the caps will stay gone.
Be Gentle with the VPN
All the bandwidth in the world won’t matter if you’re working on an
overloaded VPN. If you’re a remote worker using a private network, try
not to linger on the VPN if you don’t have to. Limit your consumption
of streaming services like YouTube and other bandwidth-hungry
applications and be patient with any restrictions of such applications
that have been placed.
Don’t Fall For Any Cybersecurity Traps
The last thing your business needs is a security incident.
Unfortunately, hackers always exploit fear and unrest, and
COVID-related phishing reports are already flooding in. Here are some
reported phishing attempts related to COVID,
according to a recent report by ZDNet:
Any emails seemingly from the WHO or other prominent health
organizations. Phishing attempts have been reported from seemingly
trustworthy sources offering new authoritative advice about COVID
in an attached pdf or another file. The attachment includes a
Trojan virus that reportedly targets banking information.
Emails from contractors and partners with shady attachments
masquerading as updates about COVID, business interruptions, and
other such notices.
Anything asking for COVID-related advice, contributions or
personal information. Remember the golden rule of phishing: go
with your gut. If it seems fishy, it’s probably a scam.
Tip #3: Avoid Pajama-Induced Lethargy
Out of bed for 7:55, in the office for 8; does this sound like your
quarantine dream routine? Unfortunately, ditching your morning
shower/shave/jog/dress rituals may have more of an impact on your
motivation than you think.
No one’s saying you need to maintain the business casual dress, but
there are few routines you do want to keep intact, especially your
schedule. A home office means that not only can life creep into your
workday, but also vice versa, with projects dragging into night hours.
Try to keep your work contained in the 8-5 hours if that’s your norm.
Also, plan out transitions between work; don’t just roll out of bed
into your desk chair. For instance, you might wake up early and go for
a jog during what used to be your commute time. Or you might go out
for a drive during lunch rather than just sitting home all day. Doing
these activities helps your brain to re-adjust and stay fresh and focused.
Rocking From Home
The quarantine is temporary, but your impact during this time will be
remembered. Unfortunately, distributed work isn’t just as easy as
opening a laptop from a couch, there are interpersonal, technological,
and even psychological factors all at play here.
Now’s your time to shine. Speak up in online meetings, make sure your
home tech is up to par, and keep a structured workday. That way, when
things get back to normal, your trustworthiness will be better established.
When threats lurk outside,
#LifeGoesOnline. Share your tips for working during COVID-19 on
Twitter with the #LifeGoesOnline hashtag.