Working From Home? Smart Ways to Maximize Your New Arrangements

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Aside from abiding by social distancing regulations, here are just a few benefits to working from home...

Working from home has some definite advantages, but it also takes a little planning to do it effectively. While our nation faces a new, temporary way of life, Preferred Mutual has been offering remote opportunities for some time and we have a few tips to share.

Social distancing is one of the keys to limiting the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which has been requiring many businesses to make difficult decisions: temporarily close, or ask staff to work from home. 

However, the rush to remote working can create a lot of anxiety for many. 

Benefits to working remotely

Aside from abiding by social distancing regulations, here are just a few benefits to working from home:
  • No commute! Saving you money, time, and mileage on your vehicle.
  • Lunch is just a few feet away. 
  • Time with your pets (which they love, and is a great stress reliever).
  • A comfortable workspace.
  • Less interruptions (unless you have kids).

Effective strategies and tools for remote work

  1. Follow your regular office hours, if possible. You should still have a definite start and finish time to your day, even when you’re working from home. Let your colleagues, supervisor and coworkers know what those times will be if necessary.
  2. Have background music or television on low, for ambient noise. It shouldn’t be something that breaks your concentration, or pulls you away from your responsibilities, but often a bit of background noise can help keep your focus.
  3. Eat breakfast and lunch at the same times you would if you were in the office. 
  4. Give your eyes and your body a break. Sometimes, it’s easy to get glued to your computer. Set a reminder to get up, walk around, and roll your shoulders, stretch. 
  5. Set up your workspace in a quiet area of your home. For those with children also home with them, this might be easier said than done. 
  6. Set boundaries with your school-aged children. Let them know when it is okay to interrupt (emergencies, for instance), and especially times when it isn’t okay. Ask them to respect the times when you may be on the phone or trying to meet a deadline. This is a learning experience for everyone, so be patient and realistic!
  7. Set a schedule for homeschooling children. As schools continue to close, setting a daily schedule for your children allows you to balance your job and their education without overwhelming either party.
  8. Throw that load of laundry in! It will give you a reason to get up, stretch, and then in an hour, do so again.
  9. Appreciate the time, gas, parking, subway, train fares, tolls, and more you are saving! Put that money aside and use it to treat yourself at the end of the week or month. Pool your money with coworkers to give you something positive to look forward to when you return to the office!
  10. If you manage staff, check in on them. It’s easy to get swept away in your own work, but if you manage staff, check in with them personally on how they’re adjusting. Working remotely can be difficult for employees who haven’t done it before.
  11. Keep cybersecurity top of mind! Hackers are working overtime to access networks with open internet or poor password protection, and you want to protect everything coming to and from you!
  12. Work with your IT department. They can help solve remote issues from their locations, too!
  13. Keep confidential information confidential. If you have a full house at home, be careful about leaving confidential information around the house where children or others can see them. 

As weeks go by and working from home becomes the new norm amid Coronavirus concerns, folks across the globe are settling into their new work environments. Despite the need to heed warning to avoid going out as much as possible and being mindful of social distancing, we still have responsibilities to our jobs and working from home is a necessity. Setting up a space that works and is functional for you is important. 

Preferred Mutual has implemented our tested and proven business continuity plan in order to maintain business operations with little to no disruptions. That means that we are committed to providing you exceptional customer service, today and always!

This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not legal advice and/or an authoritative guide.

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