Working remotely has become the new norm for many people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Many companies made a quick transition to remote work, including Darr Schackow Insurance. Here are some things that our remote employees do to successfully work from home.
Have a Designated Work Space
It can be hard to separate your work and personal life when you are working from home. Try designating a space just for work. Try to find a clean, distraction-free zone in your home, or clear an area specifically for your temporary home office. If you have an extra room in your house, use it! Don’t work from the couch or somewhere you normally leisure. Have all your work equipment set up in a way that allows you to work most efficiently and try not to inhabit the space if you’re not working. Do what you can to make a space that allows you to work freely. “Personally, I have an office, but some may be working off their dining room table. Whatever is it, know this is the work space. Otherwise, you will be scattered throughout the day.” - April Thomas, Commercial Lines CSR
Stay in a Routine
When working from home, it can be easy to slip out of your normal routine. You don’t have to wear professional attire, commute, or stop at Starbucks for your morning coffee. It is tempting to roll out of bed a few minutes before work to get a bit of extra sleep. Try to stay in a routine similar to the one you have while going into the office. Get up around your normal time, change out of your pajamas, make yourself breakfast. Spend that extra time you would normally use to commute to gather your thoughts and make a plan for the day. Try to take breaks or lunch at the same time everyday. “I find that keeping my routine allows me to stay focused and feel like I am actually at the office.” - Tracie Mitchell, Commercial Lines CSR
Stay in Touch with Your Coworkers
A big challenge in working remotely, especially as a team member, is communicating with your coworkers. Using multiple online communication platforms throughout the day is a good way to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Slack can be used for quick inquiries to keep the ball rolling on a project. You can share files and create multiple channels to organize the conversations by team, project, or department. Zoom is a great way to communicate ‘face-to-face.’ This video-calling platform comes with a chat feature, screen sharing, and ability to see everyone at once in gallery view. “Call your co-worker occasionally and say hi...Zoom has been great for staying connected!” - April Thomas, Commercial Lines CSR
Working from home can raise many challenges, especially when you’re first getting settled. There can be technological barriers, delayed communication with coworkers, and at-home obligations that you may have been able to avoid at the office. Accept the amount of work you know you can do despite these challenges. It is also beneficial to plan when you will stop working for the day and try to stick to it. “It’s so easy to just do that “one more thing” and pretty soon it’s 7 p.m.” - Lianne Young, Trucking CSR
We may not have realized it before, but those short walks to the water cooler or across the office to chat with a coworker provided small, necessary mental and physical breaks from our work. It is important to allow yourself moments in the day to stretch, have a snack, or take a walk outside. Do something to change your normal scenery and move around a bit. “I highly recommend taking a break or two and going outside for a walk or checking the mail for a change of scenery.” - Melissa Knowles, Personal Lines Account Manager
Continue to Socialize
A great thing about physically going into the office is the people you see and interact with everyday. Because activities outside of the home are limited, you may be feeling somewhat isolated right now. The channels of communication you may be using for work (like Zoom or Slack) can also be used to have some office banter with your coworkers. Try setting a meeting at the end of the day or week for your team to chat about non-work related topics. Call a friend you haven’t been able to see in a few weeks. Do what you can to keep in touch despite the current events. “Tell your team good morning and make a point to hear their voice, not just an IM each day.” - Lianne Young, Trucking CSR
If you have any questions about your insurance, feel free to contact us.