Working from Home: Best Practices
- Work in your home office. If you don’t have one, create one!
- Let family members and housemates know you’re working and will need minimal distractions.
- Find an area where you can concentrate and be comfortable. (Try not to work from your bed; it’s best to maintain separate spaces for work and rest!)
- Get creative! Sometimes the best office is in your backyard.
- Write out a schedule for your next day before you go to bed, and stick to it. Set an alarm, prep a lunch, take a lunch break, and clock out like you normally would. This ensures you’ll be productive during working hours and can shift into rest mode when you’re off.
- Get showered and dressed like you would to go outside the house! This helps get your body into work mode.
- Take regular breaks. This includes your lunch break, but also regular stretch breaks.
- Make it a point to get up and walk around every half hour. Step out onto your porch for some fresh air. Take your dog outside to use the bathroom.
- And be sure to inform your colleagues when you’re leaving and when you’ll return.
- Stay connected with your teammates. Check-in frequently to make sure you aren’t missing any important communications.
- Get some virtual facetime (or voice chat) in with your colleagues, whether it’s for a meeting or for friendly banter. Sometimes we don’t realize how much value these interactions add to our days, and it’s easy to skip out on them when you’re communicating in a text chat.
Teleconferencing: Best Practices
- Mute your microphone when you are not actively speaking.
- Disable video when not necessary to preserve bandwidth.
- Assume the camera and mic are on at all times and act accordingly.
- Be courteous with your conversation. Pause occasionally to see if anyone has any questions or interjections. Wait for your turn to speak. Stay on task and avoid rambling.
- Avoid distracting sounds: this includes conversing with someone in the room with you, rattling ice, sucking through a straw, chewing, tapping on your keys, setting your cup down on the desk, etc. These seemingly quiet sounds become extremely loud over a conference call!
- Let your family members and housemates know when you’re on a video call so that they are dressed accordingly if they wander behind you while conferencing.
- Stick to an action plan while on a call. Make a list of items to address and projects you’re asked to tackle. Take notes for asking questions before the call ends or to address individually afterwards.