Working from home best practices

Working From Home Best Practices

Many of us are currently adjusting to a new normal and learning to adhere to new expectations. For instance, working from home. In order to make this adjustment, there are best practices and new terminology that can help you make it an easy transition.

Terminology

Working from home has different names: working remotely, engaging in telework, and telecommuting are all synonyms. With remote work comes more online communication with coworkers. 

Frequent acronyms that you will start to see are; WFH, which is work from home; F2F, meaning face-to-face; G2g can mean both good to go and got to go; IRL stands for in real life; and HBU is short for how about you. Meetings are happening online and you will hear coworkers refer to scheduling a Skype or FaceTime meeting, which might be something unfamiliar. Keep in mind that these options are not brand specific. Companies often use them interchangeably to refer to a variety of video sharing services. 

During a company or client meeting one of these video sharing services will be used to conduct the meeting. If you are attending one of the meetings, to see what someone is presenting, there is the option of screen sharing. With options like Zoom or Skype, the presenter can simply click a button and share their screen with everyone present. Zoom even has the option of marking up the screen if something important needs to be pointed out. 

Two more frequently used terms are meme and GIF. A meme is a funny image that is often followed by a relevant piece of text. GIFs are moving images that can have corresponding words. These two terms are more whimsical but can certainly be relevant to office culture if there are relevant memes and GIFs to share with your coworkers! 

Etiquette 

For some, engaging in remote meetings via Zoom or other video sharing services, it can be daunting. Especially since it is not typical in the physical workplace. To ease any nervousness, here are some tips regarding etiquette for phone calls, video calls, and emails when working remotely. 

When on a video call, if the scheduler of the meeting is sharing their video, it is polite to also share your own video unless there are technological issues that are preventing you from doing so. This can aid with communication, enabling others to see you before you chime in. Whether you are on a video call or on a phone call with multiple parties, you should mute yourself when others are speaking. This will diminish any background noise that is going on around you and allow others to stay focused on the purpose of the call. 

Lighting etiquette

A few other factors to keep in mind are lighting and camera angles. Try to eliminate background light and avoid light shades that could result in a pale look. An appropriate camera position is shoulder height and no more than two inches above your forehead. If ever in doubt, simply open a camera or video application on your laptop or tablet to figure out optimal lighting before the video call begins. Additionally, keep in mind how many people will be on the call. When two or more people on the call, set up your screen so people you are talking to are under the camera you are using. This helps you to look at your co-workers in the eye and will prevent you from seeming unengaged or disinterested in the meeting. 

Important self care

While these phrases are important to know since they might come up more often these days, so too is understanding how to best take care of yourself while still remaining productive while working from home. Maintaining regular hours helps keep your work and home life separate, even though you are spending most of your time at home. Keeping these two aspects of your life separate is important for productivity. If you find yourself stressed out and unable to complete work from your couch at 6pm, it’s probably because your body and mind are asking for your regular work and rest hours to go back to normal. This is easily achievable by simply following a set schedule!

Routines

Create a morning routine and don’t forget about scheduled breaks. A morning routine can help set the tone for the entire day. Take a half an hour to have some breakfast and practice mindfulness before a full workday ahead. Putting yourself in the right headspace is sometimes half the battle. Similarly, giving yourself breaks is okay! In fact, it’s healthy and increases productivity so that you don’t feel as though your brain is going into overdrive. 

Don’t underestimate the power of fresh air. As the weather begins to transition into days of warmth and sunshine again, you should transition into incorporating brief walks into your routine. A 30 minute walk in the sunshine is a true mood booster, and a good mood not only makes work more enjoyable, but it can also increase levels of creativity. 

Communicate with your coworkers. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you have to be completely isolated from co-workers. Utilize phone calls, Zoom, and email like never before!

These are just a few examples on how to take care of yourself while working from home. Remember that productivity is hard to achieve without self-care! 

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