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COVID-19 And The Virtual Workplace: Ways To Thrive Working At Home

COVID-19 And The Virtual Workplace: Ways To Thrive Working At Home

By Susan Williams

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic so many things in our lives have changed. One of these major changes for many people is how they are working. The pandemic has caused many people to start or work for an extended period of time from home.

To better understand and work in this virtual environment, we launched a two part Learning Bites series entitled COVID-19 And The Virtual Workplace.

In the first segment, we discussed with Dr. Sean Hayes what some of the impacts of this changing work environment were.

Watch the first segment here: COVID-19 And The Virtual Workplace: The Impact Of Working From Home

In the second segment, we are joined again by Dr. Hayes and we discuss some ways to prepare and thrive while working from home. Here is our discussion;

Here are some of the highlights of our conversation;

  • Even if someone has worked from home before, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have worked from home with their spouse, or their whole family at home at the same time. This is like a virtual team in your home. Everyone needs to agree on what type of space, access to resources, who needs quiet time and when are just some examples of things that need to be discussed
  • You will need to look at the whole household’s needs not just for a week but for however long this isolation may be required. So a plan is needed to be put in place to ensure that not everyone is on top of each other and also respectful of each other’s workspace
  • Dr. Hayes suggests to impose some guidelines to help support this respect. For example, recognition of boundaries not only for work but also throughout the rest of the home as well
  • For video calls, be aware of a few things;
    • Your background for your calls. You are letting people into your home what you share as your backdrop may be viewed and critiqued by others so be conscious of this
    • Also, if invited for an audio call that has the option for video be prepared for this as well. Call types can sometimes be switched on the fly so you want to be in a position that you physically prepared for this
    • You should stay consistent in your business attire and grooming – this also helps with both your attitude as well as how you are perceived by others
  • Managers and leaders need to recognize that it’s less of a concern as to what time things are done but more of a question that things are getting done. Given that there may be competing schedules during the day (ie home schooling) work may now be completed later in the day.
  • As long as deadlines and deliverables are being delivered then there should be no need to over emphasize how / when someone is getting there
  • Managers need to stay clear and consistent about deliverables and timelines. This will give a sense of trust and that they know where they are going. There also needs to be some flexibility of how people get there based on their personal schedules and demands. Also ensure that you show that you care however maintain some sense of boundaries
  • For teams, it’s important to help each other out. Similar to a physical setting, we need to go back to make sure that we offer support and help to each other through working together or taking on some additional responsibilities should someone be overloaded
  • Also, given there may be some additional free time (for example if a commute is no longer required), possibly take this time to think about your personal development. Consider getting or being a mentor, look for some online courses that may interest you, use this time to benefit yourself or the organization in some positive way
  • As well, try to stay positive and focus on the future. This will remind us that this will eventually end and provide you with some vision and continuity for the future. This may also provide you with an opportunity to take back some control and put some goals towards where you would like to go in the future.

Hope that you found this session valuable. Stay safe everyone!

For more of Booming Encore’s Learning Bites – be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.