By now, we’re accustomed to hearing that these are unprecedented — not to mention unnerving — times. The rapid and extensive spread of COVID-19 has upended businesses, economies, and lives. With mounting numbers of cities adopting shelter-in-place or similar mandates, more and more employees are working from home and at risk for being disconnected from their colleagues, friends and families.
It’s made me think about how full- or part-time remote workers, as they are accustomed to working from home and the challenges that can come with it, are in a prime position to share their tips for remaining healthy and connected with newly homebound neighbors and friends. A few thoughts that popped to mind were:
- Keep your routine. If you’re used to getting up at 7:30 a.m. to take a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and commute to work, continue with that schedule. You may not have an office to go into or colleagues to see, but keeping your routine can help maintain your productivity and boost your mood.
- Maintain boundaries. Just because you can be connected to work 24/7 thanks to email and online resources, doesn’t mean you should Just like when you were regularly heading into an office, be sure to make time for both work and your personal life. Take regular breaks. Power down your computer at the end of your standard working hours. And don’t forget to eat real, nutritious meals!
- Connect with colleagues and loved ones. It can be isolating to work remotely. Consider scheduling extra check-ins via video chat or Zoom meetings with your colleagues to stay connected and on track — at least weekly, but ideally more frequently. And don’t forget to do the same with your loved ones. Not being able to get together in person can cause depression and anxiety, particularly among seniors; there are many tools that can help! Seeing and interacting with loved ones through videos and on social media can help keep us feeling connected and part of our communities.
Now is the time for experienced remote workers to take the lead and help others during this tumultuous time. What are your tips?