The COVID19 crisis has resulted in a major shift towards remote work and learning over the past few months. Businesses have had to think on their toes and act quickly in order to set staff up with the right tools to work from home successfully. But, we’re so used to being in the office with other staff members to banter with, bounce ideas off of, and to enjoy lunch breaks with, so this change to working at home on your own can come as a bit of a shock to the system.
That being said, there are a few simple ways to make working from home feel a little less lonely and monotonous, and a little more human. Here’s how:
- Schedule breaks and interruptions. Working from home has us facing a whole new set of challenges, like how to overcome fatigue while sitting in zoom meeting after zoom meeting. Staring at your screen for hours on end listening to someone speak is bound to have your eyelids fluttering. This, however, is easy to combat. Schedule regular 5 minute breaks in the middle of zoom meetings so that everyone can stand up, take a quick walk around the house, have a loo break, or refill their cup of tea. You will be surprised what a quick break from the screen can do for morale and focus.
- Have virtual hangouts, not just meetings. Yes, you may be seeing your staff members daily via zoom meetings, but this does nothing for morale or to give you a sense of feeling less isolated and lonely. Schedule a weekly virtual hangout with some of your fellow staff members to do nothing but have a drink and chat about how your week is going. Tip: leave work out of it!
- Most internships are unpaid, so do not be surprised if this is the case. If the position is paid, you should have the same rights as a full-time, permanent employee unless they state otherwise.
- Allow meeting crashers. There is nothing more stressful than attending a zoom meeting while you have screaming and laughing children running around the house around you, whether you are in another room or not. If you think about it, it is unrealistic to be in this new world or both working and parenting from home at the same time and to not expect interruptions. Make things feel a little more natural by allowing the little ones to pop in here and there to say hi to whoever you are having a meeting with. This is great for allowing your kids to see a little of what you do, to meet new people, and to make us all feel a little more normal and like we are in this thing together.
- Invite a special guest. Another way to break the monotony of daily zoom meetings with the same people is to invite a new guest speaker. Try this at least once a week to get staff excited! Choose a different speaker on a different topic each week.
Do you have any tips on how to feel a little less alone while working from home during the pandemic? We’d like to hear from you!