Working from home is new for many people and can be challenging, but there are some things you can do to make things a little easier on yourself.
Making sure there’s eye-to-eye contact using video is Tacy Byham’s No. 1 recommendation for working from home. She’s the CEO of DDI, a global leadership consultancy based in Pittsburgh.
“It’s automatically going to make people more connected and more productive, more engaged,” Byham said.
Meg West is a software engineer who went from being six inches from her coworkers to miles away. Her days are now filled with instant messaging, virtual whiteboards and video meetings.
“So, when I actually see someone’s face, I can tell if they understand what I’m saying. Are they paying attention? Am I paying attention to them? It helps to keep us all accountable to our work by doing video chats,” West said.
The right technology is also important when it comes to working from home.
West said her company is making sure everyone can log in during regular business hours.
However, some companies might not have the VPN capacity for everyone to do that.
If you’re in that situation, Justine Sherry, assistant professor of computer networks at Carnegie Mellon University, has the following advice: “Think about what you can do without logging in. You don’t necessarily need to be logged in to write up meeting notes. You can write those in a text file and upload those later.”
West also pointed out the importance of taking care of yourself, whether that’s a quick meditation, a break for some exercise or just getting up and walking around the house.
With so many people working from home, some people might be wondering whether the Internet can handle the extra load.
“Because it collapsed before, researchers and engineers have spent the last 30 years making sure it never happens again. So, we should absolutely not be worried about the Internet collapsing,” Sherry said.