By: Meredith Masse
The ICC team is starting our third week of working from home full time in our effort to support flattening the curve of COVID-19. If you’re just getting settled into your new work-from-home digs, we share these tips that have helped a few of us adjust more quickly. Have other great ideas that work for you? Share them in the comment section below!
From our newest team member and instructional designer Madisson Mullen:
- If you’re working in a tight space and your roommate or significant other is working in the same space, come up with a fake coworker you can both blame for your own foibles: “I can’t believe Nancy keeps leaving water glasses all over the counter!"
- A friend of mine told me recently her boyfriend opens the blinds in his “home office" (read: living room) every day and announces, “The office is OPEN.” Then at the end of the day, he asks his girlfriend: “Do you mind if I close the office?" and proceeds to close the blinds again.
- Take the time you would’ve spent commuting to build a new habit or skill (also may help bookend the workday). This could be meditating, listening to a podcast or reading a book for half an hour, participating in an ICC webinar.
From our fearless President and head of sales Shawna Simcik:
- Set up a fun virtual background on your Zoom meetings to make you and your colleagues smile. (Shawna’s favorites are a library background and a coffee shop background!)
- Remember that with digital communication (such as email, Slack or other instant messaging tool) tone can be misread. To express feelings authentically, pick up the phone and call.
- Practice patience with yourself and others when technology doesn’t work as planned (because technology won’t always work as planned).
- Go. Outside.
Not one to let moss grow under her feet, our super active President and CFO Susan Ruhl challenges us with these ideas:
- Change rooms every day. The fresh scenery can be energizing.
- Order office supplies via the internet to help the economy. (grin)
- Personally, she likes to run the smoker or grill while she’s working so she has a tasty meal at the end of the day.
- Do an exercise every hour. For example, complete 3 sets of 10 squats each.
More exercise ideas from MyFitnessPal.com
- Stand up during a conference call and do 20 calf raises by slowly rising up to the balls of your feet, lifting your heels off the ground, then lowering slowly back down.
- Sprint when going up a flight of stairs, and possibly skip every other step if you can do so safely.
- Do walking lunges from the couch to the kitchen when you’re getting up for a snack.
- Do 10–15 squats while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew in the morning.
- Schedule 5 minutes for yourself before each meeting for a mini-workout move like 10 pushups, 10 burpees or 3 minutes of “invisible” jump roping.
Music lover John Knill, who handles all things accounting for ICC, offers this:
- Play tunes! (Enjoy John’s “bike ride” playlist on Spotify here: http://spoti.fi/3bzgkkz.)
- Wear random hats and costumes on internal Zoom meetings!
ICC’s veteran worker-from-home Courtney Beam heads up our Talent Management operations and says:
- Put a sign on your front door if you don’t want anyone to ring your doorbell at specific times (stirs up dog, wakes baby and distracting on calls),
- If you can swing it, buy and set up a printer with a scanner to be able to send email attachments. This can help so much.
- Maintain transparency with clients, colleagues and your boss since we’re in this together. Your colleagues (as well as yourself) may have kids and pets to tend to. This can result in weird, abnormal schedules.
- A decent chair is so important!
Our Director of Leadership Development Stephanie Lang takes this approach:
- Make your office’s own “Cribs.” Take a cue from the MTV show and do a “WFH Cribs" showcasing different people’s home office environments.
Chris Mattix, ICC’s process guru has worked virtually for years. She suggests:
- Have a specified workspace. It’s hard to not “work all day” if a high-traffic dining room table or end of the kitchen counter doubles as your office.
- Remember the background (when not trying to have fun with Zoom backgrounds). Always remember the background when doing any video meetings. Make it look professional since this is what the other person sees.
ICC’s marketing maven Megan Kirsch has her own set of best practices:
- Keep a routine. This is a completely unpredictable time, and one thing that you can do to feel a sense of normalcy is create a daily routine and stick to it.
- Set a bedtime and get plenty of sleep.
- Make sure your wake-up alarm is the same throughout the week.
- If you’re feeling antsy, set an alarm and get up from your workspace to move at the same time daily. Doing an at-home workout or going for a long walk to get some fresh air (keeping in mind social distancing) can help relieve stress, and maybe even add a sense of calmness to a world that may, at this time, seem chaotic.
As for yours truly, I ditto all of the above and will add:
- Give your booty a break from sitting and throw yourself a dance party! Put on some upbeat and random tunes and get up and boogie like no one’s watching. Here’s about 50 hours of music to get you started: http://spoti.fi/39tx0IE!
What additional tips and tricks have you learned that you’d like to share? Add them to the comment section below.