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STILL WORKING REMOTELY? OR HEADING BACK TO THE OFFICE SOON? OUR TOP TIPS FOR SUCCEEDING AT EITHER

Friday, July 17, 2020  

Although most of our NSPA’s members are reporting a continuation of their remote work arrangement for the foreseeable future, some are heading back to their brick-and-mortar workplace before the summer ends. Whichever your situation, we’ve sourced industry recommendations, peppered with our own experiences, to help you navigate your workweek successfully. 

Tips for Working Remotely 

  • Shift your definition of success: Our system of monitoring staff based primarily upon hours worked has long been ripe for disruption and the pandemic provides a unique opportunity to consider a shift
  • Manage distractions and understand your “waves”: Some days we’re motivated, excited, and energized. Some days we feel a little off, tired, and unenthused. When you work in an office, your “off” waves can be mitigated or reduced by in-person discussions, interaction, and lunches. For remote workers the absence of this is what often leads to cabin fever. You can’t stop these different waves from happening but you can manage them. Try to discover what works for you and integrate into your routine. Does going for a walk help? What about organizing your online files or emails? This is all part of the journey of how to make remote working work well for you. 
  • Be intentional about building relationships: Pencil in calls to catch up with colleagues and get to know them (often without a fixed agenda). Chit-chat on discussion channels. Share your interests inside and outside of work-focused 1-on-1 discussions.
  • Control the controllable: Happy hours, breakroom treats, and long commutes challenge even the strongest healthy resolutions. A major silver lining of working from home is the ability to control the food around you and your workout schedule. This site is a favorite amongst the NSPA team for it’s healthy and tasty recipes, as well as weekly meal plans. Consider substituting your commute or virtual happy hour with a team walk or better yet a virtual run!
  • For more tips for leaders and employees click here

 

Tips for an Earlier Transition Back to the Office

  • Monitor your anxiety: It’s normal and natural to feel anxious about heading back to an office environment. Research shows that over 80 percent of workers have concerns about it. It’s okay to feel how you feel - and know that you’re not alone. To whatever degree you feel concerned about returning to work — regardless of your inclination to hide or broadcast it — pay close attention.
  • Abide by organizational guidelines: Follow your employer’s directives on health and safety practices. This will help to ensure trust among you and your colleagues. If you’re the one in charge, put your employees at greater ease by creating and implementing standards.
  • Communicate as much as needed: Check in with your superiors and those you supervise as often as possible. Ask for what you need and try to empathize and understand what co-workers might be asking for. Each of our comfort zones looks different; be open and honest about yours and willing to hear about someone else’s.
  • Don’t hesitate to seek professional help: If your transition back to the office brings about so much worry that it interferes with daily life, seek out support such as mental health counseling. This can help you process how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking, and learn strategies for coping. 
  • Take care of yourself: Same as for folks working remotely, be sure to take good care of yourself, including eating well, exercising, being outside, and practicing good sleep hygiene.

The transition to whatever the “next normal” is laden with unknown bumps and possibilities. Much of that is out of our control. Further, the transition will feel different for each of us. Our highs and lows won’t always match those of others. What we can manage is our responses to our transition, and how we support others through theirs. When the transition feels discouraging, for example, have a prompt to restore hope. Try this question: “A year from now, if someone asks how living through Covid-19 changed me for the better, how would I answer?” Regardless of the difficulties you’ve suffered, you get to decide how this shapes the person you want to become. Ponder those possibilities every day, and allow them to bolster hope when you need it.


Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support!

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