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Workforce Readiness: Creativity in a Remote Work Environment

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The spread of coronavirus is leaving a wide swath of economic damage in its wake. In the shutdown phase alone, up to 53 million US jobs were vulnerable—a term used to encompass permanent layoffs, temporary furloughs, or reductions in hours and pay. While leisure and hospitality accounted for most of the earliest layoffs and furloughs, the share from industries such as retail trade, manufacturing, nonessential healthcare, and professional services has been growing. It is estimated that up to 57 million US jobs are now vulnerable, including more and more white-collar positions.

An organic transition to a remote working environment is always ideal. But, during this coronavirus pandemic, organizations were forced to quickly adapt to the culture of remote working.

Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab says, “It took a tragedy to get us here. But, you suddenly have millions of people that understand what life can be like without a commute. With extra autonomy, this extra empowerment, remote work can be a good option going forward.”

Tips:
Find a good location

  • Find a dedicated location in your home you can associate your job with so you don’t feel like you’re always on the clock. Having a clear physical separation between work and your life is especially important for your mental health.

Stick with your routine

  • The mental association you make between work and an office can make you more productive, and there’s no reason that feeling should be lost when working from home. Sticking to your normal workday routines will help you feel a better sense of normalcy. While the situation the world is currently facing is definitely not normal, getting ready in the morning, pouring your cup of coffee and putting on some pants will help you feel more motivated throughout the day. By abandoning your daily routines, you’re more likely to lose your willpower.

Set a schedule

  • When you work from home, you don’t have the natural structure of other colleagues around helping you dictate when you are on or off the clock. There’s a lot more flexibility, so setting a schedule for work time is imperative to help you feel like you’re not constantly working. If you usually work from 8 am to 5 pm, try to stick as close to those hours as possible. Then at the end of your scheduled day, put your computer away and transition to your home life.

Communicate often

  • Communication is key! Isolation can quickly become a downer for those used to socializing at work. Communicating with your team regularly by using tools such as Slack, Google Hangouts or Meet is a great way to keep in touch. Say good morning, share your cute pet or kid pictures, and check-in with everyone to see how they’re doing.

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