The Personality it Takes to Work from Home
Tips and tools for professionals going virtual during the coronavirus
Everyone loves to roll out of bed and spend the day in slippers. But being at home and working from home are two different things. The recent, drastic changes in lifestyle may be nice in some ways, but what does it take to be highly productive in a virtual environment? What should businesses be doing now to prepare for life after the coronavirus? What personality adjustments does it take to make working from home “work” for you?
Personality Trait #1: You Must Be a Self-Starter
To successfully work from home for any period, you must learn to be a self-starter. This means starting the workday at the same time and setting daily goals. It means thinking about what needs to be accomplished in new ways within a new reality.
Practically, it might mean showering and getting dressed. Or, setting up a schedule for the day like you would in the office. But business-wise, it might mean anticipating future needs. For example, a business may need to temporarily reduce its workforce in certain areas during the crisis but may need to quickly hire right after.
To be organized, consider using a task-oriented tool like Google Calendar. Here, you can set daily reminders, create meetings with others via Google Hangouts, and even view other people’s calendars for conflicts.
Personality Trait #2: You Must Embrace Technology
As a virtual employee, be ready to keep an open mind and learn new technology, especially how to use collaboration tools. Laura Roeder of LKR Social Media states: “When a team works virtually, it loses the power of shared physical space. So instead, technology becomes that shared space. Just like a company might have an office area, a kitchen, a conference room, and a relaxation area–all kinds of physical spaces to catalyze different types of employee interaction–a virtual team must use a varied range of technological conversation channels.”
Trello is a highly recommended collaboration tool designed to assist with managing and organizing projects. Trello shows what is being worked on by whom and even where a project currently left off.
COVID-19 has limited time-sucking travel obligations for many managers giving them new-found opportunities to be productive in different ways. In anticipation of future needs, now is a great time to conduct interviews. Video conferencing software such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or GoToMeeting offer the opportunity to conduct virtual meetings. Visit PCMag for a list of 2020’s best video conferencing software.
Personality Trait #3: You Must Learn How to Virtually Over-Communicate
As an at-home worker, it is much for difficult for your boss or coworkers to know what you are doing all day if you do not tell them. Sharing documents from your Drive in a Google Folder is an easy way to communicate and edit collaboratively. Initiating communication also gives you more of an opportunity to get feedback on your work.
If you are in a leadership position, overcommunicate daily goals. Employees working online benefit from multiple means of communication. For example, explain something in print and make a short video for visual learners. There are many easy video screen capturing tools such as Movavi Screen Capture or Debut Video Capture. Save any videos that are made to use down the road.
Communicate in real time throughout the day using a business messaging app such as Slack, Glip, or Google Hangouts. For a list of the best 2020 business messaging apps, visit PCMag. A word of caution with real-time messaging: each message “ping” is an interruption and you may want to set some guidelines.
If you are not a natural work-from-home personality, give yourself time to adapt. Ask coworkers what works for them and try something new every day.
At Artemis Consultants, we are here for our clients during the coronavirus crisis. We know what a stressful time this is for many people. Please let us know how we can help you with your job search or hiring needs.