How to Work Remotely During COVID-19

Unless you’re working for an “exempted business or government that is providing services needed by the public during this crisis,” then you’ve recently had to pack up your office supplies and head home to work. The recent “Stay Home Order” announcement from the City of San Antonio and Bexar County regarding the COVID-19 crisis may sound like a dream come true for introverts and sweatpant-wearers all over the city but, some folks may need a little bit of advice on how to work remotely, and as usual, we’re here to help. 

Wake up at your normal time

As tempting as it may be to delay your alarm by an hour or so, do your internal clock a favor and keep that 6 AM start time. Your body will be grateful for the consistency, but even more importantly, your brain will reward you by performing at higher levels of productivity, and you can be proud of your sense of confidence that comes with doing the “grown-up” thing. You may not have to fight your normal traffic on your “commute” to the living room, but you can find productive things to do to fill the extra time. Take some of the extra time to spend 10 minutes scrawling out a priority list for the day. Be aware of all the meetings you’re a participant in, and prepare for those meetings as you normally would. You can also spend a few minutes of your newly found time to pick up a tiny bit around your workspace. Working in a clean environment will help keep your mind clear and focused, which brings us to our next point. 

Ready for the day

Take a shower, brush your teeth, put on makeup or shave, and get dressed for the day. Getting ready for the day will help your mind focus and feel ready to tackle that spreadsheet you’ve been putting off. Your video calls will be more pleasant, too, because you’re communicating to your coworkers, clients, and boss that you’re not letting a remote work life get in the way of your productivity levels. You’re still slaying like the rockstar that you are. Everyone is going to listen to professional advice from a sharp-dressed leader, so take advantage and put on those work clothes. No one will know if you’re wearing stretchy pants, so splurge from time to time and go a little easy on yourself. No need to bust out the iron or bow tie for these days. 

This last point might seem counterproductive compared to the previous pieces of advice, but it’s worth mentioning. Go a little easy on your coworkers during this health crisis. Not everyone has pets or kids or distractions, but most do have something begging for their attention along with your deadlines and requests. Don’t be rude if your coworker has a barking pup or diaper-wearing babe bouncing on their knee. Folks are dealing with several factors right now and playing several roles besides the one they normally play in the office. With childcare postponed and relatives banned, people are stuck in their homes with their family and pets, so expect to see a glimpse into their lives outside of work. 

It’s hard enough to find eggs and toilet paper on the shelves. Remember that we are all part of the same team, and just continue to do your best, whatever that looks like for you. Check-in with your boss if you have concerns, and check-in with each other to make sure we’re all staying afloat. Mostly, follow the rules that the city and county have put forth, and help stop the spread of COVID-19 by sticking to your home for work and play. 

In case you missed it: “How to Protect Your Small Business Against COVID-19” is guiding small San Antonio-area businesses down the right path during this time of unknown. SOGO is always here to guide our clients to a steady, safe future, whether personal or business and will continue to have updates during this time. Contact your SOGO agent and we’ll be there for you.