With the world practicing social distancing, you might find yourself needing to set up a home office and a daily routine for an extended period of time. So, now what? Here are five steps to help you to work remotely.
- Create a dedicated workspace
You’ll want an area where you feel comfortable to spend a few hours in. Make sure it has good lighting and ample power supplies for your laptop and other electronics. Also, the space should be in an area where you have minimal distractions. For example:
- Audible: Use noise-canceling headphones if needed, turn off the news and relocate children to another room when possible.
- Visual: Keep your area free of clutter and other visual noise, like the television.
- Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” to prevent notifications from social media while you are working.
- Keep a schedule for business and family
When you were in your practice, it was important that you kept to a schedule. The same applies to when you are working from home, but you’ll want to balance both work and family. If this isn’t set up ahead of time, you might find the two begin to blur together.
Schedule your work to include:
- Physical breaks, technology breaks and mental breaks: So many of us wear ‘healthables’ that remind us to get up and move around. Now is the time to listen to these wrist-worn move-reminders.
- Times to check emails and time to work on projects: By closing your email completely while working on a project, you minimize the possibilities of getting caught in an email blackhole. On the flip side, you can spend hours on a project and get none of your emails answered.
Create a schedule for your family to include:
- Family huddle time to review the day’s activities, obstacles and meal
- Exercise at your normal times
- Go to bed at your regular time
- Set yourself up on eAudiology
If you haven’t already utilized eAudiology and Remote Support, take this time to become more familiar with the tools to provide virtual care. You can find tips on Remote Support in the article, “Providing audiological care while keeping high-risk patients safe at home.” and online trainings are available on our website.
- Make a daily to-do list
List out everything you need to do, rank it in order of importance and timeliness, and then cross it off once completed. Isn’t it great to cross things off your list? So, put even easily-completed tasks on there for a look and feel of accomplishment. It’s the little wins, right?!
Now is a great time to work on some business-building tools and plans. Activities can include:
- Updating policy/Protocol manuals for your workplace, including Employee Handbook, Safety, and Hearing Aid Evaluations and Deliveries.
- Responding to phone messages and contacting clients to show your support.
- Creating Physician Referral information booklets — put together information about your practice and other pertinent resources to the medical professionals in your community.
- Crafting social media plans and articles.
- Catching up on all those journal articles you’ve been meaning to read.
- Staying connected to your support network, including your work family and your home family.
- Maintain some familiar habits
While it might be tempting to stay in your pajamas, showering and getting dressed as if you were going to work will help you keep a schedule as well as look prepared when a colleague or client wants to video chat you!
Scientists from the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found that we perform better with clothing that has a symbolic meaning. And although it can be tempting to stay a bit longer in your pajamas or keep your pajama bottoms on, make a concerted effort not to. Also, use your ‘to-go’ mug to get you prepared to ‘go to work’, and keep to your regularly scheduled hours. You can use what would be your normal commute time to catch up on some ‘you’ time. For example, get some fresh air, read a book or give yourself some spa time with a face mask.
By setting up your home office and planning your daily routine, you’ll be able to work more efficiently as well as have a better-balanced work/life schedule.
To learn more about providing remote audiological care, please visit our eAudiology page on phonakpro.com.