Tips to working remotely during challenging times
March 30, 2020
“Unprecedented” is a word that is used a lot these days. We’re all having to adapt on the spot, and each day seems to present new challenges we need to overcome in business, and as a society. But we will get through this, together.
Like many of our customers, our staff at Drivewyze has made the transition to working remotely. Rest assured, our team members are equipped to work away from the office, and we will continue to deliver our services with no disruptions.
We’ve been in constant contact with state, federal, and provincial safety enforcement agencies to ensure that our PreClear weigh station bypass program continues to operate around the clock throughout our network. And, our support staff will continue to be at your side. We’re ready to take your calls, answer your emails or assist any way we can.
As a technology company, many of us are used to working remotely from time to time, but we understand this may be your first time having to do it. As we all adapt to this new sense of ‘normalcy,’ I wanted to share some tips that I’ve found to be useful in creating a structured environment for our teams, that I hope will help keep yours productive as well.
Plan your day with a routine
• Create a routine of activities and stick with it.
• Start the day by making coffee or tea, and a bite to eat.
• Switch to “work time” by silencing personal alerts on your phone.
• Keep yourself busy and focused with a plan of activities to complete each day.
• Structure your day with regular breaks for food, stretches, and “me-time.”
Find your workspace
• It is easier to get into work mode when you’re seated (or standing) at a space that’s for work and work only.
• Find a dedicated space free of distractions and interruptions, ideally in a spot that you can go to in the morning and walk away from at night.
• Set up with office gear you’re used to, like a keyboard, monitor or mouse. Make sure the spot is well-lit, clutter-free, and has a proper chair.
• Stay logged in when working so others can reach you.
• Use video conferencing whenever you can – you will be surprised how more connected it can make you feel.
• Share your schedule with your manager so they know when you will be offline.
Understand expectations clearly
• Discuss expectations with your manager and escalate tasks you feel cannot be completed remotely.
• Use the XYZ rule to ensure clarity: X is the work you do; Y is the quality standard and Z is the deadline.
• Focus on optimizing productivity and keep track of what works well (e.g. your best time of day to do specific tasks, your optimal duration of focus time to prevent burnout, when you need breaks, etc.).
Stay social and visit the water cooler
• Take a virtual walk to the water cooler and connect with others. Here at Drivewyze we do that through Microsoft Office Teams with a designated Water Cooler channel.
• We are in this together – reach out to others working remotely and share tips for working at home.
• Schedule daily connections with others such as a virtual coffee or lunch.
• Check in with a co-worker and see how they are feeling.
• Share ideas on how to have fun such as virtual games with your team.
Care for yourself and your well-being
• Remember to think about what you need.
• Reach for healthy snacks and meals, and drink plenty of water.
• Search for online videos, articles or podcasts to help you manage stress. There is a lot out there on yoga, exercise, and meditation.
For those of you with kids, we know that’s a whole other balancing act in and of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to help accommodate that. Check out this link for some ideas.
It’s unclear how long we will be “in this,” but it’s important to remember we are in this together and we will make it through. Our industry is strong and resilient. We appreciate your business, we appreciate your drivers, and we’re here to help.
Kerry Birch, Director of People and Culture for Drivewyze