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Feeling Fulfilled and Productive as an Employee during COVID-19: 10-Step Cheat Sheet

Written by Virginie B. Locas on March 21, 2020.

With many workplaces shifting to a work-from-home model as a result of COVID-19, employees may feel an added sense of uncertainty around adapting their space at home to suit their work needs. Here is a list of 10 tips for employees transitioning to this new reality:

 

1. Workplace.

Choose a designated workspace in your home that enables you to be productive and effective. Select a room with good natural lighting, calming setting, and good internet connexion.

Have you heard the good news? All major internet providers such as Videotron, Rogers, Telus and Bell have suspended data limit caps for their existing members!

Setting up a workspace helps you close the door and relax at the end of the day. Shutting off work is a very important part of the job!

 

2. Schedule.

Keep a realistic schedule on tasks and deadlines that will help you get through the day. Monitor your progress and keep your focus by adapting your schedule to reflect the hours that you feel most productive, always keeping in mind that you be available to your employer for the designated working hours. This said, working remotely can be your newfound freedom!

 

3. Balance.

Allow yourself to take breaks when you need to, whether it be enjoying time with your family, revisiting an old project of yours, doing some yoga stretches, or even trying a new online app. Here are some good ones to try, guilt-free:

 

4. Get some fresh air.

Taking a walk while maintaining social distance is a great way to set out of your space have a change of scenery. Outdoor activities such as walking your dog, going for a bike ride, or listening to birds can help refresh your mood and ideas.

 

5. Connect.

Take the time to connect with your colleagues to discuss projects, timelines, and tasks at hand, or simply to check in on how they are doing. Keeping in touch will break the monotony of the day and enrich your teleworking experience.

Video conference apps are easy to access and use, and most are free! Have you tried Zoom, Teams or Skype, yet?

Check out our Work from Home Tech and Tool Blog for more information on how to connect.

 

6. Learn.

You now officially have time to take advantage of your employer’s online learning tools and training programs to update your professional development curriculum.

Ask your employer for available options for you and your team members or consult with them to look at other options for online training, or simply venture yourself for your own personal benefit.

NewLeaf Performance is an authorized dispenser and facilitator of the following introspective assessment tools:

  • Strength Deployment Inventory
  • Learning Style Inventory
  • Barrett Values Centre
  • Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQi)

 

7. Reach out for help.

Co-workers and Managers are on your side. Working collaboratively is extremely important in times like these. Sharing resources, tools and helpful tips with your community will go a long way. If you have a question or a concern about something, most likely someone else does too!

 

8. Accept that your work will be different – and not everything is possible!

Not all tasks can be adapted for telework, and that is okay! Understand that not everything will be possible, and some things will have to be delayed. Although perhaps a little counter-intuitive, letting go of some control can translate into more freedom and peace of mind.

 

9. Be safe and respectful. 

Respect you own boundaries and those of others. Awareness of current limitations brought on by current public health challenges and their impacts on our own lives or on those of others and their loved ones is important. Let us all be patient and understanding of each other.

 

10. Play. Have some fun!

Find creative ways to make your new workspace and virtual job fit with your personal and professional styles! This is all about making you succeed, individually, and as a team.

 

NewLeaf Performance works with individuals, teams and organizations to help them
Lead. Engage. and Act. to Fulfill™. their worklife.

Photo par Christin Hume, Unsplash

Navigating a New Reality: Helpful Tech to Support Working from Home

Written by Leigha McCarroll on March 20, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly brought many workers around the world into a new working from home reality. While this way of working presents many benefits, it can also cause anxiety related to feelings of isolation, or to feeling uneasy in the face of the avalanche of productivity-boosting technology on offer.

As a business that has operated virtually since our beginnings, we at NewLeaf Performance have tested a wide range of tools to boost connection and productivity and have landed on the approach that simplicity is best. We recognize the importance of adopting new tools that can support enhanced communication among colleagues while keeping the learning curve for new tech minimal. To that end, we’ve come up with a list of tried-and-true tech recommendations to support a balanced digital culture in the workplace:

1. Virtual Collaboration Software

We recommend ensuring that your team is set up with an omnichannel virtual collaboration software. This type of software provides an integrated one-stop-shop for communication, often equipped with chat features file-sharing, and video calling built right in. Integration can help minimize tech overwhelm amongst employees while facilitating easy access to multiple aspects of your team’s work. Look for software that can integrate with systems that you already use. For example, Glip by RingCentral and Slack readily integrate with the Google Suite of tools, Office 365, and Webex, along with a variety of project management apps such as Asana and Trello. Read more about these collaboration software to find the right fit for your team:

2. Video Chatting Software 

Seeing colleagues’ and clients’ faces is a simple way to establish connection and minimize feelings of isolation. While many virtual collaboration software have a video chatting function built in, you may want to explore others that could work with your system. Here are some video chatting software to check out:

3. The Hardware

Setting up an organized and technologically well-equipped home office can help you to feel connected and on the ball. If your budget allows for extra software, here are a few items we recommend:

  • Monitor: Adding a portable second monitor to your laptop provides extra screen space and multiple viewing angles.
  • Webcam and speakerphone for video calls: Built-in laptop webcams and speakers are often sufficient for video calls. If these are not satisfactory for your professional needs, purchasing an external webcam and microphone will take your video calls to the next level.

4. The Extras:

  • Krisp: This app allows users to mute background noise during calls.
  • LiveBoard: This app provides a collaborative virtual whiteboard technology.
  • Voice Typing: Using speech-to-text software such as Voice Typing for Google Docs can help boost writing efficiency.

Looking for more? Here are some additional resources on tech supports for working remotely:

The Tech Headaches of Working From Home and How to Remedy Them

Remote Tools Rising Stars — Best Tools For Remote Workers To Watch In 2020

 

NewLeaf Performance works with individuals, teams and organizations to help them
Lead. Engage. and Act. to Fulfill™. their worklife.