We’re living in a wild time right now with the Coronavirus changing work for millions of people across the US and worldwide. All of a sudden, people who worked in offices are now working remotely. Your commute is nonexistent, leaving more time to sleep and less incentive to get up and moving as before - especially on a rainy day.
How do you maintain professionalism when you’re, like me, camped out working from home? If you don’t have the luxury of a home office, maintaining a sense of work normalcy can feel next to impossible. While one of our resident digital forensic experts, Rich Frawley, gave you 8 best practices for working from home, I’m here to tell you about the mistakes I’ve made, and learned from, in the past few weeks of working remotely.
- Don’t take this as an excuse to be a sloth. Dress up for work, even if you’re just going to a corner of the kitchen. Our office attire is business casual, and if you’re a woman like me, you may have your makeup and hair done every day as well. The first few days of working remotely I made the mistake of getting a little too comfortable - changing out of my sweats did not seem palatable - and I felt the difference. By getting ready every morning, I set the tone for my day that I am going to work.
- Don’t forget to smile! My masters is in psychology, and I can tell you that people can tell your facial expressions through the phone. If you’re flat or gloomy, they’ll know it. Bring a smile to your conversations just like you would if you were seeing someone you work with face to face.
- Don’t work from a loud place in your house if you can help it. Chances are you’re going to be on business calls or Zoom/Skype/Google Hangouts meetings. You need to find a nice little niche where you can work in peace. For me, it’s my dining room table, where all I can hear is my dog snoring on the couch in the living room next door. My teammates can only hear him on calls half the time!
- Don’t forget to connect with your team. In times like today, where self-isolation is an everyday phrase and you may feel more disconnected than ever, it’s important to reach out to your teammates and engage. One of ADF’s strongest tenets is to engage and energize. I’ve been finding myself reaching out more and more to my colleagues on chat, phone calls, and emails, to help me feel more connected.
- Don’t try to multitask home chores with work chores. It’s so tempting, I know! I’ve been guilty of getting up from my workspace, starting a load of laundry, and sitting back down, but those breaks can stunt your concentration and take you away from a work mindset. Take the time to set up a lunch break to do those tasks, or make sure you do them after work hours, just like you would if you’re commuting - hopefully you have some extra time from not sitting in traffic.
- Don’t check your social media during work hours. As a millennial, I can be totally guilty of this. Especially since part of my job at ADF includes social media! I’ve made a rule for myself that I only check social media during specific break times or at lunch, and save it for after work. Bonus: during this time of crisis, it keeps your mind off of all the news updates going around that can build anxiety!
- Don’t turn on the TV, even for background noise. This one is especially hard right now with the news cycle being tempting to watch minute by minute; or maybe you’re just a habitual Netflix-binger and you’re “just going to have it on in the background”. We all know how that goes. You’re home once work hours are over, so you have nothing to do but binge TV if you’d like- just do it after work is done!
- Don’t forget to clock off. Work hours and home hours can blend when they’re all taking place in one space, and you don’t want to seem unproductive while working from home, so it’s possible you may overwork. Remember, business and home life have to have a balance. It’s ok to clock off for the day and transition to your relaxation time.
I hope with these tricks you’ll learn from my mistakes and find working from home to be a rewarding experience! My team and I are here for you in this transition period and we’re hearing from investigators around the world that they finally have a little extra time to try out the new Mobile Device Investigator and DEI PRO features.