With the rapid emergence of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), we have entered into some crazy times. It’s easy to feel anxious and confused as we embark on this unknown path. The good news is that we are all in this together, and can support each other through these challenges.
Smore, like many of your schools and small businesses, recently shifted into total remote work, which brings its own new set of questions and challenges.
If you’re in a similar position, creating a guide that mirrors the cultural style of your workplace may be the first step in alleviating your faculty and employees of that initial, “work from home” anxiety and maybe even give them a good laugh.
That sounds great! So…where do I start?
Share some Face time
Social distancing can be incredibly lonely. Making the time to virtually meet your colleagues makes things seem more normal and keeps you connected!
One fun way Smore is doing this is through our “virtual conference room,” inspired by this great article on managing a remote workforce.
The virtual conference room, 608, named after the room number of our actual in-office conference room, acts as a place for employees to drop in for a quick coffee break, or quick catch-up.
But video calls aren’t the only way of staying in touch
Another way to shorten that virtual social distance is by sending voice notes on WhatsApp.
As I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts, Israel is a high-context country, so sending voice messages when we can’t be in the same room allows us to continue understanding the nuances of what is being communicated to us, that we may not otherwise be able to achieve through Slack or other communication platforms.
(This may be especially good for educators, who are used to having a lot of in-person conversations!)
Ok, but what about when my kid is screaming or the dog is barking?
That is where statuses come in! Whether you use Slack, or some other internal communication platform, have fun with creating a message that your colleagues can see when you need to step away from your computer.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Out with the pup for a 💩(him- not me). Back soon!
Personal chef duty calls 👨🍳👦🏽👧🏻
My kid is screaming, can’t work now! 👶
And when you get a little stir-crazy
Take that break! It is important for your mental health to take breaks during your workday.
A method that a Smore employee taught me is the, Pomodoro Technique. This technique offers a way to set scheduled work and break times.
It’s also helpful to use this method to remind yourself to get up and move. Whether that is to stand up, touch your toes, or simply do a few jumping jacks.
Also, try and get some natural light and fresh air, if possible. Studies have shown that just moving around, getting sun, and breathing fresh air dramatically improve mental health.
You may also want to pick up a new hobby in your downtime. Try a new workout, listen to a podcast, or even learn to needle-point! The (online) world is your oyster!
I hope that these WFH recommendations are as helpful for you as they were for us. If you come up with new suggestions, please reach out, we’d love to hear them! Now go get started on your own guide, and stay healthy and happy!