There is an allure to working from home if you are an on-site employee. Just once a week, it would be nice to skip the commute, work from bed, and play music while you type away. If you regularly work from home, then you likely have a schedule, a set-up, and have chosen this type of work lifestyle. You’re prepared and your daily life likely hasn’t changed too much.
But for many, navigating the work-from-home model during the COVID-19 outbreak means a drastic adjustment to everyday life. There are plenty of great tips and tricks to making your space work-friendly and keeping yourself focused. But what happens when you hate working from home? What happens when you thrive on your office environment for conversation, motivation, and energy?
Particularly in this critical
moment, work-from-home doesn’t mean work-from-anywhere — libraries, cafes,
and public spaces are closed in many states and people are being strongly
encouraged to isolate themselves.
As inherently social creatures
(even introverts!), forced isolation can be tough. Spending a weekend binging
your favorite show and never leaving your home is a choice. But somehow, when
it’s forced, it’s no longer enjoyable.
So how do you get through the
dread of working from home while everyone else is celebrating in their pajamas?
Take a Break
Sometimes lack of motivation is tough for newly minted work-from-home employees. But sometimes the opposite is true. Overworking yourself to make the day go by faster — without taking your normal breaks can burn you out. It’s far easier to leave a physical office at the end of the day and mentally shut down.
Being motivated and productive is
great, but if you are going to be in a forced work-from-home environment for
the foreseeable future, then scheduling breaks and a firm end-of-workday time, are
Take a walk, bake, call your
friends, check in on your parents, or catch up on your favorite drama. Take a few moments to stop working and bring
some normalcy back into your life.
It’s so easy to ask a question
and collaborate when you’re in a shared office space. “Have a minute? Can I run something by you?” –
it seems trivial until you have to try to schedule a time to meet or need an
If you have a team, or a close
group of co-workers with whom you have regular contact, schedule a few five or
ten-minute sessions every day to video conference with them. These are the people
who make your in-office experience great.
It’s easy to chat via instant messaging, but socialization and communication
needs aren’t always met this way. Maybe
it’s a laugh or a quick catch up to get you re-energized before the next big
Change it Up
Chances are, if your company has allowed (or mandated) work-from-home, then you have some flexibility in your schedule. If you are in a position where you only need to be physically present during core hours or mandatory meetings, talk to your manager about working when you are most productive. Try to align your schedule with your natural cycle of productivity. Take advantage of your night-owl or early-bird tendencies. You may find larger chunks of time during the day that you can focus on yourself, your family, or your home.
At the end of the day, for many, this mandated work-from-home model is short-term. For the weeks ahead, we can adjust, adapt and know that we are doing this for the greater good and to stop the spread of Coronavirus. But it’s important to acknowledge that working from home is not for everyone. It isn’t always as simple as eating breakfast in bed, in your pajamas, and going about your day as if nothing has changed.
Talener is committed to the safety and health of its employees, clients and candidates. All Talener offices are currently working from a work-from-home model. It is important that we are able to have a happy and healthy team who can continue to help candidates find jobs and help clients fulfill business needs during this unprecedented time. We thank you for all of your patience and for adapting your practices as we all navigate these changes.
Planning for modified hiring processes, handshakes, and video conferences
Businesses and people across the country are preparing for a
potential pandemic of COVID-19, the Novel Coronavirus. But today, like any other day, millions of
people woke up, got themselves ready, and made the commute to work. For the
vast majority of employees who don’t work 100% remotely, physically coming into
work is a reality, pandemic or not.
Employers are making business continuity plans, and major
companies like Twitter
are banning all non-essential travel.
Google and Facebook both canceled their developer
conferences in the wake of the outbreak. Some have even restricted their
own employees from offices until they complete a mandatory quarantine after
traveling to high-risk areas for business or pleasure.
But businesses must continue to operate. And part of
operating means hiring new employees as business needs arise. The use of phone interviews or video calls is
widespread for early stages of the hiring process, but most companies require
an in-person meeting at least once before extending an offer.
If you are working with a staffing agency like Talener, your
representative is your advocate – especially if you have concerns or questions
regarding on-site interviews. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get answers
prior to going on-site. If companies have enacted work-from-home policies, ask
how it affects your ability to interview as well as your potential start with
If you are working on your own, most hiring managers or HR
will appreciate the heads up about any concerns you may have.
If you have traveled to a high-risk area recently, please be
courteous to your interviewers and give them a heads up to confirm if they
would like to re-schedule, conduct a video conference, or have you come into
Likewise, if you know that the company at which you are
applying has international offices in high-risk areas and employees who travel
frequently, you should ask the hiring manager or your staffing representative
if they are taking any precautions with their own staff.
Experiencing sever cold or flu-like symptoms before your
interview? It is in your best interest
and the interviewers to give them as much notice as possible if you are feeling
under the weather. While canceling an
interview is never ideal, providing as much notice as you can is always the
This is particularly true if you have traveled to risk-areas
or if you live in a densely populated area where you are in constant contact
with people at shops, restaurants, or on public transportation.
It is OK to let your interviewer know that you are trying to
follow universal precautions during the outbreak. If you’ve been on public
transportation, take this approach, “I was just on the subway, could you point
me to the restroom to wash my hands before we get started?”
If you are uncomfortable skipping the handshake, keep hand
sanitizer with you or ask to use the restroom to wash your hands before you
begin your interview.
Many companies have business continuity and disaster plans
in place, particularly in densely populated areas or if they have employees
that travel regularly. During the
interview, ask about work-from-home policies, policies on personal and
work-sponsored travel, and expectations.
During this time, your Talener representatives are in
constant contact with clients. They are learning about continuity plans as they
emerge as well as making alternative arrangements if in-person interviews are
not a viable option. If you have questions about a company with whom you are
interviewing, use Talener as a resource.
For more information about the Novel Coronvirus (COVID-19),
the WHO, CDC, and National Institute of
Health provide universal precautionary measures as well as information
about the spread of the virus.