If you don't regularly work from home but have been asked to do so because of coronavirus concerns, I offer some tips and suggestions as a long-time remote worker:
Some video conferencing services let you choose a green-screen background. Take advantage of this, so your coworkers don't have to see your unmade bed and toilet-paper stockpile.
At some point, if you have kids in the house, they will run through the room, causing chaos. Teach your coworkers their names ahead of time so they can assist you in reprimanding them. It takes a village.
Some of you could easily work from home any time; the only thing stopping you is managers who think warm bodies in cubicles are important. Try to exceed their expectations during this forced WFH time so they'll realize WFH should be an option all the time. It has many benefits: environmental, health, operating expenses, etc. In short, don't mess this up for the rest of us.
Necessity is often the mother of invention, so if you invent a cool new way to get your job done while working from home, please share it! You'll earn kudos from all the rest of us. Note that treadmill desks are not a new invention, and besides I said cool.
Stepping outside for a few moments to shake your fist at the clouds is the new smoke break.
Establish some sort of virtual watercooler to stand in for the office watercooler, or wherever employees congregate to chit-chat and shoot the breeze. Maybe it's a dedicated channel within your team's group chat, or a Google Hangout where people can just drop in and see what others are up to. A Twitch stream is probably going too far, though.
You know how you've always said you wished your office had a bunch of free drinks and snacks, available for the taking? Congratulations, it's your fridge and pantry. Bon appetit!
Shaun Gallagher is the author of three popular science books and one silly statistics book:
He's also a software engineer and lives in northern Delaware with his wife and children.
Visit his portfolio site for more about his books and his programming projects.
The views expressed on this blog are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of his publishers or employer.
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