Work from Home Tips During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Virtually every single person without a mission critical job — like healthcare workers, truck drivers, grocery store clerks, postal workers, first responders, policemen — are being asked to work from home for the foreseeable future. I thought I would share some thoughts on how to make the most of this new normal. The coronavirus pandemic is sweeping not only the nation but the world, causing many of us who used to commute to work to stay home. In addition to staying home and working, a good majority of people are now faced with what to do with their children since schools are closed and daycares shut down. How do we continue being productive in our new work environments?

I have worked from home for the majority of my career in sales/customer success. There are certainly pros and cons to working in an office environment versus working from home. I wanted to put my thoughts on paper for how to be productive during this time.

Set a routine — use an alarm and/or young children to get you going, make your coffee or beverage of choice, shower and get dressed for the day. If possible, dedicate a space that you can use solely for work, windows are a plus! Make sure to take some time for yourself to eat lunch, exercise or go on a walk. Those are probably things you were used to doing when commuting into an office anyways!

Stay connected — missing those chats or walks with coworkers, face to face meetings, networking happy hours, conferences? maybe not conferences ;) Unfortunately, nothing can truly replace that face to face time but with so many tools on the market, you can now easily stay connected to your colleagues and partners. Here at Fedmine, we use Slack and Zoom. Both tools are great in their own right. Slack allows me to keep connected with my coworkers and partners. I can even create different workspaces and channels for specific project related communication. Zoom is a wonderful tool to hold virtual meetings. It has video capability for those looking to get in some face time.

Rely more on resources — since we can no longer have face to face interactions or network at different events, we are forced to rely on new and existing resources. Instead of asking your colleague that works right next to you for help on something or attending an industry day to get valuable information, we have to turn to the internet and other free and paid resources. Take Fedmine for example, what better way to find information on your industry? Competitors/Partners? Opportunities? Instead of being “out on the street” networking and hearing about opportunities, now is your chance to actually dig into the data, and it goes both ways. We are seeing increased usage across the board, from our commercial and federal agency customers alike. Agencies are looking more toward finding small businesses online than at events and face to face meetings. Perhaps they need someone that sells toilet paper or hand sanitizer or maybe they just want to track overall awards made to small businesses to uncover trends during this time. Fedmine makes its very easy to do market research for both agency and government contractor alike. Here is a sample search output for all the NIA COVID-19 awards, with 3M leading the charge for N-95 masks. Make sure to utilize your resources when working from home.

And back to that conundrum of working with kids…fortunately, we still have our wonderful nanny helping out, but my heart goes out to those of you that do not and I would maybe say all my suggestions, except grabbing that cup of coffee, go out the window. I hope we can all get through this unprecedented time together and am hopeful that we can all grow and learn and come out better for it.

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Lindsay Carry

Written by Lindsay Carry