April 22, 2020 / By Adrienne Ruebusch, Vice President

Eight Work-from-Home Strategies to Keep You Working

Across industries and regions, the coronavirus pandemic is disrupting life as we know it. Its effects will echo through our economy for years to come. At Miller-Valentine Group, we are using this opportunity to study industry projections, research market trends, and apply evidence-based best practices to help our customers navigate the unknowns and plan for the future.

While our construction sites are still operating at full force (albeit with numerous protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19), Miller-Valentine’s office-based Associates are striving to flatten the curve by working remotely. It’s been a big adjustment for our staff, to say the least—and one that we know many of our partners and clients are acclimating to, as well.

Here are eight strategies that have helped me make the leap from the office to a home-based workspace without losing stride:

  1. Declare a home base. Find a dedicated workspace that functions for your style and allows you to focus on your work. Sitting at the kitchen island for the next four weeks will drive you and your family crazy.
  2. Make sure you’re equipped with the right tools. There’s a reason you have certain tools in the office—they enhance your productivity. You should have the same capabilities in your home office. If you have a docking station and multiple monitors at the office, why not use the same setup at home?
  3. Communicate frequently with your boss, team, and direct reports. Don’t be afraid to overcommunicate. It’s especially important to understand the new ground rules in terms of work hours, metrics, and deliverables. Many of us are trying to balance work with caring for others—make sure your team knows about these circumstances. And when things don’t go as planned (see bullet 5) own up to it, make a contingency plan, and share it with your team.
  4. Establish family rules that support your new work/life balancing act. If you’re anything like me, you’re spending a lot more time with your family and it’s creating some friction. Talk about it and lay new ground rules to adapt. My husband and daughter are very structured about how they approach their quarantine days. My son and I, not so much. So to help everyone maintain their focus and rhythm, one of our new house rules is “no small talk during the workday.”
  5. Plan your day—but don’t get discouraged when it goes sideways by 9 a.m. Like a lot of us, I’m juggling work with homeschooling my fifth- and seventh-grade children. There are some days when they can work independently and other days when they require more attention. Every morning I check in with my son and tell him the hours I can be available to assist him. This has significantly reduced stress on both of us.
  6. Establish a routine that works for you. If your company and workload allow it, structure your day around when you’re most productive. As a natural morning person, I do my best work early, before the rest of my family gets moving. Early afternoon is my least effective time, so when my schedule allows it, I use this time to run or workout. By late afternoon or early evening, I’m back at my desk, capitalizing on a second wind.
  7. Catch up on your professional development. Finding yourself with extra free time in your workday? Use it to catch up on those webinars you registered for but never attended or to study up on new skills or knowledge.
  8. Go virtual. Sure, a “FaceTime happy hour” sounds bizarre. But it can help strengthen relationships in this uncertain time. At Miller-Valentine, we’re holding team huddles, companywide meetings, and happy hours on Zoom. We have also hosted a Zoom Q&A session with our CEO to give Associates a chance to hear from leadership live, if not in person. So before you cancel that meetup or companywide meeting, consider taking it virtually instead.

At Miller-Valentine, we’re committed to supporting our Associates, trade partners, and our clients as we all work to adjust to this new (and temporary) normal.

Have any questions about how we can help solve your challenges? Contact us today at 877.684.7687 or [email protected].