Reverse commute etiquette: This is my home office.
You no longer have to worry about calling in sick. As businesses take precautions to limit the spread of Covid-19, employees are being asked to work from home. The challenge now is how to work around other family members. The location may have changed, but the rules remain the same. If you’re new to the home office, you can still remain professional but in a more relaxed setting. Here’s my advice:
- Changing Rules. This global pandemic is breathing new life into old rules and is a perfect example of how etiquette is evolving. Remember: Viruses do not discriminate, only people do. We are all in this together, but the word “togetherness” has taken on a whole new meaning. Virtual communication and greetings have kicked in for an undetermined amount of time, so we must all do our part to mitigate the further spread of this disease.
- Be Prepared. As many companies are closing for the short term, make sure you have everything you need to work remotely: laptop, mobile phone, chargers, files, Wi-Fi, and plenty of hand sanitizer.
- Keep Office Hours. Hard as it may be, stick with office hours. While you’ll have greater flexibility at home, don’t go AWOL. Netflix is the perfect binge, but after office hours.
- Dress To Impress. Flannel pajamas are my forte, but studies show that we’re more productive when we get dressed, as in clothes.
- Be Available. This shouldn’t be too hard as you’ll be glued to your phone, computer, and tv for the latest news. But with all of the added stimulation, don’t forget your conference calls. “Alexa, wake me at 1pm.
- Germ Free Greetings. We’re all getting used to greeting people without the human touch. Practice makes perfect at this stage of the game.
- Plan for the Worst, Expect The Best. Some call it stockpiling, but I call it being prepared. Have enough food and water on hand, extra cash, as well as prescription medications just in case you’re quarantined.
- When You Leave The House. The CDC.org suggests six feet of spatial distance. If you’re home alone that’s one thing, but if you go to the market, pump gas or pick up your dry cleaning, you will come in contact with people, places and things. Think about using disposable gloves, the new fashion accessory.
- Stay Calm And Carry On. Prevention is the best medicine, so try not to worry. Breath, be vigilant, and stay clean. The unknown and the uncertainty is the fear, but we can all do our part to help curb this virus.