The social distancing requirements came suddenly prompting swift action to start working from home. For a lot of businesses, this probably posed challenges for employees who were not accustomed to working from home, logging in through a secure VPN, or accessing files from a shared, networked repository. Based on my experience, a lot of employees probably resorted to emailing themselves documents to make sure they were available rather than exploring, or learning about, alternative options. Or using email attachments to work collaboratively.
If this sounds like your unexpected working from home experience, you’re not alone. As an information professional, here are some tips for having a better experience working remotely with regards to accessing your documents and information.
Tips for Working Remotely
- Learn about options available from your workplace about how to store documents in a centralized and/or networked repository for accessing remotely. This will save you a lot of time and effort in locating things, plus it will help to keep your email inbox from overflowing.
- Contact the records and information or information governance department in your workplace and get tips from them.
- Use naming conventions and versioning. Document the strategy and share with your work team.
- Contact your IT department, or whoever does training, and get tutorials on how to use the available technology to work work effectively remotely.
As a consultant, I’ve been working from home for years. An internet search will yield lots of tips and advice, but here’s a short list of what’s worked well for me. These tips promote productivity and maintaining a work-life balance.
Tips for Working from Home
- Be comfortable. If working from home is going to be a long-term solution for you, invest in proper furniture (e.g., desk, chair, second monitor, ergonomic mouse, etc.).
- Get dressed everyday. You definitely don’t need to wear office attire, but at least change out of your pajamas.
- Separate personal from professional. This can be difficult when working from home, especially if you feel like procrastinating and there’s laundry to be done, kids running around, etc. However, make an effort to take real and designated breaks for meals, coffees, housework, time with kids, etc. (Definitely easier said than done with daycares and schools still closed!)
- Enjoy the perks! Non-existent commute means time/money saved. I used to love taking a 15-20 minute power nap as part of my lunch break or in the afternoon.