Federal Careers

Working from home is different from working in an office and if you’re new to telework, it can take some practice. Here are some ideas to help you telework successfully:

– Establish a routine. Create a start and end time, just like you are in your office. Be disciplined about starting, taking your regular breaks and lunch, and finish on time. If you have other people living with you, you may want to consider writing out your schedule, and posting it, just as you may do for personal and kids’ activities. A written schedule lets everyone know your availability. Maintaining a routine can help with the transition. And setting boundaries for others will help you get things done.

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– Set up a place to work. While not everyone has the luxury of a home office, setting up a specific place to work, placing your work essentials (laptop, pens, paper, phone, etc.), and having organized spot is useful and makes the whole idea of actually sitting down to work more attractive.

– Collaborate with team members. Use your webcam, host virtual “breaks,” talk to the same people you normally do throughout your day. This will help you stay connected with colleagues throughout this period.

– Use your tech tools. Don’t forget to forward your office phone to whatever phone number you’re using while teleworking. If that is not possible, change the message on your voice mail to provide the phone number you want people to use. Teleworking should be seamless to your customers. Other tech tools that can help include creating templates for your most common emails, using videoconferencing (Skype, JoinMe, GoToMeeting, Zoom, Adobe Connect, etc.), developing naming conventions for files, improving your email folders, and leveraging the various shortcuts available in your basic software.

– Eliminate distractions from social media. Are you checking your news feeds? Facebook? LinkedIn? Logout of those systems entirely. Turn them off.

– Remember why you are teleworking. You are teleworking to keep you and your family—and the rest of us—safe and healthy. Nonetheless, our customers are counting on us to meet our mission; let’s focus on doing just that!

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