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Working from Home, ITC Style
Working from home is a new change for a lot of people. Who could imagine that our coworkers would now be our children and/or our pets? It’s a whole new world. ITC employees have never worked from home before, so this is something different for us all.
Nikki, an ITC customer service representative, says the best part of working from home is being in comfortable clothes and not having to wear makeup. While Carl, an ITC broadband tech, and Kathy, our marketing supervisor, definitely agree it is the short commute! While there are many benefits to working from home, you also need to make sure to stay motivated.
One of the main ways to stay work-focused is to create a dedicated workstation at home. Kathy is working at her kitchen table, and Nikki says she’s at a desk by her front door. All the employees agree that if they need to work from home for a long time, they would need to move to a dedicated, quiet space that is more ergonomic. Since you need to sit at your desk for eight hours a day, I encourage you to set up in a place that doesn’t cause strain.
If you are used to being in the office, one of the most significant changes is your coworkers. For many of us, dogs and kids are the new normal. Kathy’s cat, Luke, checks in on her from time to time to make sure she is working. Make sure you take breaks while you are at home to give your new coworkers some attention.
Staying connected with your old coworkers is critical to stay up to date with your company and for sanity’s sake. Sometimes you need someone to talk to that isn’t a four-legged friend or a four-year-old! To stay connected with his department, Carl says, “we use a variety of ways to stay connected like email, phone, and Microsoft Teams.” It is very important to be upfront with your manager and coworkers about what you can get done at home. Zoom is also a very popular way to connect with people.
Here is Kathy’s top 10 list for working from home. As humorous as it is, there is truth in all these points.
- Prepare for the day by doing the things you used to do. Wearing PJs every day is probably not a good habit to start. Slippers, on the other hand, might be OK.
- Make sure you have the tools and Internet speed you need to do your job. “The dog ate my assignment, and the Internet is slow,” is not going to work with your boss.
- Set aside a designated space for your office. Lying in bed with your laptop is probably not the best idea. At least shut the TV off.
- Create a routine. Allow enough time for your commute even though your office is 50 feet away. I’m sure the boss isn’t going to buy the “I’m sorry I’m late, traffic was horrible, excuse.”
- Stay motivated by creating a to-do list. This list should not include laundry or grocery shopping. Honey do lists don’t count either.
- Be sure to collaborate with others. Just remember, it’s a good idea to have pants on for the weekly Zoom meeting.
- Take breaks. Do a few laps around the house, so you don’t end up looking like a round house.
- Engage with the people who used to be your coworkers. We all need a little personal interaction, and it’s better than talking to yourself, especially if you answer.
- If you’re feeling down and out, spend time with your home coworkers. Who else can make you smile over nothing?
- We’re in this together. ITC is your Coop; we’re here for you…it’s what we do!
It all boils down to the Internet. To work at home, you need to a reliable, fast connection to the world. ITC strives to make this happen for its employees and all its customers. If you have any questions about your speed or anything Internet-related, please call ITC at 1.800.417.8667.
-Holly Stormo, The Marketeer