Waira´s Safe & Sound #1
Recommendations for Personal and Professional Response to Working from Home by KITO (Kito is a friend of WAIRA based in San Francisco)
Facts not fear. Clean hands. Open hearts
Act now. Isolate, and stay inside
Care for Your Mental and Emotional Health
In dramatic circumstances we each as humans can become susceptible to over-focusing on the heightened priority of our physical well being, and we can lose touch with & forget the
importance of nurturing and caring for our mental and our emotional wellbeing. Our organism is in fact a single, complete system. So our mental & emotional health are equally important, or quite often even more important to the quality of our lived experience than just simply physical health alone. So I encourage everyone, while we are working from home for the next few weeks, to please follow these healthy best practices for your overall health and well being:
1. Begin Each Day with Resourcing
The very first thing that you do in the morning, and the energy that you cultivate, remains present with you for all of the rest of the day. For this reason, please be conscientious with this. Establish a healthy self morning practice regimen. Please begin each morning with your own dedicated activities that are resourcing for you. Activities that nurture, center and ground you into a healthy connection with vitality. If you do this in the morning, while leaving your telephone on airplane mode, then the rest of the day you will carry that healthy state of mind.
A morning practice can look different for everyone, and that's okay. Some examples of resourcing morning practices might include: meditation, yoga, singing, qi gong, prayer, body moment, etc. Begin your day with the resourcing activities that feel good for you.
2. Set Yourself Up for Success while Working from Home
When it comes to being effective while working from home, set yourself up for success. Effectively working from home requires an extra degree of diligence. And there are a few things we should do to cultivate this diligent, work from home effectively attitude.
Get Dressed for the Work Day
After your morning practice, shower and get dressed for the day! Tangibly "shift gears" in to your professional self.
Create a Dedicated, Separate Home Office
Create a dedicated space for working, separate and distinct from where you eat and sleep
Confirm that your MacBook, Applications & Home Network are secure
Check with ISTWeb
Get Into The Groove
Set and track your progress against daily and weekly goals
Delineate your Work from your Personal life
When you’ve finished with work, turn it off. Separate entirely. DO NOT use your work computer for personal web or computing activity.
2. Tidy Up the Home Office
Use WebEx Video when you can. If the bandwidth is poor, switch to FaceTime audio. As a last resort use the cell signal. Curate your surroundings: what do people see when you have them on video? Ensure to create a professional appearance on video, both in your wardrobe - your appearance - and in the settings behind you. Yes, it means: Look at yourself in the mirror!
3. Communicate Often: Increase Your Visibility
Establish among your team: what are the chosen communication protocols. Which tools will you use? Be extra communicative during this time: make certain that everyone on your team knows what you're working on, the status of that work, and any blockers you're facing. Suggest to schedule a daily stand-up for your team, if it doesn't exist already. Each morning for example: schedule 15' to connect by video to ensure that everyone is on the same page for the day.
Ask for Help and Make Adjustments
Perhaps you've lost your Nanny as the result of the lockdown? Or maybe, with both spouses working and the kids home from school, maybe you need to temporarily adjustment your work to family life ratio? Make those adjustments! And ask for help when and where it is necessary. Here's how:
1. Be Honest and Realistic
If you know now that, given the circumstances, working 8 hours per day isn't viable, then be open and be forthright about this right away with your team. Have a conversation. Communicate these circumstances to your manager, who can help you to communicate with your project sponsor. We must absolutely manage everyone's expectations correctly. And, by clearly communicating through conversation in advance, we can help to make these adjustments occur in a healthy and supportive way.
2. Ask for Help
If you need assistance with any specific topic, or if you need assistance asking for an adjustment from your project team to accommodate for any special circumstances at home: please let me know. You can ask me for my assistance in these areas and I will help you to get the support that you need.
3. Be Accurate with Setting Expectations
Of principal importance during this time is that we manage our customer's expectations. Our client engagements are long term relationships. It is very important that our customers continue to keep confidence that their expectations are being met by our team --- even when we are working from home. Almost any adjustments can be made possible, within reason, when you request and ask for the support that you need in a proactive and collaborative way. So if you foresee that you will need to make any adjustments to what your client engagements expect of you, then please let me know. Let's manage those expectations together, accurately, and in advance. The last thing that we want is to a disappointment that results in our project work being taken away.
4. After You Set the Expectations: Then Deliver on your Word with Integrity
The second part of effectively working from home, after asking for help and setting good boundaries & expectations correctly, is doing what you said you would do. Our customers rely upon us because we do an excellent job! And we are talented at what we do. A huge part of this is showing up in our professional lives with integrity. So when we've said that we will do something: then working from home should not change that equation at all. If we have made a promise, then we will need to deliver. And if the circumstances have changed as the result of evolving situations, then we must communicate and ask for the support we need + request to establish a new expectation.
Please, if you see any potential difficulties forming in your project environment, please reach out. Just like a public health concern, the same is also true for professionalism and managing expectations at work --- most small problems are easy to fix when you catch & correct them early.