Like countless companies around the world, ApplyBoard’s teams have been working from home for the last two weeks to promote social distancing and flatten the growth curve of COVID-19. This is a significant change for most of our Canadian office, where we’re used to working side by side every day. Don’t underestimate the power of a great office environment!
The team has done an incredible job of pulling together to make the most of our new situation, though. From meetings to a massive team lunch, ApplyBoard has been keeping spirits strong virtually. But that doesn’t mean the transition has always been smooth… Here are a few tips from our work-from-home troops:
“Schedule a morning and afternoon sync with team members. Add breaks and lunch to your calendar, plan your day, and force yourself to get up and walk!” -Esra, Human Resources Manager
“It sometimes feels like I work with my team even more closely than before. I’ve been dividing projects between different people to create teams so that we can collaborate more.” -Anna, Senior Manager, International Recruitment – Greater China
“You are home 100% of your time now, so do not work in the same spot you relax. The couch is nice for TV, but you will not be able to disconnect personally or from work when the time comes. Find a different spot to work. Try to make your work area similar to your office desk… I brought my work mouse home at the last second, and I think it’s making a world of difference.” -Isaac, IT Administrator
“I’ve been going on many Google Hangouts coffee dates with my Recruitment Partners. Not only is it a great opportunity to chat one-on-one, but they’ve really appreciated the extra time I’m taking with them to check-in. And, of course, I do dress up.” -Andrea, International Recruitment Manager
Beautify Your Space
“I’ve been buying fresh flowers when I go get groceries!” -Anna, Senior Manager, International Recruitment – Greater China
“On Saturday, I was staring at my desk and noticed it was dusty. Usually, I would’ve left it, but I decided, why not do some light dusting? I had nowhere else to be. Three and a half hours later, everything I had to my name was piled on the floor and being sorted through.
In the end, I had a bag of garbage, a bag of clothes to donate, a box of books to give, and was uploading all my physical movies to a hard drive so I could get rid of them too. I’ve since cleaned my car, finding a bottle of maple syrup among the items, there for reasons I can’t remember.
My friend has brilliantly started using his walks to pick up litter around town. Yes, the circumstances are terrible, but it’s pretty cool seeing everyone reflect on the things they may have neglected.” -Shelley, Video Editor
“Getting outside to take in some fresh air and sunshine once a day is helping me stay sane while working from home! It has also been vital for me to take a lunch break. Closing my computer and physically getting out of my “home office” space for half an hour helps to clear my head and makes the separation between home and work a bit easier.” -Laura, Communications Coordinator
“Bake some bread. Build in work breaks to proof and knead your bread. I also like giving myself a daily, enjoyable “self-care” task to break up my days. Today, I put “pluck eyebrows” in my calendar.” -Katie, Webinar Specialist
“Staying active has been keeping me sane while I’m stuck at home! Hate running? Incorporate walking lunges and jump squats into your daily walks to keep your heart rate up. Uphill or downhill lunges can make a huge difference, and you can even use a landmark in the distance, like a pole, as your target. Immediately after your lunges, do as many jump squats as you can and then continue your walk.” -Farzana, Application Evaluation Coordinator
“I’ve been listening to upbeat playlists to make the days a little brighter.” -Hannah, Marketing Communications Manager (Find the playlist in Hannah’s current rotation below!)
And don’t forget, pets make great coworkers!
Working From Home With a Significant Other
“My husband and I will have to figure out how to work from home together now that he’s back from a work trip, but I’m excited to have him home after being on my own. I think eating together or going for a walk during lunch will be great for recharging throughout the day. The rest of the time, we can try to work in separate rooms, so we don’t get too distracted or annoy each other… whichever comes first.” -Laura, Communications Coordinator
“Use headphones and create separate spaces as much as possible! If you live in a small area, build clear lines of division – even if it means taking ownership of “your” side of the kitchen table. When things get frustrating, try to have a sense of humour! Stay silly. Your setup is ultimately temporary, and we’re all navigating new terrain.” -Anna, Marketing Communications Specialist
Working From Home With Kids
“Working from home with your children is never going to be as productive as you want it to be. Try to remember that if you were in the office, you’d want to be with them anyway.
If you have a partner who is also working from home, try scheduling “shifts” to work and watch, while the other gets more profound focus time. When on your shift, try to complete less focus-intensive, smaller tasks. Try to stay mindful that your disruptions are what you’d look forward to dealing with if you were at the office.” -David, Business Analyst
“Now that we have no commute, we can spend more time with our children. Use this opportunity to save an hour a day and ask them to show you something they like. They love to share their favorite things with us, and it helps to create a “thing” between you. My husband and I have different “things” with our daughter… She and I watch Voltron together and she loves introducing all the characters to me. You could even say I’m a Voltron fan now!” -Cristiane, Application Evaluation Coordinator