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Careers & People

3/12/2020
02:00 PM
Andy Ellis
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Working from Home? These Tips Can Help You Adapt

COVID-19 means many people are doing their jobs from outside the confines of the office. That may not be as easy as it sounds.

Your Emotional Wellness
Odds are you get some value out of occasionally talking to other human beings. Find ways to take care of your need for connection, even while you're practicing social distancing.

  • Schedule open office hours. Open up a video chat and let colleagues join in. Maybe it's just a "hallway chat" that people can drop in for. Perhaps you have a tea-time theme and let people use tea as a conversation starter.

  • Connect with people that you usually sit near but don't have meetings with. Check in with them.

  • Think about what errands you run and how you can incorporate a little more social interaction into them.

  • We're all saving on commute time. A work-social event, such as a knitting group or a distributed board game (for example, Words With Friends), may even be helpful and appropriate during your day.

Your Team
Recognize that your colleagues are working through the same challenges that you are, and you can help them by both experimenting and by setting examples.

  • Consider checking in and out at the start and end of your day. Especially if you're a manager, you'll be tempted to squeeze in some extra time out of the afternoon commute; but even if you tell your staff that they're done, they won't really believe it if you don't show them that you're done. They can't see you walk out of the office, so you have to tell them you are.
  • Recognize that your colleagues may have to make different choices than you do. Maybe they're taking a few hours in the middle of the day to interact with their family. Maybe they're making food for more people. Perhaps they create a hard stop at 5 p.m. Honor their choices — and do so visibly — so they know you're supporting them.
  • Remember that you're now a guest in your colleagues' homes — things you say might be overheard by their spouse or children, so be a more-gentle human.

I'd like to thank the helpful Akamai humans who contributed to the content here.

Related Content:

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's featured story: "Keys to Hiring Cybersecurity Pros When Certification Can't Help."

Andy Ellis is Akamai's chief security officer and his mission is "making the Internet suck less." Governing security, compliance, and safety for the planetary-scale cloud platform since 2000, he has designed many of its security products. Andy has also guided Akamai's IT ... View Full Bio
 

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