Use the Holidays to Establish Work from Home Boundaries and Plan for 2021
Many new to the work from home (WFH) life have gone all-in, starting the day early, saying yes to every Zoom call and rarely straying from the computer. We get it, you’re the model employee. But it’s not going to last if you keep it up. We’re experiencing our first pandemic holiday season, so now is a good time to test WFH boundary-setting as public health experts predict our challenges will continue well into 2021.
You’ve mastered the mute button, so now it’s time to brush up on your Out of Office (OOO) automated setting skills and make plans to use it. Test it now for some online shopping or while you take a walk. Then get serious and set it for a few days around whichever major December holiday you celebrate.
If you really want to get into the spirit, play around with your Zoom background to acknowledge the holiday season. Your office manager dresses up the lobby every December, so you can spruce up your place, too. If you really want to get into it, decorate your Twitter handle with fir tree and snowflake emojis.
Joining a remote office function or industry event can help as well. Put on that ugly sweater. Have fun. Keep the cocktail out of a sight if you need to.
For employers wondering what holiday gifts the remote workforce would value most, learning platform TalentLMS conducted a survey of 1,000 remote employees. At the top: a stipend to cover new office furniture for the home, followed by a meal allowance to order lunch for delivery and a training course of the employee’s choice. Rounding out the top five: a subscription to a streaming service such as Spotify or Netflix and a gift basket of office supplies.
Has the work pace slowed down? Don’t panic, we’re still in a pandemic. Everyone’s working under unusual circumstances and decision-making is not as quick as we’d like. Stay busy by working on your marketing plan for 2021, map out some blog posts, or draft social content for use later. It’s also the time to gather your receipts and related paperwork so you’re ahead of the game during tax season.
Most important, plan for some “me” time. Set up that OOO notification, disconnect, go for a walk and maybe get a glimpse of the sun.
Jeffrey A. Davis, APR has more than 25 years of experience in positioning and reputation management, particularly in media relations, media training, crisis communications and social media. He is founder of J. Davis Public Relations, LLC, a PR consultancy based in Baltimore, Maryland and is a frequent speaker on social media, PR measurement and crisis communications.