Biting Back- Was Your Office Ready?

One of my peeves has always been the inconsistent telework policies across organizations, especially within organizations.

Managers had plenty of leeways to work remotely, were provided with equipment and access to all necessary software and server and/or cloud access. Now we see or hear stories about companies scrambling to have their entire team work remotely. I even saw a post from an administrative colleague this week in which the entire team was told to work from home, but no one notified her! They all left the office and she’s sitting around wondering where everyone went. Oy.

My point is that many companies were ahead of the curve for this event. I’d be curious what percentage had to add extra equipment and capacity to accommodate their teams.

Please participate in the poll I’ve created to gather some insights on remote work preparedness. I’d love to see if my hunches are right.

How I Stay Focused on Work from Home Days


On a rare occasion, I’ll find myself with a day with few or no obligations. No obligations to drive my kid to a school function. No obligation to work or do laundry or to go to the grocery store.  Then, it hits me.

Oooh!  I can go see that movie I’ve wanted to go see. I can do a thorough cleaning of our guest room. I can go shopping. I can nap.I can write Thank You notes I owe. I can… aaaaaaaaaah!!
Too many choices!
Sometimes this happens. And I empathize with the issue of not being able to focus.

Here are some tips  (in addition to remembering to brew and drink coffee) I’ve gathered over the last few years that help me focus– especially when I’m working from home during a snow day because truly, I do have some obligations when I’m working from home and I need to get things done. I start work earlier when I’m working from home and therefore, build in more breaks to accommodate various distractions.

  1. Set appointments on my calendar for bathroom breaks and lunch.
  2. Set an additional 2 appointments for 10 -15 minutes each. The first appointment is to remind me to get up from my desk and stretch. The second appointment is for me to spend 10 minutes playing with my kid and my cat.
  3. Sometimes, if I’m super unmotivated- I’ll add in additional reminder appointments to ask me– Have you send so-and-so this? Have you posted that?

And, that is how I remembered that I wanted to post a blog today! But.. my timer says my break is done and I need to get back to work.

One month until I leave for Executive Secretary LIVE in London, and I can’t wait to meet so many amazing people!

Telework..Put to Work

Hello from Northern VA- almost three feet of snow later and a solid week of no school for the kids… the adults are finally coming up for air. In our region, most employees have the option of logging into voicemail and email from home. Most companies provide access to work files through a VPN. If you live outside our area and are annoyed at hearing that the Federal Government is me, I have neighbors, friends and family and their respective Blackberries/Smart phones have not let up much during the out of office time. Conference calls, proposals, webinars, traveling planning etc.. were all being taken care of from the laptop/desktop in home offices and kitchen tables around our area.

My husband’s company is based on the construction industry and believe it or not- he only missed one day of work during all of this snow event. It was the first time in our fifteen years of marriage that his office has ever closed. Yesterday, we had wind gusts of 50mph blowing the snow all over- a whiteout they called it. It was very unsafe to drive. Our public transportation systems have been unavailable. So working from home became the norm.

I think I can thoughtfully estimate that 85% of the full-time working adults in our DC Metro region were on-line or connected to work at least once a day during this week. And, I bet that same 85% is really ready to get out of their house and back to the office.. if nothing else, needing a break from home. (smile) For the public service workers, plow drivers, nurses,police officers firefighters, medics, bagel and coffee shops, grocery store clerks and so many more etc.. thank you for all that you did this week !