The COVID-19 lockdown has forced many IT departments into work-from-home pilot projects. It isn't easy, especially since some had little time to prepare. Believe it or not, COVID-19 has driven an increase in hiring in certain sectors. Now is a good time to focus on ensuring you get a good reference or at the very least a nice increase if you decide to stay at your current employer.
Software, hardware and tools aren’t all ready for a distributed workforce and may not have the metrics to record your extra hours and efforts. Gartner expects 80% of companies will be using work monitoring software by the end of 2020 but for now, it could be on you to get noticed. If you are using a work laptop or work VPN, your employer is able to monitor what you are doing. Whether they have time or not is another story. Until then perception is everything. Work as if you were in the office, answer messages promptly, clearly and be cheerful. Nothing will create a better perception of your contribution than a cheerful, supportive response to a request. Locating information from colleagues is more difficult. The receiver can more easily ignore the request and does not always appreciate the importance of your request. Polite one on one reminders via Slack, Instant Message is the way to go. Cc’ing a mutual boss is the last resort. Lack of face-to-face supervision - for the more humble of you that don’t boast about your own achievements, this is your time to shine as the focus for everyone is now on getting the job done not just talking about it. Same as normal then. Work/life balance is a lot harder to manage when working in isolation. A solid daily routine will enable you to switch off work and get the recommended daily dose of Netflix. Relaxation is vital and so is exercise although arguably less pleasant. (Nope, you do not need your own gym to do jumping jacks). Take care, stay safe and we are here for you. Do let us know if you have any questions or just want to vent.