Hear from EdReports staff about how they navigate a virtual work environment and stay connected to team culture and colleagues.
EdReports.org started its work in 2014 with a plan to operate as a national organization with a virtual work environment. To date, we have employees based in 19 states and more than 600 educator reviewers located in 48 states and the District of Columbia. During this unprecedented time of global upheaval in response to COVID-19 we recognize that many people have questions about how to successfully transition from a brick and mortar office to a virtual workplace.
Over the past five years we have listened to and learned from our staff members about how to adjust and succeed in a remote environment. We regularly collect their advice and share them with new staff as they begin working with us virtually as one of several onboarding supports. We thought they may be helpful in this moment to support those who are working virtually for the first time. We hope that this resource can contribute in supporting the field to press on with its important work while navigating the ever-changing landscape we currently live in.
Structure Your Day
Working remotely can sometimes feel overwhelming because there is no longer a clear demarcation between the office and home. We recommend putting routines in place right from the beginning and communicating them to others in your household. Find a routine that works for you and try to stick to it. With a little time, this routine will become your “new normal” and others will adjust to it.
Establish A Work Space
We know many people don’t have the luxury of having a separate home office space. To the best of your abilities strive to set up a space that allows you to be most productive
Modify How You Work With Others
Working remotely means it’s not as simple to drop into a colleague’s office or cubicle when you have a question. Conducting complex meetings in a conference room also changes when transitioned to a virtual conference room. Take some simple steps to better notify your colleagues of your availability, and modify how you conduct or participate in virtual meetings.
There are so many benefits to working remotely but also distractions as you navigate a space that primarily functions as a home for families, partners, and pets. We are all in this together. Strive for flexibility, patience, and empathy to support one another during this challenging time.
Build and Sustain Team Culture
Many EdReports staff have shared the difficulties of staying connected to colleagues in a virtual environment and sometimes having feelings of isolation. Although sharing conversations via video chat or phone is not the same as meeting in person, there are strategies you can apply to feel connected to colleagues and build personal and professional camaraderie.