Telecommuting During COVID-19

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Telecommuting During COVID-19

Friday, May 29, 2020

Here at UnitedHealth Group, we've adjusted the way we work as a result of COVID-19. At this moment, 90% of our non-clinical staff is working from home around the globe, prior to COVID-19 42% of our non-clinical staff was already working from home. This is a change for many of our employees, so we provided them with tips to set them up for success. If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory working remotely for the first time, we hope you'll find these useful.

Telecommuting Tips: 

  • Stay Connected - Communication is key; stay in contact with those on your team and your manager to help you feel connected to your team and your work. Leverage communication tools like instant messengers, conference calling platforms and video to keep in touch throughout the day.
  • Dedicated Workspace - Designate a spot within your home for you to work, preferably an area with a door to help separate work from home once your workday is over. Think about outfitting this space with a good support chair and a desk that sits at a comfortable height. If you’re going to be on video calls, consider the window placement as well as other aspects of your background, lighting and setup.
  • Dress for Success - Change out of your pajamas. This doesn’t mean you need to change into your jeans or a suit but putting on your outfit for the day can help get your mind situated into ‘work mode’, while still being comfortable. You’ll also be prepared if you unexpectedly find yourself on a video call. 
  • Take Breaks - Be sure to step away from your workspace periodically. When you’re in the office, it’s easy to get up and walk a lap around the building, go chat with a coworker or take the long way to the cafeteria – at home, not so much. Breaks help us to refocus and make us more productive. If you find it’s hard to work little breaks into your day, plan ahead and schedule them! 
  • Set Boundaries – It can be harder now than ever to have boundaries between your work life and your personal life, we feel it too. To help maintain those boundaries while working from home designate time during the day for work and time for the other parts of your life – the dog, the kids, the laundry, a walk. Only you know what you need to do to feel like you have work life balance.
  • Have Compassion – Making the adjustment to working from home can be difficult, and a lot to manage. We can help each other through this time by having compassion for each other. This can come in the form of being flexible in starting and ending meetings with 5 minute buffers for quick breaks between meetings, starting meetings by asking co-workers how they’re doing and how working from home is going for them, laughing about the kids in the background and reflecting more frequently about how we are supporting ourselves and others.  

Remember, many people are learning to navigate working from home and figuring out what does and doesn’t work for them. Whatever your new normal might be, just know that you aren’t alone! Your manager, co-workers, technology department, family members and friends are here to help and support you!

If you’re interested in how this new virtual landscape has impacted our hiring, you can learn more at our COVID-19 Response page.

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