Thanks to concerns about COVID-19, an enlightened public now practices social distancing. As a result, some AMA Madison members are working at home for the first time—discovering the joys of walking only a few steps to their laptops, instead of making the trek into the office. On the other hand, for those who already work at home, not much about the typical workday has changed.
Following are some of our members’ views on how to make the most out of telecommuting while dealing with a pandemic.
Greg Mischio, Winbound
Greg says, “I have been working from home before working from home became a thing. In fact, I was working from home before homes became a thing.”
He shares tips for surviving the joys and struggles of remote working:
- Learn to hate people. This is really important. You must get disgusted with humankind and not want to be around them.
- If you can’t do number one, then make sure you have alternate points of contact per day, besides in-person. I schedule phone calls, Zoom meetings, etc. You’ll be surprised how much that helps.
- Get disciplined. You need to be really, really disciplined. That means following routines and schedules. Set aside time for work, answering emails, and running around like an idiot.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you screw up at #3. I relapse all the time. Sometimes I treat myself to a relapse and take care of stuff that needs to be resolved. Then I get back into the schedule. But stick to it as much as possible.
Sam Simon, Thomas Steele Site Furnishings
From the onset of working at home, Sam discovered the importance of following a routine.
He offers the following insights:
- When you’re working from home, it can be easy to get distracted, or even difficult to get into your work. But I’ve found that you’ll have an easier time if you follow the same routine you had when you traveled to your office.
- Get up at the same time and get dressed the same as if you were going to work. This helps make that mental leap that you’re shifting to work mode.
- Be at your computer at the same time you’d arrive for work and then go through the same steps you would perform any morning. For me, I delete all unnecessary email that’s come in overnight, follow-up on anything urgent, and mark anything I need to review later.
Then, I’m on to reviewing the day’s task list, tackling the easiest or quickest items first. Getting a couple of items completed right away makes taking on bigger projects less daunting.
Before you know it, it’s mid-morning, your productivity level is rising, and it will matter less and less where you’re working from.
He concludes, “We were suddenly forced to change what was normal. But, finding our regular rhythm will help make the transition to this ‘new normal’ as smooth as can be.”
Kristin McGuine, AMPED Association Management
Kristin notes that the changes in her work responsibilities also offer new opportunities.
“I work in marketing for trade associations and scientific societies, a conference-heavy industry. Much of the communications and other marketing strategies I use tend to focus on conference-related messages, designed to maximize abstract submissions and registrations.
“Because of COVID-19, we have canceled client conferences scheduled for the next couple of months, and continue to monitor the viability of those further out. These actions reduced the marketing emphasis on our primary “product,” and present an opportunity to market ourselves in other ways to maximize industry visibility, prospect engagement, and member loyalty. That’s something we should be doing, but I often struggle to find time for these goals.
“Now, I have more time to explore and create new marketing avenues. Because most people are staying at home, they seek online and streamed content. Many of us already have content marketing as part of our marketing mix. I am looking to build on the content foundation we currently have in place with our clients.
“I acknowledge there are significant financial consequences in this social climate—for organizations both inside and outside of my industry. But I also feel excited about positioning our clients to come out on the other side ahead of the game!”
What’s next for AMA Madison?
AMA Madison realizes the widespread impacts of the pandemic on our members’ professional and personal lives. The Board will continue to prioritize the health and safety of our community in the weeks ahead by canceling all in-person events through at least April 15.
We are working on developing a solution to hold other future events online, such as April’s Craft Marketing event. Look for more information coming soon!
In the meantime, stay safe, healthy, and optimistic about the future. We’ll get through this together!
-Alyssa Spiel, AMA Madison President
Leslie Blaize, the owner of Blaize Communications, is a certified case study specialist. She crafts B2B content with a focus on the Architectural/Engineering/Construction industry.