COVID-19 is a deadly virus. It spreads super fast and was/is impacting most of the world. Especially the economy and businesses are affected by it. Larger technology companies like Google, Microsoft are all working remotely. Most probably you find yourself also working from home. If it is a technology job or not, everyone needs to get work done. What we often forget though is to write down what we have achieved. This article should teach you how to do properly, how you will feel more grateful for your work and how you impress your colleagues, and more importantly your boss.
Most of us are forced into the Home office. It might be less than ideal to work from home because of the circumstances. Myself, a software engineer, just needs a laptop to work on. But a single laptop is less than ideal. Most of my colleagues and myself included are working on multiple screens to quickly switch up views. A lot of employees do not have a setup with multiple monitors, an ergonomic keyboard or a good chair and table at home. All of these things will arguably make you more comfortable at your workplace at home or get your productivity to the same level as in an office environment. Of course, some people might even have a better setup to work from home, but this group might be the minority. A lot of companies came up with solutions like a fund for every employee to buy equipment to work from home or offering the employees to get work equipment delivered from an office.
Another effect on people’s work-life might be other people in the household. Family, friends, or roommates might affect you in negative ways. They can be loud, might not respect your working time, and interrupt you from time to time. Of course, social contacts can also help you to not get socially isolated. There are positive sides too.
All of these points might affect your work life and with that also your performance at work. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to keep up efficient productivity to keep your job safe and do not get unemployed. With the rise of more and more unemployment claims, it might be better to play safe and try to get the work environment into a state that will keep you productive. But how can we do this? Of course, the physical work environment might be one part like replacing a chair and table or getting additional monitors but besides that, you can work with your team on keeping up a positive spirit.
People like to hear about other people’s life. This is also true for colleagues. The average employee spends 8 hours per day at work and this time will also be spent with colleagues. Not every colleague is awesome but some sympathy shown to colleagues can get you farther in your team, resulting in nice performance reviews and greater career success.
Most of the teams are connected via a chat software these days like Slack, Microsoft Teams or even Telegram. Human communication is hard via these tools but one good method to stay connected is to do a “Good Morning” routine where every employee writes “Good Morning” in different tones or with different nuances. For example, you could exchange the language to something you know, like writing “Moin Moin alle zusammen” just to bring up something different into the chat. It will also show your colleagues when you are available.
Throughout the day mostly business-related things are discussed probably within the chats and other communication programs. At the end of the day, it is also important to check-out to signal that you are not available for emergency tasks anymore. During this update, it would be also nice to write down what you have done. Your colleagues probably do not know what you have been up to the whole day and how you contributed to your team’s or company’s success. Describe things you have done, like meetings with external teams, a little bit more in detail so colleagues have an idea of your current workload and what you are dealing with. The first time you will do this review might feel weird, but it will get more common. In the first place, you should also convince your whole team to do this procedure because it will enable employees some insight of the other team members and we all want to know what kind of stuff they were dealing with, maybe we can even help them. A nice gimmick throughout this daily review is to add a random thing or fact that happened throughout the day to you or that you got to know of during the day. It will bring in some personal touch of what your colleagues and you might have experienced. An example summary could look like:
These updates will keep your team engaged in normal life and might not even that self-harming. Everyone is doing substantial work. An important aspect of these notes is that you should mention mostly positive things and never complain about colleagues, the company, or other teams. Try to focus on positivity in the world, except in the fun fact where you can make some fun of yourself.
Now that you have made a list of work achievement notes already, you can also start tracking these in another application like getworkrecognized to be prepared for your next Performance Review. After tracking your work achievements notes for a longer time you will be able to properly prepare for your next Self-Review. Having the fundamental base, which is the information of what you have actually achieved during the last period, is super important for the Performance Review. So keep your work tracked.
getworkrecognized will help you to organize your notes. In the following you can find examples on how this could look like. We use the Leadership Principles of Klarna to tag and group the notes.
After writing your actions down for some time it is time to review your mood and behavior. With the actions written down, you can correlate the behavior to the impact you had. A simple task to do would be to look at a random week, check the notes you have written down, and rate yourself from 0 to 10 on how productive you have been. Review your actions, environment, and special methodologies you have used in your work from home routine work out. Seeing trends and optimizing these trends might help you with your work routine.
Another point that can be reviewed is how your team perceives this daily summary of someone’s workday. Regular surveys about the person’s mood and engagement would help to track this but in general, a simple question would be more than enough. If you see successes feel free to extend this program to a longer time during COVID-19 since it is expected that this pandemic is not ending for a long time.
With tracking all your work you are already perfectly prepared for your next Performance Review. In companies, like Klarna, a Self-Review is an essential part of the promotion process. The Self-Review consists typically of your bigger work achievements that can be tracked over time. With the routine presented in this article, you have an easy way to access your notes of the past period quite easily. It just gets easier if you use getworkrecognized. Our tool will remind you to write down your notes, even after COVID-19, so you have an easy process for creating the Self-Review and do not just have to look throughout every day’s chat to see what you have done in some period.