The current pandemic has us all working and learning remotely, which can pose a new set of challenges that are sometimes hard to navigate. This experience is a trauma in many ways, and trauma can cause us to make poor decisions or not think things through. Keep these points in mind in your day-to-day remote work or learning, to remain sensitive to others’ situations during this time.
Turning on video during a meeting essentially invites everyone on the call into your home. There are several reasons why someone might not want to share their home situations. Kids may be vulnerable to bullying because of their environment, and adults might want to keep their home a private space. Consider allowing video backgrounds, or no video at all, to allow everyone the call to be comfortable.
In several places, internet access is still a luxury. Not everyone has internet access at home, making remote learning or work very difficult. If there is someone you are having a hard time getting in touch with, keep in mind that this may be a possibility and do not push the issue. Thankfully, internet providers in many areas of the U.S. are offering temporary promotions to make internet access available to everyone. If you are in need of internet access, call your local provider to ask about promotions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here at allsynx, our leadership has been flexible with working parents. Remember to be patient with background noise and interruptions from coworkers’ children on voice or video calls. When possible, try to give plenty of notice when you need a response from a coworker with children, since they might have to tend to their children’s needs and will not always be able to respond immediately. Lastly, extend all these courtesies and more to single working parents, who are doing all of this alone right now and will likely need extra support and patience from their coworkers.
Try to keep a positive attitude on work calls. We are all feeling the effects of the pandemic in some way, but complaining or constantly mentioning the negative effects is not professional or helpful for your coworkers. You don’t know how the pandemic has affected the other people in their home or those close to them. Save yourself an uncomfortable situation and try to talk about other things when you can. It will have a positive affect on everyone!
There are so many other factors to be aware of when interacting at work and school, not just during the pandemic, but every day. Stay mindful and remember that while we are each experiencing this differently, we are healthier when we work together to stay mentally and physically safe.