This is a summary of the poll results we gathered during the Quick Hits Webinar: Working from home for the first time, presented on April 8, 2020.
Did you know you could connect your laptop to a TV to create an instant second monitor? Or use an ironing board to improve your keyboard ergonomics? Tips like these provided interesting topics of conversation during our recent Quick Hits Webinar: Working from home for the first time.
Led by Michael Monroy, Director of Innovative Global Sales Support, and a fourteen-year veteran of the at-home workforce, this interactive session was filled with equal parts helpful hints and shared experiences when it comes to working remotely.
We polled over 500 attendees to find out some of the biggest challenges they have faced during an unexpected work from home assignment. Here’s what they said:
Help! Home life is rife with distractions.
65% of librarians in our poll said distractions were the hardest part of their new working environment.
Let’s face it. Distractions are inevitable. But to some extent, they can also be avoidable. Try identifying your biggest attention takers and then create personal policies to reduce them. Monroy suggests doing laundry and dishes during the times you might have been commuting to work or swinging by the community coffee pot. Try to clearly spell out your expectations during certain work hours and create a schedule to share the responsibilities of child or elder care during your day. Technical tools driving you to distraction? Turn off notifications on your email, phone and social media platforms for 30 minutes to give a work task your undivided attention.
My productivity is struggling.
50% of librarians said they feel their productivity has declined at home.
As tempting as it may be to roll out of bed in your pajamas and stay that way, showering and dressing at the same time each day helps you maintain the routine you had before starting your day at the library. Just because you aren’t in a public building, doesn’t mean you are any less serious about your responsibilities. As Monroy says, “Change your clothes to change your mindset.” The right attire promotes more professional behavior and builds our confidence – key factors for maintaining productivity. By developing a regular workday cadence, you are likely to find you will become far more productive over time.
Give me my space (without those distractions!)
Our multiple choice poll results indicated that 40% of librarians longed for a personal space to work, 43% wanted a better technical setup and 52% said less distractions would make them more productive.
Nothing establishes boundaries quite like a closed door. Bedrooms may well be the best option for establishing your own quiet, dedicated space, particularly if you are sharing a home full of family and pets. In fact, Monroy said it’s probably smart to assign personal space in different corners of the home for everyone. Also, be sure to reach out to your IT team to work through technical challenges and share expectations about available work hours with your colleagues to ensure better communication and a good work-life balance.
I’m staying connected to our patrons.
We asked how libraries have been connecting with patrons while their physical buildings are closed and 64% said they are posting more frequently on social media, and over 50% said they are sending more frequent communications from the library.
For librarians who are used to interacting with students or patrons on a daily basis, the shift to working from home may also be a change in work responsibilities. Here are some of the written responses attendees shared with us on how they’re connecting with patrons:
- Our library has shifted our April Poetry month campaign from a book display to a bunch of us doing small videos of us reading poems.
- We put a new contact form on our website specifically for asking questions during our shut-down. We take turns checking and answering submissions.
- We are contacting students individually to check on them.
- We’re doing instruction via Quick Time screencasting videos.
- We man chat 9-5 on weekdays to help people with their accounts.
You can watch the full webinar online here: https://vimeopro.com/innovativeiii/webinars/video/404646184